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September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

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  • September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

    For almost 30 years the Rocket Jets were in the heart of Disneyland's Tomorrowland, high atop the PeopleMover station.

    (This is a major update to an older Yesterland entry.)
    Link to Rocket Jets at Yesterland.
    Please discuss the Rocket Jets, similar space-themed spinner rides at other Disney parks, and related subjects here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  • #2
    Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

    Werner Weiss:
    Because the rockets fly so high above Tomorrowland, the ride is surprisingly thrilling.
    That was one key element that made the"Rocket Jets" that much more fun for me as a kid. Disney should not have ever moved them.
    Miss the wide open entrance to Tomorrowland also.

    Thanks for the new update Werner.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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    • #3
      Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

      I totally agree Tic Toc. Thanks Werner, I forgot that the Rocket Jets in FL are up where they belong, chalk one up for FL. I will make a point of riding them next time I'm there. It would sure be nice to get rid of the Astro Orbitor and that "space junk" up top; what were they thinking??
      Hello everyone!

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      • #4
        Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

        Originally posted by HeyBaloo View Post
        what were they thinking??
        They weren't.

        Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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        • #5
          Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

          Werner, great update! Loved the pix of all of the Rocket Jet-type rides throughout the Disney Parks. I miss the old ride. I remember going up the elevator as a kid, and getting really queasy. I remember dreading the ride, just beacuase of the hieght. But, when I finally got on the ride, it all seemed worth it. The new version pales in comparison.

          One nit-pick, I caught a typo in the last sentence of the page:

          "That’s important is a park with so few attractions."

          I'm guessing you meant "in a park..."

          Again, thanks for the update, and great site!!!

          DMM

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          • #6
            Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

            I read somewhere that there might be a problem relocating the AO back on top of the PPlmvr platform - not sure if this is correct or not - but just curious if there is some reason why they might not be able to move the AO back up where it belongs.....

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            • #7
              Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

              Thanks! I fixed it.
              Werner Weiss
              Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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              • #8
                Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                Originally posted by sjdimon View Post
                I read somewhere that there might be a problem relocating the AO back on top of the PPlmvr platform - not sure if this is correct or not - but just curious if there is some reason why they might not be able to move the AO back up where it belongs.....
                I imagine the biggest problem would be cost. It would undoubtedly cost many millions of dollars to disassemble, move, and rebuild the Astro Orbitor ride above the PeopleMover platform. It would also require rebuilding and re-landscaping the Tomorrowland entrance area where the Astro Orbitor ride sits today. And the PeopleMover platform structure would need to be redesigned to match the style of the Astro Orbitor ride.

                Also, moving the Astro Orbitor ride would make it painfully obvious that the PeopleMover tracks are unused. Today , the Astro Orbitor ride draws attention away from the PeopleMover track as guests enter Tomorrowland.

                In researching this article, I came across speculation that there's a weight issue. The elevated platform was engineered for the weight of the old Rocket Jets ride, not the Astro Orbitor ride with its additional components. I'm not sure that I believe that. In any case, it's certainly possible to add structural support to the PeopleMover platform structure if that's really required.

                The relocation of the rocket-themed spinner ride was one of many ill-advised decisions that gave us the disastrous 1998 New Tomorrowland. (That could be the theme of an entire Yesterland article.) My understanding is that the Imagineers had to do what clueless executives wanted. The Imagineers know how to read an org chart. The good news is that those executives are no longer with Disney. Slowly, many of the indignities that Tomorrowland suffered are being reversed.

                Maybe we can be optimistic that the Tomorrowland spinner ride will once again be perched high in the sky as part of a project to bring back the PeopleMover and to further undo the damage of the late 1990s.
                Werner Weiss
                Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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                • #9
                  Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                  The elevator ride up was part of the fun; and at the time the ride was the highest point you could get for a lookout over Disneyland. With the exception of maybe the Skyway and the part of the old Matterhorn at the top of the lift (now enclosed).
                  Last edited by HeyBaloo; 09-28-2007, 09:13 PM.
                  Hello everyone!

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                  • #10
                    Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                    There is no comparison from the cheap, crappy carnival version of the rockets that they have now compared to the ultra cool rockets back in the day. As a kid, you were UP THERE after taking the elevator up and finally getting into your rocket. It was Dumbo on steroids. Now...it's just dumb...without the o.

                    Thanks for the great update to Yesterland.

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                    • #11
                      Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                      Originally posted by localdisnyfan View Post
                      There is no comparison from the cheap, crappy carnival version of the rockets that they have now compared to the ultra cool rockets back in the day.
                      That comment actually raises an interesting question... Do MiceChat readers like the antique solar system model look of the current Astro Orbitor? Or would MiceChat readers prefer something that's simpler (and "retro" to a more recent period) like the old Rocket Jets? Or maybe something else, such as a ride with a "googie" design and 1950s-style rockets with tailfins?
                      Werner Weiss
                      Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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                      • #12
                        Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                        Originally posted by TicTocDragon View Post
                        Disney should not have ever moved them.
                        Miss the wide open entrance to Tomorrowland also.
                        Squeezing past that darn Astro Orbiter makes me claustrophobic every time I enter Tomorrowland.
                        Originally posted by Werner Weiss View Post
                        The relocation of the rocket-themed spinner ride was one of many ill-advised decisions that gave us the disastrous 1998 New Tomorrowland. (That could be the theme of an entire Yesterland article.)
                        Hope to see that article, Werner.

                        It's so sad what they did in that remodel. I just about cry when I see old pictures of the entrance. The "Nasa style" Tomorrowland still looks surprisingly modern to me after all these years; it was clean and bright and visually stunning.
                        Originally posted by Werner Weiss View Post
                        That comment actually raises an interesting question... Do MiceChat readers like the antique solar system model look of the current Astro Orbitor? Or would MiceChat readers prefer something that's simpler (and "retro" to a more recent period) like the old Rocket Jets? Or maybe something else, such as a ride with a "googie" design and 1950s-style rockets with tailfins?
                        The way I see it, anything that isn't streamlined (including the Orbiter) looks clunky in Tomorrowland. I don't think "antique" and "retro" really work in a land that's supposed to be about the future. Any "tongue-in-cheek" approach to design just feels wrong for Disneyland. (Although I do like the homage to the old "Rocket to the Moon" in front of Pizza Port.)
                        Last edited by retrodiz; 09-28-2007, 10:55 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                          It would be awesome to ride the ride up high at night, but, I never got a chance to.
                          Don't Stop Believin'

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                          • #14
                            Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                            I prefer the retro look myself. I know some people disagree with that because it's, well, retro...the the feelings and inspirations and hopes for the future seem so embodied in retro designs, and I think that's why they are so popular with the general public (the retro merch that's sold at Disneyland is very popular too)..."the good ol' days", you know?

                            I think if the Rocket Jets could be brought back, I'd like to see something similar to the old NASA-style design, but potentially with a mix of what WDW has now (I was pleasantly surprised at how nice theirs is!).

                            The Disneyland TL needs to go back and stick with the overall whites and blues color scheme, and while a lot of it has been taken care of, things like the Astro Orbitor painfully stick out in how it just doesn't match that TL at all.

                            This just goes to show that at the original Disneyland, trying to make it completely different from the way it was before isn't always such a good idea.




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                            • #15
                              Re: September 28, 2007: Rocket Jets

                              Great article! I remember being scared to go up there because it was so high when I was a kid. I think you should have metioned in your article that the center piece for the Rocket Jets is on Ebay, and that it is still available!

                              http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/Roc...spagenameZWDVW

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