Four Facts About the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover’s History

by | Jan 22, 2018 | Disney History, Disney Parks and Resorts, Lists and Trivia, Uncategorized

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover takes guests on a casual, winding trip around Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. The Attraction lasts 10 minutes and stretches just over a mile (5,484 feet to be specific). It’s an easy Attraction to miss. It doesn’t provide the thrills of Space Mountain, the day-glo vibrancy of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, or the high-flying excitement of the Astro Orbiter. Despite its low-key nature, it remains a popular attraction with an incredibly devoted fan base.

Like the Monorail, Walt Disney viewed the PeopleMover as part of his utopian vision for city planning. While the PeopleMover never quite became the answer to urban transportation, it remains an essential part of the Tomorrowland experience. Here’s a quick look at the Attraction’s history.

1. The PeopleMover Presented by Goodyear

The original incarnation of the PeopleMover debuted at Disneyland in the summer of 1967. Goodyear sponsored the Attraction, which was powered by spinning Goodyear tires embedded every nine feet on the track.

2. The Edison Electric Institute and Linear Induction Motors

Goodyear did not sponsor the Walt Disney World version of the Attraction, which opened July 1, 1975. Instead of being propelled by spinning tires, the PeopleMover utilized a linear induction motor. The Edison Electric Institute Took over as the first sponsor for the Magic Kingdom version of the PeopleMover.

3. D Ticket

When the Attraction opened in Orlando it required a “D” ticket to ride. The lettered ticket program (which ran A-E) began at Disneyland about three months after it’s opening. Both parks used the program until the early 1980s when they were done away with completely.

4. Narrators and Names

The narration and names for the Attraction have varied over the years. It opened as the WEDWay PeopleMover and from 1975-1985, Jack Wagner provided the voice. Wagner had a longtime relationship performing voice work for the parks, perhaps most famously on the Matterhorn Bobsled (Remain seated please; permanecer sentados por favor). From ‘85-’94, ORAC-1 “The Computer Commuter” provided the narration.
In 1994, the PeopleMover was revamped, coinciding with changes to Tomorrowland. The New Tomorrowland focused on the “future that never was but always will be.” The PeopleMover was rebranded the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Peter Renaday took over the narration (who also provided the voices of Henry and Max for the Country Bear Jamboree).

Narration changed yet again in 2009, when Mike Brassel became the new voice of the Attraction. Roughly one year later, the name of the Attraction was changed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, a mouthful to say but a nice nod to its origins.