Welcome back to the countdown to Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. Each day we bring you a new Disney history and a new blogger sharing their most cherished Disney moments. Today, Amanda from The Disney Chick will transport us to Walt Disney World 1975.
Walt Disney World in 1975
The Magic Kingdom means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some visitors go for the castle and princesses and fairy tales, some go for the pirates and grim-grinning ghosts, but me? Tomorrowland, all the way. I geek out extensively over random Epcot things quite frequently, so this shouldn’t come as any huge surprise. But Tomorrowland was, and will always be, my first love.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Opening on July 1, 1975, this 10-minute excursion around Tomorrowland includes a birds-eye view of Magic Kingdom. (Not to mention a speedy look at the inside of Space Mountain.) The “TTA” moves at a speed of 6.84 mph, so it is always a calming trip.
My love for Tomorrowland has always been anchored by two intertwined attractions: Space Mountain and the WEDWay PeopleMover (which was later renamed the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and is currently named the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover).
It all started on my first trip to WDW, when I went on Space Mountain for the very first time. I was young, and it was my first experience on a thrill ride. My mother had some reservations about letting me ride – it was in the dark, she had never been on before either and didn’t know what to expect, but we went on anyway.
Now, back in those days the safety restrictions were not what they are today, and the ride vehicles had bars on either side of the seats, rather than the pull-down lap bar they have today. I was small for my age, and in my mother’s version of events – I was slipping and sliding all over the place and she clamped her knees on either side of me in order to keep me from falling out. When the ride was finished, she was prepared for tears … and instead got the smile of a little girl who was hooked.
“Paging Mr. Morrow”
There have been other memorable moments as well. There was the time Teenage Me got separated from the rest of my family and slowly descended into madness outside the gift shop. You can read about that saga in its entirety here. Then, in 2009, when we happened to visit during the seven month stretch when Space Mountain and the TTA were closed for refurbishment. That resulted in lots of whining and hair pulling and blog-venting. We strolled the grounds of Tomorrowland, which had become something of a ghost town without its anchor attraction, sat on a park bench under the non-operational TTA, and sadly ate a sad bag of popcorn sadly. I may have spilled some popcorn on the ground as a tribute. One for me, one for my (future) homies.
On our most recent trip, we experienced the “new” Space Mountain, with pleasant results. However, I still shudder every time I think about how many people have touched those knobs for the various games in the queue. And then I touched them. Without sanitizer. Gaaaak.
Space Mountain is also one of the few rides in WDW that’s perfect for my family. We’re a party of three, which means we usually always get stuck having to take up two rows with one person riding solo, or we have to share a ride vehicle with a single rider. On Space Mountain, we can all ride together, without having to explain who that extra person in the ride photo is.
Tomorrowland- The Future That Never Was
But Space Mountain is only half the story – there’s also the WEDway PeopleMover, which is my favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World. It’s hard to explain, but the PeopleMover is like a trusty old friend. It’s always there, moving along, ready to pick up any weary traveler that climbs aboard. I’ve napped on it, laughed on it, relaxed on it – it’s probably one of the only attractions in WDW where you actually, truly, just kick up your feet and enjoy the ride.
In a way, it’s also feels a bit like Walt Disney’s show and tell. Although Walt never got to see Walt Disney World’s opening, so much of the area that the PeopleMover covers is pure Walt. Over here, Cinderella’s Castle, the centerpiece of the park. Over there, the Carousel of Progress, designed for the 1964 World’s Fair. And all around you, Tomorrowland, Walt’s vision of the future. For me, the PeopleMover captures the quintessential spirit of Walt Disney World.
Together, Space Mountain and the WEDWay PeopleMover are the perfect combination – futuristic fun meets Disney magic. They’re the first two attractions I race toward after entering the Magic Kingdom. And they’re usually my last stop on the way out. Some of my favorite Disney memories (as well as my most traumatic) were had on those two rides. I’m looking forward to spending 50 more years with them!
The Disney Chick celebrates Disney fun, food, films, and more at @thedisneychick. Thank you for your very personal take on Walt Disney World 1975!
Amanda, you certainly celebrates fun! Thanks for stopping by today. Tomorrow, we welcome Kathy from The Many Adventures of a Disney-lovin’ Spectrum Mom . Here comes 1976!