This building directly behind the Plaza Inn is the side facade for Star Tours. In an effort to keep Main Street looking like a Victorian town, the facade was fashioned with typical Main Street looking embellishments.
Just behind the Plaza Inn and around the giant tree is Star Tours!
Love is on the details!!!!
Ever notice the gardens in Tomorrowland? Vegetables are grown right next to Star Tours!
Tomorrowland currently is a land with SIX abandoned locations. Four of which are former attractions, one abandoned arcade and one shop. Disneyland is stuck in a situation where to fix one problem Disneyland would essentially have to fix them all. Autopia is a massive 230,000+ square feet inside the Disneyland berm! And as you know, everything inside of the railroad track is the most precious land that the Walt Disney Corporation owns.
How big is 230,000 square feet?
Well for example, Main Street USA from the Disneyland Train Station up to both the Jolly Holiday Bakery and the Plaza Inn restaurant, inside all the shops including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln - that's the size of Autopia!
Adventureland is 260,000 sq ft - making it 30,000 square feet larger.
All of Toontown, including Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is 250,000 square feet - making it only 20,000 square feet larger.
Over at Disney's California Adventure, Avengers Campus including Guardians of the Galaxy is 160,000 sq ft.
Autopia may be big on it's land mass but it's small in it's return. Autopia has hardly any merchandise appeal and no foreseeable natural way to create live-action or animated content for Disney+ or Walt Disney Pictures.
Intellectual property motivates fans to purchase a streaming subscription, endless merchandise or a theme park or movie ticket. Each sector of the business feeds the other. And the other problem with Autopia is that it's just an okay ride, ridden by millions and beloved by younger guests. Stack up this individual attraction offering, to ALL of Adventureland or Toontown, every experience on Main Street USA or the new Avengers Campus and it's easy to see where each of these obviously sells more merchandise, more food but even more theme park tickets.
Autopia, for most, is a bonus, a fun nostalgic part of an amazing day. But chances are Autopia motivates very few people to actually buy a ticket! It's easy to see where if this plot of land were to be re-imagined, instead of spending 30-minutes, you might end up spending three hours or more making many different memories while enjoying several experiences instead of one.
Fixing Tomorrowland is not easy. A Disney Parks design lesson learned for Disneyland to better use this 230,000 square feet would be to create an entirely new land or a couple of mega attractions. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage travels underneath the Autopia attraction, and the abandoned (27 years) People Mover has a track that runs through the Autopia land but also has tracks running through nearly every building in Tomorrowland! Lastly the Monorail takes two beautiful vanity loops over the Autopia.
Over the last decade Disney Parks has entered a new era in theme park design, creating fully immersive lands. The Autopia plot of land symbolizes why every Disney Park's land created in the last decade has no overlapping attractions. Starting with Cars Land, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge and Avengers Campus. Each of these lands can have any single attraction or location removed and swapped out for something bigger and better down the line.
What will be the future of Autopia? We have to wait to see.
The People Mover also known as the Disneyland transit system, was an attraction at Disneyland that operated from 1967 to 1995. The attraction was a slow-moving elevated Railway that transported visitors around the Tomorrowland area of the park.
The People Mover was part of the new Tomorrowland at Disneyland and it was a proof of concept attraction that exhibited the ability to lessen traffic in large cities. The attraction had a large capacity that could move over 4,800 people every hour. However the attraction was closed on August 21st 1995.
Disney, thinking that they knew what guests wanted, replaced the People Mover with the Rocket Rods. This turned out to be the worst gamble ever! The People Mover provided guests with a relaxing view of Walt's beloved park but Disney thought guests wanted a Tomorrowland thrill ride. Trading 16 minutes of People Mover for three minutes of rocketing.
6 months later in March of 1996 the Rocket Rods were announced. 14 months after the announcement, the Rocket Rods opened in May of 1998. The decision to replace the People Mover was based on what imagineers believed that the ride had outlived its usefulness and was no longer a prototype. They decided to replace the slow mellow ride with the futuristic rapid transit system.
The decision to close the People Mover was a dangerous one as it was a classic attraction that had an importance of nostalgia as well as the emotional connection of the guests. This bad decision has kept an empty track in Tomorrowland for over two decades. All that's left is it's ghost track rooted all through Tomorrowland an echo of better times.
In Tomorrowland, the Phantom Boats holds the record for being the shortest Disneyland attraction. Operational since opening day on July 17, 1955 and later closing in August of 1956. When it closed, the attraction's waterways were moved and the attraction was both redesigned and renamed.
The Motorboat Cruise would go on to exist for over three decades, moved and re-imagined because it was problematic. The Phantom Boats smoked, were loud and overheated constantly. It also became incredibly expensive to operate. The fan on the boats ended up requiring a cast member to operate for two passengers.
Disneyland would learn from this early failure and re-imagine this entire landscape by creating a new body of water, a new boat ride and the first kinetic energy location of Tomorrowland. The new and improved Motorboat Cruise would replace the Phantom Boats and share the space with two versions of Autopia, the Skyway Buckets and the View Liner. Later a second water attraction, the Submarine Voyage would take over the same space.
The Astro Jets was an off-the-shelf rotojet ride manufactured by Casper claws in West Germany that opened on March 24, 1956 in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Due to a conflict with United Airlines, the official Airline of Disneyland, the attraction's name was changed to the Tomorrowland Jets. American Airlines had begun calling its new Boeing 707 jet airliners Astro Jets. The Tomorrowland Jets closed September 5, 1966. As part of the new Tomorrowland the name was changed to Rocket Jets and built on top of the People Mover loading station to save space.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".