Riding for Sentimental Reasons: The TTA Peoplemover

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My very first trip to Walt Disney World was way back in 1975. I was seven years old. There was only the Magic Kingdom back then and while I don’t have a whole lot of memories of the trip (other than the 22 hour drive!), the only two that come to mind are holding hands with Mickey Mouse as we walked in front of Cinderella’s castle and riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority or as it was know back then – the WEDWay Peoplemover.

I always find it odd that out of all of the rides in the Magic Kingdom that this one would have such a lasting impression. I drag my husband and kids on it at least once on every trip that we take and I get just as excited riding up that steep conveyer belt as I do while walking through the queue at Pirates of the Caribbean or Space Mountain!

If you’ve never taken the time to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (Peoplemover), you are missing out. It is a great place to cool off and rest your feet if you’ve been running around all day in the park. It’s a wonderful escape to let little ones nap, as well. You get such a great view of all of Tomorrowland while on this ten-minute journey! I have wonderful aerial pictures of Tomorrowland that you couldn’t get anywhere else.

This slow-moving ride sits four guests comfortably per car and uses linear induction to make it go; meaning, the cars are pulled by electromagnets embedded in the track. The magnets attract and repel the vehicles in order to move them along the “TTA” track. This makes for a smooth ride with the cars traveling at only ten feet per second – relatively tame by most ride standards.

There are no lights or special effects; there are no animatronics that make this ride a must-see but for me, it is purely sentimental. I can remember that first strip and riding on the then WEDway Peoplemover with my mom and my aunt while my dad and uncle took my older sister on to Space Mountain. I wasn’t a thrill seeker then in any capacity and this was a time where I got to sit with the grown ups and look at the park from an entirely different perspective.

For a few short minutes, the pace was slowed; we had the time to just sit back and observe. I can remember feeling giddy about going “through” Space Mountain without actually going “on” Space Mountain. I couldn’t tell you what the audio track was saying or the specifics of anything else that Tomorrowland looked like, but I can remember the “feeling” of riding the ride. For that reason alone I want to ride it time and time again.

So while some people hit the theme parks looking for a “thrill”, I find myself going back to Walt Disney World and particularly the Magic Kingdom looking forward to remembering trips of the past and experiencing with my kids all of the things that I did as a child. Riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover is still a tough sell for my kids (they act as if I use it as a form of punishment) but I still get excited to be riding it with them and hope that someday they take their kids to the Magic Kingdom and share their own sentimental memories.

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