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  1. #1

    • MiceAge Columnist
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    September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    In 1998, Tomorrowland at Disneyland received a major overhaul. The big attraction was the Rocket Rods ride. But it didn't stay around long.

    The Yesterland page about the Rocket Rods now has additional photos.

    Link to Rocket Rods at Yesterland.

    Please discuss the Rocket Rods here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    Easily the worst ride EVER at Disneyland. The wait was excruciating, followed by a 'what the heck was that?' experience. No story whatsoever. I don't think the lack of sponsorship played into the lackluster experience at all.

    I'd say bring back the People Mover, which was a great ride in my opinion, but there is no such thing as Tomorrowland anymore...it's just about space now. It's not even the future of space, just characters from movies with a roller coaster and a massive marketing tool for HP and Microsoft.

  3. #3

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    I had one ride on the Rods- glad I did. I found it quite fun and a nice change of pace from the other Tomorrowland attractions. Wish they kept some form of it.
    Mark
    www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com
    Mark

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  4. #4

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    Say what you will about its shortcomings, but I really enjoyed the Rods, especially when seated in front in a car that properly lifted up as it started off at high speed. I don't need loops and g forces and all that. I thought it was a decent enough ride, but they could've used track banking and maybe a faster way of loading and unloading.

  5. #5

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    I wish I had something nice to say about rocket rods. I waited as long as 3 hours to get on. I rode 3 times and it broke down every time (twice we were escorted off, once we eventually made it to the station). 2 other times I waited and the ride shut down while we were in line.
    I guess on a positive side, I can add it to my list of rides I have been escorted off of due to breakdowns.

  6. #6

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    I only got to ride one time. I actually liked the ride and thought it was better than the Peoplemover.

    So many things went wrong though. This was their E-ticket follow-up to Indiana Jones?

    I don't understand the logic of designing such a low-capacity seating arrangement. I hope Radiator Springs doesn't have the same capacity problems.

  7. #7

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    It was definitely a fun ride, there's no doubt about that, but for the real estate it took up (an entire attraction just for its queue) and the wait times, it just wasn't worth it. The vehicles would sit there, waiting to take off, for 30 seconds and when they only seated 5 people that 30 seconds added a LOT of frustrating standing around waiting.

    For what it was worth, it was a great ride, but offered nothing that you couldn't get from a good American V8 and empty road. It completely changed the "feel" of Tomorrowland too... to have those buzzing little cars going all over the place (they were LOUD through the Star Tours queue), it really added a sense of energy and motion to Tomorrowland that is sorely missing today.

    I wouldn't want them back as a replacement to the PeopleMover, but they were MUCH better than the nothingness that has plagued that track for a full decade. Tomorrowland is going to be SO much better once something gets put back on those tracks!

  8. #8

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    Never had the privilege/misfortune to ride the Rocket Rods. I had long since left SoCal when it opened up.

    It is very sad to see those unused tracks in Tomorrowland. Was at DL back in July and my 6 yr old son looks up at the tracks and says, "what's THAT ride, momma?"

  9. #9

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    I rode Rocket Rods once in the nighttime. It was fairly late, and the long section of track that goes out over the submarine lagoon (at least I think that's where it is) was high speed, quiet, and FUN. Have to admit, though, that I would rather see the Peoplemover return. It was a fairly long ride with sneak peaks into other attractions, and it made a great "break time" ride... quiet, gentle, seated time that one could spend with the family discussing the day and all the fun things to see. There's plenty of "stimulus overload" at Disneyland, and a few more gentle rides and quiet spaces seem to be in order.

    Great article, Werner. Always love these.

  10. #10

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    I never had a chance to ride Rocket Rods, but I did Ride The People Movers. the only thing I could remember was the tron room. ah good time. I wonder if they will ever put something back up there on those old tracks...perhaps a return of the people movers? or will they decide to bank those curves and introduce a new TRON themed Cycle ride? only time will tell I guess.

  11. #11

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    In 1998 my mom won tickets from a radio show to go to Disneyland to see the New Tomorrowland (during Disneyland's 43rd b-day). We were all SO pissed when we found out Rocket Rods was closed. It was running one morning but my dad wanted to eat a big frikken breakfast first, causing us to miss the opportunity =[ LAME!

  12. #12

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    It was definitely a fun ride, there's no doubt about that
    I would say there were a lot of doubt that it was a fun ride. Typical Pressler-era low budget, high hype product they scammed on the public.

  13. #13

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    This was an example of how when you try to save money you end up waiting a lot of money. Walt Disney expressed that in a couple of interviews he made about his battle with accountants. Disney wasted a whole lot of money on a brief thrill ride that while it looked like was attractive, but turned out to be a let down. One hopes that Disney has learned its lesson, but I fear that in an effort to save money again, they will waste another boat load.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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  14. #14

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzey View Post
    Have to admit, though, that I would rather see the Peoplemover return. It was a fairly long ride with sneak peaks into other attractions, and it made a great "break time" ride... quiet, gentle, seated time that one could spend with the family discussing the day and all the fun things to see. There's plenty of "stimulus overload" at Disneyland, and a few more gentle rides and quiet spaces seem to be in order. .
    I couldn't agree more. The Peoplemover and Skyway are the two things I miss most about Disneyland -- almost to the point of it being painful. As you say, both were gentle experiences, offering spectacular views at a leisurely pace, and it was still exciting to be up above everyone else.

    It really bothers me that everything has to be a fast, throw-you-around, sensory-overload "thrill" ride these days.

  15. #15

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    Re: September 3, 2010: Rocket Rods

    Ah yes, I remember this ride. Fun but had it's major flaws. It kept breaking down every 15 seconds so you were lucky enough if you got the full non-stop experience. Obviously that was annoying. And the line was crazy. I remember after the first time me and my family went on it, we all decided that we would only go Single-riders for it from then on because the line was ridiculous. We rode it quite a lot because it became my sister and my cousins' favorite ride.

    While she was sad it never came back, I'm indifferent. Like I said, I enjoyed it but it had problems, constantly too. I'm more distressed about there's nothing being used there at this moment. I don't care if they bring Peoplemover or even Rocket Rods back or not, but do something! It's just sitting there growing mold!

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