PeopleMover Turns 47 and Gets a New History-Inspired Script!
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a fan favorite with a long history dating back to Walt’s original dream for Epcot. It’s gone through a few revisions in that time but yesterday started a brand new chapter. The PeopleMover has a new narration script!
Brief History of the PeopleMover Script
The overall plot of the TTA PeopleMover has gone through some changes over the years. The original WedWay attraction talked about the town of the future and how we could work together to make Tomorrowland a reality. The script changed in 1994 when Tomorrowland was revamped to “New Tomorrowland”. Similarly, more “futuristic” plot was adopted, narrating to passengers more as if they were already IN the land of tomorrow.
Three transit “lines” of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover were referenced as if you could venture anywhere in the galaxy on this space highway. (Guests were supposedly on the main blue line but could transfer lines to head to outer space or the space “burbs”, like a modern day metro.) The attraction referenced its history, including Progress City, Walt’s prototype of Epcot seen at the beginning of the ride, as a model sponsored by the Tomorrowland Metro Retro Historical Society.
After a revamp in 2009 the new narration included character voice overs. Mickey, Stitch, Buzz and Roz joined the fun and the plot reverted to a more basic narrative tour of Tomorrowland, without really referring to it as a futuristic model. Aside from minor changes due to adjacent ride updates, the narration has remained essentially as such.
Today’s New Narration
The new update pays a nod to some of Tomorrowland’s attraction history while also seemingly taking us right on into the future. I think fellow Disney history buffs will be pleased with this revamp! Thanks to our friend Nick over at MagicalNewsLIVE, we have a full ride video to walk you through, so let’s take a ride and check out some of these updates…
In addition to the ride narration, the safety announcement at the beginning of the ride has been updated, too, now asking us to keep “hands, arms, feet, legs and other appendages” inside our car. Guests are also encouraged to “supervise younger beings”. These are the first hints that we are no longer just earthlings in our present time. This is an intergalactic journey!
The narrator makes his first auditory appearance with a few immediate throwbacks! A chime dings to signify an important announcement, “This is the TTA blue line, nonstop service around Tomorrowland”. Both the chime sound and the multi transit-line plot are references to the 1990s TTA script. The attraction as a means of actual intergalactic transportation seems to have made a plot comeback!
Our narrator introduces himself as ORAC-5! ORAC-1, “The Commuter Computer”, was the futuristic narrator of a very early version of the PeopleMover in the 1980s. The reintroduction here is a nod to a true part of Disney history while also zooming us right into the future, with digital narration and 5th generation tech. He tells us that “from spacecraft to monster laughs, there’s really nothing like today in Tomorrowland”.
Another safety announcement encourages us not to take flight in the event that we have wings, jet packs or gravity polarizers on board. History fans take note: “If You Have Wings” is a very old Tomorrowland attraction formerly located right below the Peoplemover in the 1970s.
The familiar chime dings and announces that if you’d like to transfer to a different TTA line you can do so at the upcoming Star Traders stop, but don’t worry we will continue on the blue line “rolling to the future”.
Past the castle and into the tunnel to Progress City. Walt’s original scale model was the birthplace of the original WedWay PeopleMover dream. ORAC-5 notes the model as Walt’s dream and the inspiration for Epcot. He jokingly points out the tiny PeopleMover and wonders aloud if there’s a tiny ORAC, too.
Guests bypass Star Traders, “home of the greatest goods in the galaxy”. What else is pretty great in this galaxy…? TRON! We get our first PeopleMover reference to the new Tron: Lightcycle Run as ORAC-5 points out the brand new coaster located beside the Tomorrowland Speedway. He punnily references both “circuits” as ready for some “light speedy competition”.
A quick reminder to keep our tentacles inside the car and clear of oncoming vehicles before we’re back in a Space Mountain tunnel, or “Starport 75”, a reference to the opening of Space Mountain in 1975. You’ll notice there’s no page for Mr. Tom Morrow here anymore. But have no fear, PeopleMover purists, the call for Mr. Morrow is coming.
As our highway in the sky passes the dusty, mountainous planet scene from the Space Mountain exit queue we have another new narration, an ad for Coral Moons, a relaxing retreat in space that you “H2O it to yourself” to book. The addition of “advertising” is presumably to add to the effect that we are on real public transportation.
Mr. Morrow Returns
The futuristic nods of this new PeopleMover script certainly make the ride feel more like an otherworldly form of transportation. Like a real part of Tomorrowland more than just a narration as you pass through. The hidden Disney history gives Disney buffs a quick wink. Plus they just might ease the transition for guests who are emotionally connected to the previous narration.
What do YOU think of this update? Happy with the throwbacks to Tomorrowland of yesteryear? Missing the former tour of the future? Happy for anything that points toward a Tron opening?
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