On any vacation in Walt Disney World you can most likely find me relaxing high above Tomorrowland on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, the “highway in the sky.” Ideal for views of Tomorrowland and other parts of the Magic Kingdom, wonderful breezes, a chance to sit down and catch your breath, glimpses into nearby attractions, and guaranteed low waits, the TTA is an attraction that is a must do during any visit to WDW.
When the ride originally opened on July 1, 1975 it was called the WEDWay PeopleMover with WED standing for Walter Elias Disney. In 1994 the name was changed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and in 2010 the original PeopleMover title was reinstated dubbing the attraction with the name we refer to it with today. Aside from the name, the attraction itself is unique in how it operates. With a continuous rotation of cars each looping 4,574 feet over ten minutes you could argue that the TTA uses a lot of energy. You would be right, but did you know that the attraction is completely emission free? That’s right; it’s powered entirely by magnets! The track uses linear induction which utilizes 533 electromagnets embedded in the track which alternately push and pull the cars to propel them along the attraction’s route. The linear induction system is so efficient that in 1981 a similar system was added in the Houston Intercontinental Airport.
The TTA not only is relaxing, but it offers you great views of Tomorrowland and plenty of sneak peeks into surrounding area attractions. When you board the attraction, you are right underneath the Astro Orbiter in Rocket Tower Plaza. One of the first things you encounter once moving is an inspiration model of Progress City which helped to create the inspiration of Epcot. Soon after you arrive at a window where you can look down into Mickey’s Star Traders, the biggest merchandise shop in all of Tomorrowland. Suddenly you can smell gas and are offered a pretty awesome view of the Tomorrowland Speedway complete with cars coming around every bend. Perhaps my favorite part of the TTA is when you enter into Space Mountain and are offered glimpses into the initial ascent hill complete with astronauts defying gravity. You get a second glimpse into the mountain where in the near dark you can just make out cars whizzing by amid the stars. Don’t bother trying to take a picture to see what the structure of Space Mountain looks like, there is a Plexiglas window separating you from the ride which reflects your flash preventing you from seeing anything. However, if Space Mountain is broken down and you ride the TTA you are given a glimpse of the monstrous mountain with all of its lights on. It’s pretty cool, but if you don’t want to ruin the magic make sure that Space Mountain is up and running before boarding the TTA.
Next up on your tour of Tomorrowland is a loop past the Carousel of Progress followed by a glimpse at a woman getting her hair done in quite the futuristic way. Check out the woman’s belt, you just might find a Hidden Mickey! Also be on the lookout for a view down into Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. You can get a great view of the volcano room, and be sure to look for the TTA cars moving past above while you are riding Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin as well! In addition to the Tomorrowland attractions that you can see from the TTA, you also are able to take in the sights of the hub, Cinderella Castle, the Contemporary Resort, and even the WDW Railroad if you have good timing.
There is one more detail that is literally my favorite thing about the TTA, and it’s one some people might not pick up on. Listen during your ride for a page directed at a very special individual- “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow.” Many people may just assume that this announcement is a play on the word tomorrow as you are in Tomorrowland, but it actually is paying homage to an extinct Tomorrowland attraction. Flight to the Moon previously existed where Stitch’s Great Escape is now and Tom Morrow was the Director of Operations in Mission Control in that attraction. It is great little details like this that add such dimension to WDW and make it so special.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is one of my favorite attractions in all of WDW and is definitely the one that I visit the most throughout my vacations. While I love experiencing it at any time of the day, riding at night is really a beautiful thing as the lights and ambiance of Tomorrowland make it a whole different experience. So be sure to visit the TTA, whether to take in the sights, glimpse some attractions, or to simply relax. Trust me, it’s worth the ride.
Do you love the TTA? What is your favorite thing to have a bird’s eye view of in Tomorrowland? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Caitlin Corsello was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Adelphi University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2012. Her love for Disney started as an infant and has continued to grow with family vacations to Disney parks almost every year since. She holds a particular interest in WDW’s parks and attractions, never passing up an opportunity to visit. She looks forward to continuing to explore and learn about all things Disney and to share that passion with readers.