Let me start by saying that this is not a ride you need a great deal of information about in order to ride it. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is seldom crowded. In fact, if you ride this attraction during the first few hours that the Magic Kingdom is open, I’m pretty sure that Len Testa gets an involuntary twitch. That said, it’s a ride that is well worth doing, and should be on anyone’s list when visiting Walt Disney World’s original park.
The reason for that is that the PeopleMover is a piece of Disney history. The original version of the ride opened in Disneyland in 1967 as part of the new Tomorrowland project, and made its way out to the East coast as part of Walt Disney World. The PeopleMover was Walt Disney’s attempt to show the world how we could solve the problems of city congestion and transportation all in one. Although it ended up being a form of transit around Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, its original intent was to deliver guests, workers and citizens of EPCOT, the city, around the grounds and to and from their workplace.
Tip: If you want to see how the PeopleMover was originally intended to be used, look along the route of the ride for the original model of EPCOT. On the model you’ll see small PeopleMovers taking workers into the city center. You can also see the original designs at One Man’s Dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Today, we get to ride the PeopleMover to enjoy a grand circle tour of Tomorrowland and see what attractions await us inside. It is intended to give guests a great view of the wonders of Tomorrowland and a peek at what lies beyond in the Hub and Fantasyland. The ride is a fantastic way to relax and enjoy yourself during the busy times of the day and is usually very easy to get on whenever you’d like.
Tip: Save the PeopleMover for when the park is exceptionally crowded, usually between lunchtime and 4 or 5 p.m. During this time of day, the PeopleMover is an easy and relaxing ride, and you are not missing out on prime ride time with any of the bigger rides.
To board the ride, you’ll need to trek through Tomorrowland to the reverse side of The Lunching Pad, across from the Carousel of Progress. There is a moving escalator that takes guests up the ramp to the second level where the boarding area for the ride is housed. The escalator drops you off onto solid ground for mere moments before you circle through a couple of switchbacks and onto a rotating turntable that follows the cars as you load.
Once on board, sit back, relax and enjoy your tour. Although the narration has changed over the years, your basic ride is a trip through Tomorrowland, with some show scenes inside the various buildings. There are some very dark sections of this ride, especially when traveling through Space Mountain, so make sure your children or yourself are not scared of the dark. But there are some fantastic sights to see as well. In addition to the model of Progress City, the original EPCOT vision of Walt Disney, you’ll see inside Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, over look Stitch’s Great Escape, go inside Space Mountain and get a great vista over to the Hub and Cinderella Castle.
Tip: Be on the lookout for Hidden Mickeys. There is one in the show scene of a lady getting her hair done, positioned on her belt buckle, and another as you go through Mickey’s Star Traders, in the mural on the top of the room.
The PeopleMover is an easy ride to get on and off of, and makes for a fun way to relax and enjoy yourself during crowded times of the day. Some of my favorite memories of the Magic Kingdom are riding this ride at night, when the neon signs of Tomorrowland are at their brightest. What memories do you have of the PeopleMover, and what tips would you share for riding it?