Five Lost Disneyland Rides: Flying Saucers Anyone?
Opened in 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California has delighted visitors for decades with its eight themed "lands" of rides, shows and attractions. It just isn't possible to forget a first spin on Dumbo, rocketing through darkness on Space Mountain or singing along with those musical pirates before Johnny Depp stole their fame. The skallywag! But with the park constantly updating through the years, some of those classic rides exist only as memories today.
We've rounded up a few of our favorite lost Disneyland rides, to remind us all of the good old days, before animatronic Mickey Mouse heads, and back when you had to walk "five miles through the snow to get to an amusement park!" With no shoes. Or socks.
Take a nostalgic look at the Skyway, Flying Saucers and more. Or for the young'uns out there, check out what you missed out on.
Submarine Voyage [thru liquid space], Tomorrowland
Submarine Voyage invited riders to take a journey under the sea in a mock Navy submarine. And it was, in a word, awesome. Taking a cue from the actual mission of the USS Nautilus (the world's first nuclear submarine), much of the ride simulated a trip under the polar ice cap, or at least attempted to with a lot of plastic. There weren't many changes made to the ride over the years, save a yellow paint job and new names for each vessel in the 80's. And, a troupe of synchronized swimming mermaids did inhabit the ride from 1965-1967. Submarine Voyage was active from 1959 to 1998, and remained empty until 2007 when a new aquatic attraction opened: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
Flying Saucers, Tomorrowland
Dubbed "the bumper cars of the future" the Flying Saucers opened in 1961. The ride worked much like a giant air hockey table. Riders would sit in individual cars that hovered over a flat metal surface thanks to bursts of air from below. The Flying Saucers did not last long as they were difficult to maintain and couldn't accommodate many riders. The ride closed in 1966 and Space Mountain now occupies that space. But, new riders will soon be able to get a taste of the old saucers at Luigi's Flying Tires, part of the new Cars Land opening in 2012.
Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, Frontierland
Before there was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, there was the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (which was itself an upgrade to the Rainbow Caverns Mine train, 1956-1959.) Inspired by Disney's True-Life Adventures series from the 50's, he train took riders on a trip through Bear Country, Beaver Valley, the Living Desert, and Rainbow Caverns. Not much is left from the old mine train ride, which closed in 1977. (Fast forward to 0:50).
Known in Fantasyland as Skyway to Tomorrowland, and vice versa, Disneyland's Skyway opened in 1956. The cable car ride served as a method of transportation between the lands of Tomorrow and Fantasy, offering riders a bird's eye view of the attractions below. After the Matterhorn opened in 1959, the Skyway passed right through the mountain. There are several explanations as to why the Skyway closed, ranging from lack of passengers to stress cracks in the Matterhorn's supports. Whatever the reason, the ride closed in 1994.
Rocket Rods, Tomorrowland
Part of the "new" Tomorrowland, Rocket Rods opened in 1998, occupying the tracks that held the PeopleMover until 1995. Rocket Rods also incorporated the old Circle-Vision 360 theater as part of its line, providing entertainment for those waiting. The ride was envisioned as a high-speed race around Tomorrowland, with the unique 5-seat cars zooming past and through other rides in the land. Unfortunately, due to inadequate finding, Disney could not make necessary modifications to the track. Chiefly, it could not bank turns in the track, requiring that vehicles suddenly decelerate to make turns. Rocket Rods, notorious for breaking down, finally closed down in 2000.
What was your favorite Disneyland ride?
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