I miss them, because they added ambience to the land. It was a freshening of the Peoplemover that didn't work out.
I'm being honest here. The Peoplemover was totally past its prime. A new version would be sweet but that old version was just crying to be redone. At least Rocket Rods felt more sleek and energetic, at the cost of a very worthwhile experience...
I agree, just the sounds of the rockets in Tomarrowland and seeing them zip around with the sleek look made Tomarrow land seem so much more futuristic....Now you see these huge beams with an old track and it almost does the exact opposite effect...Making it look like the past than the future...it was'nt a bad ride, and i dont think the track was any problem, most rides at DL are one track and when one breaks down obviously they all have to shut down as well or there would be a mess :P...anyways, I hope something good comes out of those tracks...if it takes them longer to start working on that than it took them to work on the subs than I wouldnt expect anything anytime soon:-D
Sadly, I never had the chance to ride them. Would have been interesting Im sure. But nothing beats the Peoplemover.
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yea it was a great ride, it was a "fast" ride without all the drops, etc...it wasnt a classic roller coaster, yet it kinda was...which made it so classic, i dunno but they must do something with that ugly track!
It was kind of fun, but the interior hallways had a serious "What? THIS is the BEST they could do!!?!?" feeling even when you're moving really fast, and the ride required a Peter Pan length line to be able to feel it was "worth it" but it had a Space Mountain on opening weekend line instead.
RR was okay. They were too noisy and added a lot of noise to the Star Tours queue that wasn't needed. The up and down motion of that front seat doesn't agree with my stomach. The tunnels had terrible theming. I'd rather see a stormtrooper than a mirror. That strobe light and blast of air from above in the last tunnel is confusing. I miss the old People Mover. It added the colorful kinetic energy without looking flashy. The attraction should move at a liesurely pace, not its line.
I loved working the rods because people loved it so much. It failed because its seating was retarded(1-1-2), it was too loud. Th que was so lame and gave you a headache with all those blacklghts. I never remember hearing it from the star tours que, but the tunnels were just temporary until the budget was raised. They were to make the coaster actually go through SM instead of just sort going past it. The que was to be moved to completely underground so they could put BLAB into the original que area, but it didn't last that long.
I actually miss the Rocket Rods a great deal. I only rode them once, and that was during my favorite Disneyland trip I've ever taken. It was a three-day trip with my whole family, and I'm still very sentimental about it. It's a pity that WDI cheaped out on a few key factors and didn't allow this cool idea to live up to its true potential.
At the time, the new Autopia was being built, and the entire area was just dirt and fences. In a distinctly un-Disney fashion, Rocket Rods took guests right over the construction. I remember thinking that it was cool--if a little bizarre--to be seeing all the ugly construction going on in the Happiest Place on Earth.
I'm trying to remember now--that tunnel of blinking red lights was directly over the beginning of the Star Tours queue, right? And the strobe light/burst of air effect (which I thought was cool) took place in a tunnel overlooking the old CircleVision building, right? Can anyone tell me what guests saw while passing by/through Space Mountain? I don't remember that part of the ride.
Rigmarole Rods, one of my favorite topic discussions.
I call it "Rigmarole Rods" .. because the entire story of them is one complete Rigmarole.
As Chernie points out ... one of the primary reasons this ride bit the dust was to unbanked curves that reeked havoc to the drive trains on each "rods" vehicle.
But that is just one piece of this giant puzzle of the failure of this attraction.
The big kick in the gut goes to the pulling-out of the sponsor: GENERAL MOTORS.
They were ticked that the east coast Disney attraction they were sponsoring (Test Track) was not getting "on track" ... back in the mid 90s. Many people may not know .. Test Track was roughly a year behind schedule. Which might have put-off GENERAL MOTORS.
Now over here .. the mini "Epcot/sh" pavilion: General Motors' ROCKET RODS XPR with it's elaborate 5-stage presentation never really got off the ground properly. I say "5-stage" because the former Circle-Vision waiting room was Part 1 of the attraction, Circle-Vision 360 auditorium - Part 2, the tunnel that ran underground - Part 3 with it's own presentation ... the Rocket Rods themselves - Part 4 ..... and finally .. the former NASA exhibit space .. Part 5 in the "Post Show" segment.
They probably justified the closure of two attractions (Circle-Vision [20 minutes] & Peoplemover [15 minutes]) because this entire pavilion experience would have been some 40-or-so minutes in it's entire presentation.
When General Motors pulled out though .... imagineering was left with very little to work with .. with an attraction that was well into construction. The best they could come up with was recycling old attraction parts to decorate the building .. and ran a couple of looping films of old footage.
So don't believe that the queue area was meant they way it was (1998-2000) .. when all that was a cheap fix to an elaborate show that got pretty much completely axxed.
So .. right from the get-go in May 1998 when it debuted it was a very poor excuse of closing two attractions to be combined into one short ride that was 3 minutes .. with one very long and boring queue.
Now ... I'm quite thrilled Circle-Vision is populated with a seperate attraction (Buzz).......... Now, if Disney can just get to those tracks.
One practical thing I would like to say against Rocket Rods is it was not an answer to one of the founding principles of Disneyland .. and that it is a place of FAMILY attractions. Rocket Rods/thrill rides can't take on small children, senior citizens, and people who don't have the perfect health they once had when they were 16.
Yes .. there is a need for SOME thrill rides in Disneyland ...... but there's a careful line to balance ......... and a rememberence every time designers want to create something new -
If you're gonna create a new ride ...... remember first ....... Disneyland is an experience PRIMARILY for ALL people types. Like FAMILIES who like to keep TOGETHER.
Rocket Rods defied that concept.
Yet it was also a time (the mid 90s) with that .... "If it's good enough for Six Flags" motto flying around Disney hallways.
ie - Just because Six Flags parks are chuck-full of thrill rides, doesn't mean you necessarily "throw them in" to a Disney "magic kingdom" park without the MOST CRUCIAL consideration.
I hope that philosophy is gone.
And that anything mirroring Rocket Rods (1998-2000) never makes it on those tracks. But only something that is going to entertain most of the family .. and not just a small part of it.
I rode Rocket Rods three times, once when the speed was cranked up (though that only added to the structural damage the cars caused to their own track as well as the buildings they passed through - talk about faulty design!!). That ride was only "fun" when it took off since that was the only section of track long enough for it to even approach any level of actual 'speed'. The rest of the time it was like sitting on the 91 freeway during rush hour. Yeah... fun.
And the queue was flat out EMBARRASSING!!! The cheap florescent paint was chipping off at the ride's opening. I remember feeling humiliated for the imagineers each time I walked that queue. I'd love to know what park management actually thought of "their" handiwork when it was finished.