Tomorrowland

Rocket Rods XPR Fun Facts

audio link Quicktime Hidden Mickeys

  1. Right under Rocket Rods is the Radio Disney booth people knock on the glass to ask where Rocket Rod entrance is.
    REPORTED: dISNEY wACKO 09 APR 00
  2. Ride Rocket Rods at night, the effect is MUCH better.
    REPORTED: poohgirl18 05 DEC 99
  3. You know that stretch of track where the Rocket Rods speed over the Autopia queing area? I was waiting in line for autopia and I noticed something. There's a pillar that supports the track of the Rods about 30 or 40 ft before you go down the stairs to get into the autopia cars. This get's a little scary. Whenever a Rod passes by that stretch of track, the whole pillar and track shakes from side to side about 3-4 inches! And not just gentle swaying, but semi-violent shaking!! YIKES!!! I really felt not too safe there. They really should do something about that.
    REPORTED: Starts with "D" 16 SEP 00
  4. Rocket Rods now has a "single rider" program. If you are willing to ride as a single rider you can get a pass from the CM at the entrance and go to the exit area of rocket rods. Once up on the loading platform you wait in a seperate line. You then will be assigned to a rod with an empty seat. The wait is usually 0-10 minutes.
    REPORTED: Chris Wiles 17 NOV 99
  5. Mario Andretti, "the most decorated man in auto racing", was the "pilot" for the first ride of the new Rocket Rods ride. He sat in the front seat, behind were two kids from a local elementary school, and Mickey Mouse sat in the rear seat. The cars, billed as the fastest ride in the park travel 38 mph. They had rigged up a "sparkler pyrotechnic" on the tail of the first car as it speed down the first part of the track. The next cars were "piloted" by Chip, Dale, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and the Pink Panther and also carried school kids from the local elementary. Then the astronauts and families rode in the Rocket Rods.
    REPORTED: William D. 27 MAY 98
  6. The Rocket Rods are computer designed to make the rider feel the full effects of speed. They cars are open to allow as much air as possible to hit the passenger. A loud whining sound comes from the car to simulate an almost jet like quality. A hydraulic device in the front of the car tips it upwards when you acellearate so as to sort of magnify the effects of acceration. The cars are radio controlled. They use actually automobile tires, Michellins.
    REPORTED: David Enertson 23 MAR 98
    The Peoplemover -- a comparatively slow-speed attraction that ran from 1967 until 1997 -- was presented by Goodyear Tire & Rubber for many years. The tires that the cars used to bump over along the track were Goodyear made. The Autopia car tires are Goodyear. Enter Rocket Rods. They have very large Michelins now.
    UPDATE: Steven M. Saito 04 JAN 00
  7. Disney asked GM to sponsor the ride, when GM heard that Rocket Rods was using the same technology as the Test Track in Florida, they refused.
    REPORTED: anon 07 AUG 98
  8. When you enter the first room in the Rocket Rod waitig area you will notice several schematic drawings of Tomorrowland transportation vehicles. When you look down at the company name you will see either "WED" on the older vehicles and "Walt Disney Imagineering" on the new ones. WED was the original name of Walt Disney Imagineering when Walt was still around. Soon later it bacame known as Walt Disney Imagineering. Thats why there are two separate names. Depending on the time frame the ride was designed in results in the company name.
    REPORTED: anon 07 JUL 98
    CONFIRMED: RyanLDisneyfan 13 JAN 99
    In the rocket rod building, the old tomorrowland cars say WED on them. WED stands for Walter Elliot Disney Enterprises.
    CONFIRMED: Ben T. 26 JUN 01
  9. As you wait in line to board Rocket Rods, you are treated to an impressive circlevision arena preentation of Tommorrowland: Rapid Transit. The announcer's voice is none other than Dick Tufeld, the voice of the "Lost in Space" Robot. For about 20 years he was the voice of Walt Disney in all the motion picture trailers. The first thing he ever did for Disney he was the announcer for "Zorro," which as folks may know Guy Williams [the original Dr. John Robinson (Lost in Space)] starred in.
    REPORTED: steven stiles 27 MAY 98
  10. In the Circle Vision room in the queue on the film that is the full 360° they take parts of all of the Circle Vision films and speed them up, the last part about the future of travel includes clips from Time-Keepper in WDW/DLP. If you look close as the rocket ship nexts to you takes off right at the very end, it has Jeremy Irons in it waving good bye......
    REPORTED: Jerm Good 13 JUL 98
  11. In the movies running in the old CircleVision, there is an homage to the original CircleVision movie filmed by Walt Disney himself. During this HIGH SPEED sequence, they cover a number of segments where Walt Disney is normally spotted, but now it's a little bit harder to accomplish this due to the high speeds.
    REPORTED: Benny, Julie and Benjamin Rockwell 08 JUN 98
    In Rocket Rods they show three movies, all have Walt Disney in them. In Walt's tie (which are different between each of the movies,) there is a symbol that looks like a ant or something. This symbol is also on Walt's tie on Main Street in the statue when he is holding Mickey's hand. And it is in one other place as well, the Disney Gallery.
    CONFIRMED: Garison Draper 08 JUN 98
    CONFIRMED: Amanda 18 NOV 98
    The symbol you see on Walt Disney's tie-tack in the Rocket Rods queue Circlevision presentation is actually the initials of his vacation home area...the Smoke Tree Ranch.
    CONFIRMED: AprilDecember 13 JUN 99
    In the waiting area in the Rocket Rods there is the video with Walt Disney talking about the tranportation of the future and the tie tack he has on is in the shape of an STR which stands for the name of the summer ranch that he and Lillian owned.
    CONFIRMED: Tonya Larson 10 SEP 99
  12. The Mark 3 Monorail and People Mover cars in the Rocket Rods entrance once ran in Disneyland.
    REPORTED: Mike 20 DEC 98
    In the area of the queue for the Rocket Rods that used to be the waiting area for Circlevision, all of the Tomorrowland vehicles you see are completely real, including the Mark III Monorail front car- it's just stripped out inside to keep it from being so heavy. Look to the left of the Mark III and you can see four 1/2 inch thick wires holding the end of the train up.
    UPDATE: JK Grence 23 NOV 98
    In the first room of the Rocket Rods queue area, there are blueprints of early Tomorrowland vehicles such as the Monorail, Space Mountain, and Submarine Voyage.
    CONFIRMED: Jeff Kozlowski 18 AUG 99
    For those of you who pay attention to the blue prints in the entry room to Rocket Rods, notice that the Monorail blue print is incorrect. It states that it's a Mark III, like the one displayed. But, the drawing of the train is actually a Mark II. Notice the difference of the shape of the windows on the display train and the blue print.
    UPDATE: Tadao 13 SEP 99
    When you enter Rocket Rods, you see the old Mark III Monorail on the righthand side of the line. According to Disney Magazine, its name is Big Red.
    CONFIRMED: anon 25 OCT 00
  13. In the 3rd part of the Rocket Rods queue area, the part in which there is a board of future Rocket Rods boarding stations there is a song sung by Nathan Lane which plays in the background.
    REPORTED: Dustin Schofield 23 JUL 98
  14. When speaking with one of the cast members in Disneyland, I was told Rocket Rods (being so fast) were breaking the concrete tank on Submarine Voyage.
    REPORTED: John Somme 28 JUL 98
  15. I rode the Rocket Rods the summer they opened with a friend who had ridden them earlier that summer. The ride had broken down earlier that night. When we rode someone had left on all of the interior lights on the ride track. We could see that what should have been a starry night effect was, in fact, paper taped over windows with holes poked in the paper.
    REPORTED: Todd Stone 22 DEC 98
  16. If a Rocket Rod is at the boarding platform and the passangers seat belts have not been locked in place, the Rocket Rod will let out a warning sound by making the R2-D2 sound from Star Wars. Its rare to hear it but when you do it is VERY CUTE!
    REPORTED: anon 07 JAN 99
  17. The track that hold Rocket Rods is very special. It both held the slowest ride and the fastest ride. The slowest being the PeopleMover.
    REPORTED: Tony 10 AUG 98
  18. The music playing throughout the line area of Rocket Rods is done by Steve Bartek who is the orchestrator for composer Danny Elfman. He has worked with Elfman on Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Sissorhands, Batman, Batman Returns, Mars Attacks,and Nightmare Before Christmas to name few. You may hear a hint of one of those while waiting in line. He was obviously influenced by his good friend Elfman. He was also lead guitar in the band Oingo Boingo which Elfman was the lead singer.
    REPORTED: Brad 24 MAR 99
  19. Anybody else find it interesting that the Rocket Rods are tauted as the "way of transportation for the future"? The People-Mover (which once rode the same track as the Rocket Rods) was also tauted in its time as "the way of transportation for the future". This is yet another example of how great Disney is, when it comes to continuously updating Tomorrowland's vision of the future.
    REPORTED: Andy Hicks 03 MAY 99
  20. When the Rocket Rods were first opened, they opened much later than the rest of the rides, and were often shut down. This was partially due to the fact that the tires on the cars wear out very quickly, and the high-tech engines don't tollerate the constant accelerating and slowing down very well. It was too expensive to keep them running all the time.
    REPORTED: anon 20 MAY 99
  21. In the first part of the line for Rocket Rods, there is a rock-like barrier to signal where the line is. On this wall, there are almost none concave parts. This is common throughout the park, because it reduces people putting their trash in little nooks.
    REPORTED: anon 06 JUN 99
  22. For those who are new to Disneyland within the last three years... The Premiere Shop used to be a shop as well as a GTE communications center. In the communications portion there used to be rooms with benches and lucite doors that you could close. They used to be speakerphone rooms. You'd simply put your coins in as any other regular pay-phone call and there would be no headset to use. Just talk at a normal voice and a microphone could pick up your voice. For a reference point of where they used to be. The exit for Rocket Rods dumps right into the shop where the phone booths used to be.
    REPORTED: Steven M. Saito 04 JAN 00
  23. The dark tunnel to enter the Rocket Rods from the Circle Vision Theater was an emergency exit/Cast Member Access Tunnel. It also doubled for a wheel-chair entry for the People Mover (Hence the Elevator in the Middle) That is why there is little lighting and the concept drawings of Rocket Rod transport from Anaheim to Burbank (not to scale) have been "slapped" on the wall to make it feel like you waiting to get onto a subway or light speed transit.
    REPORTED: Steven M. Saito 04 JAN 00
  24. Disneyland won't reopen popular Rocket Rods ride Official cites performance problems and frequent repairs. April 28, 2001 By DANIELLE HERUBIN The Orange County Register Anaheim - The zippy Rocket Rods ride at Disneyland, closed for repairs since last September, will not reopen. Friday's announcement confirmed rumors about the ride's closing that have circulated since it was shut down for repairs on Sept. 25. Rocket Rods, a fast, spaceship-type ride that replaced the old PeopleMover in Tomorrowland, was difficult to repair and broke down often. Disneyland Resort President Cynthia Harriss said the "complexities" of keeping Rocket Rods in operation was a factor, and noted that the ride never was able to perform well. Part of the problem was that the high-speed attraction was retrofitted to the PeopleMover track. Harriss also said the ride produced exceptionally long waits for boarding. That's the problem with closing it, though - people liked the ride. "I'm sorry to hear it won't be reopened, I think it was kind of a neat thing," said Melody Schultz, a Laguna Hills resident who holds annual passes to both parks in the Disneyland Resort. Rocket Rods, which opened May 22, 1998, traveled along its track in about three minutes; the PeopleMover ride took about 16 minutes. Part of a $100 million improvement to Tomorrowland, the $25-million ride was shut down almost immediately after opening and was closed its first summer for repairs. Disney spokesman Ray Gomez refused to say what might be used to replace Rocket Rods. Gomez said Disney's management hasn't made any decisions yet, and no date has been set for a new ride to open.

Rocket Rods P2 Facts and Figures

Fact

Figures

Type

Enhanced Motion Vehicle

Designer

WDI

Year

1998

Length

Just under 1 mile

Ride Time

? min. ? sec

Speed

? mph (avg), 30.68 mph (max)

Cars

5 riders per car

Capacity

one rod every 12 seconds (1500 per hour)

Number of cars

22-23 cars active, 30 cars total, numbered 2-31

Weight of cars

2.5 tons

Number of computers

? total, with 2 per car

Number of Turns

?


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