Ahhhhh….the PeopleMover. You can’t help but to smile on this attraction. The leisurely pace, the ride’s characteristic dialog (“Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow”), the lack of a long queue line, and the views make this attraction a favorite among repeat visitors. It’s a great place to take a respite from the Florida heat and relax, if only for 10 minutes. It goes to show that sometimes special effects and cutting edge technology can’t win out on old-school attractions.
The TTA has a long history at Walt Disney World. In 1975 the attraction opened as the WEDWay PeopleMover. It was based on the first prototype PeopleMover at Disneyland in California. The difference being that the Disneyland version used rotating tires; while the Disney World version used a linear synchronous motor system comprising of magnets which “push and pull” the ride vehicles along a track. Another difference between the two parks is that instead of an open track with covered cars as in Disneyland, the WDW version had open-air cars with a ceiling over the track.
Themed as a commuter transit system of the future, passengers are taken on a 1-mile train ride on a raised platform above, around and inside many of the attractions of Tomorrowland. Passengers depart from a centralized location, Rockettower Plaza, located beneath the Astro-Orbiters. Guests board the Metro-liners, as the vehicles are called, on the second story of Rockettower Plaza. The design of the station platform has guests boarding and disembarking the cars onto a moving platform. This allows the vehicles to remain in motion at all times. The cars then travel a one-way loop, with a brief stretch at the entrance to Space Mountain operating with two-way traffic.
From 1975 to 1994, the PeopleMover remained largely unchanged. However, in 1994 Tomorrowland underwent a massive refurbishment that changed the Tomorrowland landscape significantly. Much of the 70’s-retro, futuristic, white architecture disappeared, replaced by bold, metallic structures. It was during this refurbishment that the attraction's name changed from the WEDWay PeopleMover to The Tomorrowland Transit Authority. “PeopleMover” wasn’t added to The Tomorrowland Transit Authority’s name until 2009.
Over the years the PeopleMover has taken guests on a 10 minute ride showing some of Tomorrowland’s favorite attractions. Today guests can glimpse a view inside Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, and Mickey's Star Traders. The TTA swings by the outside of attractions such as the Tomorrowland Speedway, Carousel of Progress, Stitch’s Great Escape and the Laugh Floor. In the tunnel above Stitch’s Great Escape, the TTA train passes a large diorama containing an original architectural model of EPCOT as envisioned by Walt Disney.
I highly recommend any visitor to Tomorrowland to take a trip on the “Tomorrowland Transit Authority metroliner non-stop, now departing Rockettower Plaza Station for a round-trip super skyway tour”.