Saturday, April 23, 2011


Nothing in Disneyland's New Tomorrowland of 1967 went without  the magic touch of WED! The PeopleMover's elevated beam-way is a fine example. In the earliest renderings, simple tubular support poles appear raising the PeopleMover's cars above the ground level  of this "World on the Move". Eventually WED designers  attention went to work. Thanks to Imagineers Victor Greene , John Wise , and John Hench, simple support posts became sweeping modern arches, buttresses and biomorphic "tree-branches" adding to the overall mood and feeling of this Future world.  A simple engineering function transformed as art.

As simple as this center-line entry support is, the mathematics involved to create it is boggling!

a  shady spot to enjoy a Space Mist Punch
(view: between PeopleMover Station SpeedRamps)

Gracefully MODERN!!!!

SpeedRamp down.............

I love this building!

Left flank entry arch
My PeopleMover car is one of these........but underneath reveals it's 1967 heritage:  I own train 12 (red), CAR B!

If guests could only enjoy views like this today.......

A 1977 addition over at the Space Place

More 1967 design (luckily) surviving into the REAL 21st Century!
Next time you're here, take closer look at these planter/benches: they are in the shape of the original Goodyear  logo shape!!


Connie Moreno said...

Thanks for making me cry, LOL. Great post.

Thufer said...

Connie is correct, this was a tear jerk-er. So many wonderful little crags and crannies filled with many foot tired memories have happened in this wonderful and special area.
Thank you.

TokyoMagic! said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your shots of going into and coming out of the PeopleMover tunnels at the entrance to TL....wait, I actually love all of these shots. The supports that hold up the PeopleMover and Rocket Jet platforms were so graceful. I HATED how they enclosed the space on the ground level and partially covered up those architectural elements with walls in the 1998 redo. Just what the heck were they thinking?

TokyoMagic! said...


Adam said...

Why OH WHY can't they bring this back? Tomorrowland is not even a shadow of what it once was. The bottleneck of Astro Orbiter, Cartoons, and empty Peoplemover tracks. Sigh. Looking at and talking about old Tomorrowland is always bitter sweet. It makes me happy to see stuff like this but also mad.

Thank you though, I just added this blog to my reader.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wonderful post and photos! I'm sure that all those curves cost a LOT more than simple angles, and it made all the difference between something graceful and futuristic or just plain industrial.

JG said...

Much of this design is reminiscent of the LAX "Theme Building" in the center of the airport concourse.

This building was a landmark of 1960's design and featured similar swooping biomorphic arches with tapering cross sections. It's design was tremendously influential among architects of the time.

The LAX Theme Building was designed by Paul Williams, a noted architect in Los Angeles at that time, also noted for being a remarkably successful black architect in a time when few minorities worked in the profession.

Every time I see these elements of the Old Tomorrowland (odd name, but its how I think of it), I think of Mr. Williams too.

Thanks especially for the shots of the construction documents. I deeply appreciate those.



JG: I love that LAX Theme building. But did you know it was built with the intention of Los Angeles hosting a World's Fair in the mid to late 60's? The airport was to have been the first of a complex of structures "welcoming" guests and creating ...........the THEME of the LA World's Fair. Los Angles backed down on the petition however after the real financial numbers came in from the New York World's Fair of 1964/65 --- the fair--despite our nostalgia for it was financially a flop. LA quietly cancelled it's plans and let Osaka Japan take the bid!

A Snow White Sanctum said...

I love the PeopleMover (and for that matter, all similar forms of transportation). I don't even mind when I get caught in layovers at means I can ride the terminal trams more. (Nuts, I know.)

Like TokyoMagic said, super shots of the PeopleMover tunnels. Do you think they'll ever bring it back in some form or another?

JG said...

@MIKE COZART. Interesting facts. I did not know that, but it makes sense, and explains how such a striking building was designed and then abandoned (conceptually, not functionally).
Imagine how cool the airport would have been with more development in that style.

Sometime when I travel to LA, I'm going to wedge in an hour or so to visit that building, if only to be disappointed by the way the interior has probably been butchered over the years. The upper deck has to be a bar, right? A place for lonely travelers to while away an hour between flights...


BTW @ Tokyo Magic, those walls might have been structural renovations caused by code changes in the seismic (earthquake) requirements. To my eye, conditioned by years of new requirements, the old supports look very slender. Similar walls were built by the score on Bay Area freeway bridges, connecting the columns at the first level where the loads are highest.

It makes them look graceful, but they probably no longer "calculate" for the greatly increased forces that the codes now require. I suspect this is why the AstroJets were abandoned from the top of the tower, too tall, too much overturning moment for the revised code.

Another sign of the coarsening of society, I guess. Sigh.

Newrush said...

I so miss this old thing. I have an old audio file with the music and spiel. I sometime listen to it in the car. It drives my kids nuts!

Devoman said...

Silly question, the picture of the Peoplemover train that is on the the firsdt page, only has 3 cars when it should have 4. Is there a story behind that?

apersonofinterest said...

Actually, the interior of the LAX building is awesome. Even the bathrooms. I had heard, although I haven't confirmed, that the interior was designed by Disney IMagineering.

apersonofinterest said...