Friday, January 9, 2015

#38 - Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

Category: Slow Rides
Category Rank: 8

Park: Magic Kingdom
Park Rank: 16

In what might be a common theme, we have another attraction within Magic Kingdom that people commonly use to take a break from the other crazy attractions and their accompanying long lines.  This one is our first attraction in Tomorrowland, and it is another original attraction from the park's opening.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover has undergone two different name changes over the years, but the ride remains basically the same.  It is a narrated 10-minute trip in an open-air train-like shuttle throughout Tomorrowland.  It includes going into the Space Mountain complex and seeing that ride in the dark, which is a unique experience.  That is, until you also go into the Buzz Lightyear building as well.

This ride is one of the many original attractions that was also at Disneyland.  The concept of a PeopleMover is right in line with the "Progress toward the Future" theme, even with its inception back in the 60s, and has spawned likewise innovation to be dubbed PeopleMovers too (like at the airport).

I mentioned in my last post I didn't include Peter Pan in this list, which many would think should have a place.  Another that wasn't included is Dumbo.  There are, of course, many more slow rides that I won't include, but I think those two are probably the most likely to raise eyebrows (or, eyebrow, if there is truly only one person reading these posts).  So, what justification do we have for including this ride over these other two?

Yes, Kathy, it truly is that fun to ride!
Part of the issue is, of course, I don't feel a strong connection to either of those slow rides.  They aren't particularly enjoyable and that comes after typically a ridiculously long line (you could do the Aladdin Flying Carpet ride for the same experience in half the wait time).  In my opinion only, those rides have gotten by on reputation more so than any thrill of the attraction or any nostalgic quality.  I certainly don't eagerly anticipate riding them on my day at Magic Kingdom.

Of course, that view is probably in the minority.  There is a long line for a reason at those, so I rightly expect both of those rides to be in the top 30 on other people's list (Dumbo, maybe even top 15).  That's okay with me... again, I'd be interested in reading someone else's list.

Picture taken by Hannah (caption mandated by Hannah)
The other factor in this is that, for me at least, WDW has this paradoxical quality.  It is one of the busiest, craziest places on Earth, where all these individuals are vacationing at the same time.  And yet, there are these pockets of places where you can relax and enjoy.  Relaxation and enjoyment are common threads through all of these items on this list.  And yet, ironically, the relaxation is an illusion.  In many cases, the events and attractions are unbelievably crowded.  However, Disney has somehow structured the queue, the environment, and the attraction itself to create that sense of peace and calm that come with relaxation.

I don't get that sense on Peter Pan or Dumbo.  Those rides always seem too short, especially for the wait, and I get off with the sense "That was it?".

The PeopleMover, conversely, is a very relaxing ride.  You typically can walk right on it, and it gives you an overhead view of all the attractions in that area.  Which, in turn, builds your anticipation for those rides as well.  In all, the PeopleMover is right about even with the Tiki Room, and thus is right next to it in our rankings.  Maybe it gets a slight nod because it moves.

We move back to the "Rest of the World" with #37, and much like the mugs, this one is sure to cause quite a bit of head-scratching.  Our next item is our favorite food court in all of WDW.

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