10 December 2009

WEDway storage

As a child, a visit to the Magic Kingdom meant only two destinations in my mind, a thrilling twisting trip aboard the runaway mine trains of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and a just as exciting journey, at least in my young mind, through the world of Tomorrow via the WEDway PeopleMover. The latter of these two has undergone more renovations and even a name change to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, abbreviated TTA.

Opening on July 1st, 1975, the tour of Tomorrow continued being guided by the recognizable utterances of Jack Wagner until 1985 when ORAC One began its era of imparting information. With the 1994 refurbishment of the entirety of Tomorrowland, the WEDway PeopleMover also went through a metamorphosis, leaving behind the WEDway name and cycling into its third narration incarnation. While this narration would stay on for a brief period after the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Space Mountain refurbishment of this past year, by late fall a fourth commentary had sprung up.When reopened, complete with its current narrative which includes characters such as Mickey and Monsters Inc.’s Roz, the voice-over announced a heartfelt welcome aboard to the guests who were venturing into Tomorrowland aboard the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. You read that correctly, the term PeopleMover has made a reemergence in the newest incarnation of Tomorrowland. While this verbal bit of nostalgia is pleasing the more historically significant part of the original name, WEDway, which references Walt Disney and the WED organization he created, seems to have vanished to the island of misfit attractions.

Yet, just a few turns of the Blue Line later, deep within the bowels of Space Mountain and the newly rechristened Spaceport Seven-Five, what appears to have been lost forever turns out to have never left in the first place. During the final stages of the recent refurbishment the lights on the inside of Space Mountain were turned on while the PeopleMover continued to move through. Most of the time the windows were darkened, but guests still clamored for a peak beyond the walls, as the sight of the Space Mountain track is so very difficult to catch except on the rare occasion that the lights are on. Those guests, however, never tend to look over to the left where there is only a black wall. But hidden along this wall is a maintenance door, and the label on this door reads: WEDWAY STORAGE.

While the attraction name may have changed for all the world to see and hear, the original WEDway still has a place in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts the world over, and it even continues to have a place inside its own inner workings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or maybe they just never got around to changing the sign? ;)

Nice article. Love that stuff. I actually found one of those hidden red "...to obtain clearance" signs in the Haunted Mansion where no one looks. I'll have to take a picture of that someday and post it on my blog.

Thanks for sharing. I don't know about anyone else, but all that behind the scenes hidden signs, buttons, countdown clocks, lights, doors, and everything else really fascinates me. I guess I'm weird like that. ;)

Once again, great article!