Thursday, August 21, 2014

1995 Flashback: The PeopleMover Closes



19 years ago today, the Goodyear sponsored PeopleMover attraction at Disneyland closed. This vintage article for the Times from June 29, 1967 featured the above photo by Steve Fontanini with the caption below:

TRAFFIC RELIEF?—Goodyear’s new transportation system, the PeopleMover, goes through preview run at Disneyland’s new Tomorrowland section. Concept is said to offer applications which may ease traffic in downtown areas. Cars are propelled by series of stationary, electric motor-driven rubber wheels between rails. It opens to public next week.

Goodyear Shows an Automated High-Capacity Transit System

BY BOB THOMAS
Times Auto Editor



Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. demonstrated Wednesday that it may be working at cross-purposes with itself—that is, infringing on the market for its primary product, the automobile tire—with a new transportation concept.
And it happened in the fantasy atmosphere of Disneyland.

Nevertheless, the nation’s No. 1 tire producer Wednesday previewed a new and very tangible automated transportation system, the PeopleMover, that offers potential for relieving traffic congestion in major cities…at the expense of the automobile.

At least that was the opinion expressed by Russell DeYoung, chairmand and chief executive officer of the company, who also admitted a possible conflict of marketing interests.



Presumes Auto Curtailment

“It presumes some curtailment of the use of automobiles—and autos use tires!” he said about the PeopleMover. “You may ask, isn’t your business really tires? The answer is simply that Goodyear is basically in the transportation business.”
Tires represent, he further explained, 55% of the company’s total business.

The system, designed to carry large numbers of people in continuous motion, officially will go into operation next week when the new Tomorrowland section of Disneyland is open to the public. It threads along a ¾-mile course through many of the Tomorrowland pavilions.



In a pre-introduction news conference, DeYoung told more than 100 newsmen that the Disneyland project offers an advanced form of high-capacity transportation that could be used over short to medium-range distances.
Potential applications, he said, include airports to carry passengers to and from parking areas, central business areas of cities to devoid congested areas of automobiles, big shopping centers, sprawling campuses or large universities and industrial complexes to move personnel.

The Disneyland PeopleMover involves 62 four-car trains that are propelled at speeds from 1.5 to 7 m.p.h. by electric motor-powered rubber wheels which protrude from an elevated “glideway.” Each car carries four passengers, providing an hourly capacity of 4,885.

By comparison, Disneyland’s Monorail, explained John Wise, project engineer of WED (Walter E. Disney) Enterprises, Inc., has only half that capacity.



Successful Prototype

Wise said a prototype of the PeopleMover has been in successful operation for a year over a 700 ft. track in Glendale.
“This one is tailored and scaled to a Disneyland operation,” Wise said, “but many larger variations are possible for other applications. Speeds of 15 to 20 m.p.h. could be achieved.”
WED and Goodyear became linked in the project nearly five years ago, adapting several joint concepts. One of them, Carveyor, had been developed by Goodyear in conjunction with Stephens-Adamson Manufacturing Co.
A Goodyear official said motors were embedded in the track rather than in the cars to “reduce weight (no onboard controls), initial cost and maintenance.” The Disneyland system involves 517 motor-driven units ranging from 1/3 to 3 horsepower.

Passengers board the cars from a turntable moving at the same rate of speed as the train for the 15-minute trip.
A variation of the system is being developed for the $600 million Disney World in Florida. Similar systems have been proposed as a replacement for the Grand Central Station-Times Square shuttle in New York and application in Chicago’s Loop.

No cost figures were quoted for the Disneyland PeopleMover.

***

Most interesting that the article never mentions the New York World's Fair and the Ford Magic Skyway, which was Disney's original idea for this attraction. Ford balked at transferring the sponsorship to the amusement park (they were also hesitant about this technology replacing the car) and Goodyear stepped in, changing Ford's wheels to Goodyear's tires.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Rocketeer Abroad, Pt. 2



A few more international photos of "The Rocketeer" as he promoted the 1991 across the globe. First up is Big Ben in London, getting the thumbs up from The Rocketeer.

Australia, aka The Land Down Under:



Sweden:



2 from Spain:





And the last one from this set shows The Rocketeer in Germany:



As a bonus, here are a few shots of the amazing sets from the film.



This interior was inspired by the Ennis House in Hollywood, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.



It's where our lovely heroine, played by Jennifer Connelly, was being held against her will:



The set used for the nightclub:





The final one for today shows the Howard Hughes airline hanger set:



Hughes was played by Terry O'Quinn:



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See more Daveland Rocketeer photos at my main website.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mr. Lincoln goes to New York



In an attempt to introduce the East Coast to Disneyland, Walt Disney put together a number of showstoppers for the 1964/65 New York World's Fair, including "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln." In this publicity photo, Walt and Victor Greene (WED Project Art Director) take a look at a miniature version of the set for this dramatic tribute to this country's 16th President.

Here you see what the show building exterior looked like, snapped in October 1965, the very same month the NY World's Fair closed down.



A vintage publicity shot of the Lincoln animatronic:



And how dear Abe looks today:



Happy 49th Birthday today to actor, musician, Disneyland fan, and eternal heartthrob John Stamos.



How many Disneyland fans can say that they own this sign?



I think I'll have some greek yogurt in his honor.

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See more Daveland Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln photos at my main website.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rainbow Ridge and Plaza Gardens Anniversary



A few vintage shots of the little town of Rainbow Ridge dating back to December 1964. Zooming in for a closeup of the Pack Mules, it shows how forced perspective was used on the buildings to make them look bigger. Seeing people next to them kind of blows the effect.



Another shot of Rainbow Ridge from the same batch:



and a detailed view of the Frontierland Ticket booth:



Going back in time a few more years gives us this April 1962 Rainbow Ridge image:



Followed by an undated view of the Nature's Wonderland attraction itself. Notice the Fantasyland Skyway Station peaking out in the distance.



58 years ago today the Carnation Plaza Gardens opened; here's an August 1959 image showing Vesey Walker conducting a concert for some of the younger guests. Love the hats!



This beautiful little spot became an unfortunate victim to "progress" a few years back and was replaced by a Princess meet-and-greet called Fantasy Faire.



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Friday, August 15, 2014

Island in the Sun at Grauman's



"Island in the Sun" was a 20th Century Fox production starring Harry Belafonte and Joan Fontaine, playing characters that were engaging in a taboo interracial relationship. Controversial at the time, it was still a blockbuster hit, raking in $5.5 million.



Here is a vintage shot of Grauman's Chinese Theatre when the film was released in June 1957:



Zooming in for a closeup of the art also seen on the movie's promotional poster:



The movie also starred Dorothy Dandridge, Stephen Boyd, and Joan Collins. Boy do they make him look good!



Here are Collins and Boyd enjoying an island feast in between takes:



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See more Daveland Grauman Chinese Theatre photos at my main website.