Rocket Rods Closing


Earning My Ears
May 12, 2000
Is this just a rumor or is there some truth to this? I recently recieved an email saying Disney is also closing the Rocket Rods.
Rocket Rods are the rockets located in Tomorrowland. They are similar to the Dumbo ride except you have to board an elevator to get on them.
Yep! It’s true. There was an article about it in the LA times.

Here’s the link

I think especially interesting is the fact that Cynthia Harriss said:

"The high-speed attraction was never able to perform to its designed show standards," Disneyland President Cynthia Harriss said in a statement Friday. The problem, she said, was a budget-conscious decision to run the high-speed Rods on the People Mover's unbanked track.

Sounds a little budget oriented to me. How much did their short term penny-pinching cost them in the long run this time?!

I know if they removed our (WDW) Peoplemover (sorry, it’s still peoplemover to me) for a CHEAP, budget oriented ride that closed soon after because of poor planning and trying to squeeze every cent out of a project, I’d be a little upset!!! But hey, that’s just me. Others may try to justify it!
O.K. but I am confused here. Are we talking the one is Disney World or Disney Land? I thought Astro-Orbiter was in Disney World while Rocket Rods where in Disneyland. Am I correct?
Rocket Rods WERE in Disneyland. They closed the Peoplemover to put them in. They've been a problem since day one. Another Voice can probably offer more insight than I can. I only know what I read.

Can anyone else shed a little light??

WOW!! look at 'em bounce!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
CastmemberChipnDale - you're incorrect.

Both DL & MK have the Astro Orbiters. Paul Pressler in his infinite lack of wisdom decided it would be a great idea to take the Astro Orbiter down from the top of the people mover platform & stick it in right in front of Tomorrowland, so it's right on the ground, just like Dumbo & is almost on Main Street. Garrish & tacky are the best way to describe it. Yeeech!

Rocket Rods are (were) at DL. They replaced the people mover with these cars that zip along the people mover track. It's kinda similar to Test Track in a way. I rode it in 99 & it was pretty fun & the lines for it were usually even longer than for Indy!

I was there a week ago & the ride was down, but I just figured it was usual maintenance stuff. But given all the rides that went down, I assume it's reached an epidemic state. :(
Since I never been to Disneyland I plead ignorance:

Are the rocket rods that Autopia or Eutopia thing at Disneyland that Chevron gas stations advertised(at least Miami ones)last year?
In theory, Rocket Rods were supposed to be a high-speed, high-thrill replacement for the PeopleMover. Themed like a funky, retro-tech mass transit system, the vehicles ran along a track that was built on top of the PeopleMover guide beam. The problem is that the PeopleMover was designed to travel at around 5mph, but the RocketRods hit speeds up to 30mph. There wasn’t enough money to do the proper engineering or to properly rebuild sections of the track, so ride became a series of high-speed, head-banging accelerations whenever the track was straight, and a series of neck-twisting, seatbelt-in-the-chest brakes before all of the numerous curves. These stresses destroyed both the ride vehicles and the track within a few months.

But as the only new ride in the much-marketed “New Tomorrowland”, this attraction quickly developed huge lines every day (of course, the constant delayed openings and down time didn’t help its hourly capacity any). Faced with a two hour wait for a five minute ride and numerous breakdowns, guest satisfaction was poor. The ride’s queue was in the old Circlevision theater – the only know instance where Paul Pressler gutted a show building and did NOT turn it into a store. In the theater section, they showed old ‘Wonderful World of Disney” shorts from the 50’s and 60’s about the future of transportation. It was campy fun and one of the few places were they allowed Walt to be shown in the park. In total, the entire attraction had a “thrown together from odds ‘n ends” feel to it that made the whole thing feel cheap.

It will be missed only because the Rocket Rods were the lone element to be built from the “Tomorrowland 2055” concept, which was Disneyland’s last great gasp of creativity before the Shopping Mall Gang took over. In fact the entire “New Tomorrowland” disaster is seen as a precursor to the “Disney’s California Adventure” affair. I just hope they pull the life support from DCA just as quickly as they did to “Rocket Rods”.
Let's just tear DCA down! It only cost around a billion (cheap) and as we all know, nothing can be improved upon... oh, wait... that'd be dumb.
It was campy fun and one of the few places were they allowed Walt to be shown in the park.

Are you trying to say that Pressler (I don't like what he's doing any more than you do) is trying to remove all traces of Walt Disney from Disneyland? While I don't like his corner cutting, I don't think he's a heretic!
Of course no one is talking about turning DCA back into a parking lot, but they probably will be tearing down the PeopleMover/Rocket Rod track. But there is more than one set of plans stuffed in desks the would remake the Second Gate into something that would work. Most of DCA is very, shall we say, very transportable: off-the shelf rides on concrete pilings, simply show buildings with facades, etc. The only major construction is the Grizzy Mountain Peak. And just like the Rocket Rods, sometimes it's just cheaper the tear something down than to make it right in the first place.

Did you hear the rumor about ABC looking for studio space on the west coast?
We loved Rocket Rods. I am sorry to hear that the attraction has been permanently closed. I agree with the others who have posted here that the "new" Tomorrowland has nothing worthwhile in it at Disneyland (with the exception of Space Mountain). Such a shame, too, considering all the wonderful rides that Disney could have created to make it a remarkable part of the theme park.

I miss the old PeopleMover. Maybe they'll bring it back. It rarely ever had a long line and it was a nice, long ride that would allow me to escape the hot Southern California sun. There's a lot to be said for having a ride like that for us "old" folks to enjoy. I say, BRING THE PEOPLEMOVER BACK!
"simply show buildings with facades, "
That pretty much describes most of the attractions at DL and WDW. That ease in rennovation/replacement is essential to Walt's original vision of the "ever-changing, yet never-changing" park. Some attractions that fall into that category include: Haunted Mansion, Mission to Mars/Alien Encounter, all Fantasyland dark rides, Spaceship Earth, Universe of Energy, If you had wings/Dreamflight/Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, The Carousel of Progress/America Sings/Innoventions... I could go on and on.
TO those who said Rocket Rods was the only good ride in DL tomorrowland, maybe I'm just a fanboy, but Star Tours is an excellent ride.

Look, the new boards brought out the grumpiness in everyone, all I've been reading is grumpy posts, a week ago, we were all being civil in our info exchange, what's up with that?

P.S., I've heard High praise for moving the Astro Orbitors, from more then one source. At the very least, the queue is more convienent. And the little show the old mechinism puts on is good themeing. At least I thought so.
Look, the new boards brought out the grumpiness in everyone

I love they way they bounce!!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

And look at all the others!!!!

:smooth: :earseek: :wave: :crazy: :tongue: :smooth:

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm having fun!! (Well, I can't bash Ei$ner all the time!!!)


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