WDW Magazine Preview August 2022 - Page 6

The PeopleMover glides above Tomorrowland and even lets you see behind the scenes — a rare treat at Disney World . PHOTO BY RICH RAMOS
A HISTORY OF THE PEOPLEMOVER When Walt Disney decided to bring the Happiest Place on Earth to Florida , he knew he would have more space than he did in Anaheim . That meant he could build more attractions than Disneyland could fit — but he knew , too , that some of the Disneyland staples would have sister attractions in the Sunshine State . This included the PeopleMover , although the attraction would look a bit different — and have a slightly different name — at Walt Disney World .
At Disneyland , the simply named PeopleMover traveled along an open path — think Chicago ’ s El train , but with open-air tram cars . Each PeopleMover tram had a hard-shell , bimini-style top to protect riders from the elements . The ride , which lasted a blissful 16 minutes , required a D ticket ( oh yes , once upon a time , you had to pay for tickets to ride pretty much everything at Walt Disney World and Disneyland .)
The Disneyland PeopleMover originally traversed Adventure Thru Inner Space , the Carousel of Progress , a shop called the Character Shop , Tomorrowland Autopia , Submarine Voyage , and America the Beautiful . Over the years , Tomorrowland changed ( it ’ s not easy staying futuristic !), and so did the things you could see from the PeopleMover .
When the PeopleMover came to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida , it took on a different look — and a different name . Roofless , low-slung , futuristic blue cars replaced brightly hued , canopied trams , and they traveled not along an open-air track but on a railed , closed-top ( but open-to-the-side ) track .
With the move across the country , the PeopleMover took on a new name as well : The WEDway PeopleMover opened July 1 , 1975 , taking riders over and through the attractions at Florida ’ s Tomorrowland .
The Disneyland PeopleMover closed shortly before Labor Day 1995 , but the Walt Disney World PeopleMover — today it ’ s officially the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover — remains . It ’ s a bummer for those visiting Anaheim , but hey , at least Disneyland still has Mr . Toad ’ s Wild Ride .