Death to the People Mover! (Long live the People Mover!)


I’m not going to go into the history of the Disneyland People Mover or make a case as to why it should return, there are already plenty of articles about that. Take it as a given that the People Mover is great and it should return.

That said, it’s probably wishful thinking that it will. There are too many issues preventing that from happening; which all boil down to financial in nature.

Now I know I’m being pessimistic, there’s always a chance, but even though Disneyland is the place where you can wish upon a star and have all your dreams come true, the fact of the matter is you’ll have to come up with at least a hundred bucks to get in the door and even attempt to make that happen.

The place runs on money, not dreams, like everything else in the real world.

This may be obvious to the casual observers, but this is a big slap in the face to diehard Disney fanatics, many of whom will probably send me hate mail just for acknowledging this fact.

So there is a ride called the People Mover that closed over 20 years ago, but large portions of it still exist and are standing in the park to this day.

To me and anybody else who loved (loves) this ride, it is a painful reminder of what once was and what will (probably) never be again.

It’s like if your parents decided to keep the corpse of your beloved grandfather in your living room after he died because hey why not, it’s cheaper than burying him, right?

Take this thing down!

In an informal poll I took in my own mind, right there this sets me apart from those who say a.) it’s a nice reminder of my childhood and 2.) if it stays up, maybe it can be more easily brought back to life and d.) I stole this joke from Home Alone once again.

This is nonsense. If this ride could be easily and cheaply retrofitted back into existence, it wouldn’t have sat there just rotting away for so long. And yes, it’s rotting. It’s not up to code and it was only allowed to operate because it was grandfathered in. So tear it down. It’s time to move on.

This is the only solution. By fighting this, you’re playing right into Disney’s hands. They want you to hold on to the hope that something can be done. They want you to gaze up wistfully at the carcass of this once mighty ride and say, “maybe they’ll bring it back one day,” because if you’re doing this, they can always give you a non-committal “maybe we will” and go back to turning popcorn stands into DVC kiosks.

More importantly, with the tracks still cluttering everything up and jamming the entrance to Tomorrowland, that’s just one more distraction to avoid confronting the fact that this land is in desperate need of a new ride. And I have a suggestion for what that ride should be: The People Mover.

“What the hell?! Are you serious?!” Yes, I am.

I know I just got done saying they should tear down the People Mover but that’s just because I want them to construct and all new People Mover. A WEDWay People Mover, now called th Tomorrowland Transit Authority. The People Mover that’s still running in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Now maybe this is even more unlikely than the return of the Classic People Mover. Here I am gonna pull a 180 and go from being pragmatic and shaming the dreamers to pooh poohing any who would dare to criticize my grand plans.

These rides are similar in name and basic premise alone. They’re actually two different things. Since you’re never going to be able to just slap the latter’s more advanced cars on the old People Mover track, I say burn it all to the ground and let the Phoenix of a great new ride rise from the ashes!

The genius of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority lies in it being more than just another ride. It’s a whole story that frames all the other rides in Tomorrowland  in an entirely new light and makes the whole thing bigger than the sum of its parts.

It’s like the iconic Disneyland Railroad that encircles the park, only on a smaller scale. That’s not just a ‘train ride.’ It’s a framing device that puts all of the other rides in the park in a larger context. It’s the very thing that sets a Disney park apart and makes it a ‘theme park,’ rather than just an ‘amusement park’ like Six Flags and the like.

So it is with the TTA. You hop on board a futuristic train and ride through a land where all the other rides are parts of a functioning community. I imagine myself commuting to my job at Space Mountain where I am an astronaut. I do that because I am actually a very lonely boy with no friends, but I can escape that horrible reality for just a few minutes because like every truly great ride, the TTA sparks my imagination.

The Tomorrowland of Disneyland is a disparate hodgepodge of assorted rides with no real, overarching theme to speak of: Space Mountain, some Pixar stuff, Autopia and a few Star Wars bits. It’s a mess and really has nothing to do with the future or the theme of tomorrow.

But it seems to work, or at least work much better in Florida. I really think this is because it has a train to hold it all together.

It’s my belief that Walt Disney knew this. Everybody might first think of a castle when they think of a Disney Park, but they should really think of the train that encircles the whole thing. They’re not built to save your feet from having to walk from the Haunted Mansion all the way over to Star Traders, they’re a way to wrap your head around the fact that both these completely different attractions still exist in this very same universe.

Ride the excitement! Cody Ceci Authentic Jersey

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