Rides with friends by Betsy (@Floridamingo)

19 Apr

It has been called many things over the years: WEDWay PeopleMover, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the Blue Line, Highway in the Sky, and now Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (or TTAP as I affectionately call it). This beloved attraction that traverses the upper levels of Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorites. Sure, it isn’t as exciting as Space Mountain, doesn’t promote the competion of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, or inspire the singalong that is There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow on Carousel of Progress (well, unless you’re amongst my friends), but it is a classic.

For those not familiar with TTAP, let me give you a little run down. The ride is a relatively slow moving, open air tram ride (think elevated train a la the “L” in Chicago, sort of). Its station is located on the second story of Rockettower Plaza, pretty much smack in the middle of Tomorrowland. You travel up an elevated moving walkway to the loading platform where cars are constantly moving, slowing down just enough to allow people to board. The cars comfortably seat four adults, but Cast Members have been known to occasionally squish in another if you are a party of five (not fun, trust me). Once you have boarded, you zip off to ride around and through several of the ride buildings in the land. The aerial view is incredible, especially at night.

View of Cinderella Castle from TTAP

So why do I love TTAP? Let me count the ways … 1) it is a fun ride that allows you to see most of the attractions of Tomorrowland, typically without any wait 2) even in the heat of the day, it is often a cool ride since the track is covered and you travel inside air conditioned buildings 3) I like hearing the page for Mr. Tom Morrow 4) the view of the Castle is unique and is a pretty cool photo op, but probably my favorite is 5) you can carry on a conversation with your friends/family while riding.

Some of my favorite park memories have been on TTAP. After having only met the illustrious Shelley Caran once before, our friendship was forged after a couple of memorable back to back rides in December. While Space Mountain was being repainted, we caught a glimpse of a worker taking a nap on the side of the building. After forgetting to snap a picture when we re-emerged from SM, we decided we needed to ride again. This was the beginning of many TTAP rides together, and a beautiful friendship.

Painter on Space Mountain - missed the pic of him taking a nap

Another favorite ride was the trip with my best friend, her husband and daughter, Katie. This was Katie’s first trip and we finally got to ride TTAP on the last day of our trip. I have been known to be a bit of a goofball and to act like a big kid, so when I go around bends in the ride, I throw my arms up in the air and yell “wheee!” I taught this tradition to Katie and even got the whole family to embrace it on our trip around the Highway in the Sky. They loved it and it provided me with some of my favorite pictures of the trip.


Now as for the whole conversation thing, I have certainly had some interesting ones on TTAP. Almost everything has been brought up from what has been your favorite thing you’ve done of your trip so far to the existence of God and philosophical and theological discussions that ensued. I tend to favor the more laid back conversations, or even the singing in the round. A few of my friends have a tradition of singing the song “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” one word at a time sung by each person. This can be quite humorous, based on the varying degrees of singing talent and whether or not you remember your word when it is your turn. We’ve also played the alphabet game when we go around and have to name a Disney ride or character that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

Friends deep in conversation while riding

TTAP is different each time based on who you are riding with at the time. I’ve had some truly epic and unforgettable rides, but there have been some I’d also choose to forget. The thing is, no matter what your motivation for riding, the scenery will never be exactly the same. Sure, the view is pretty much the same, but you may not look at the same thing from the same angle each time. The people watching from above is always entertaining. Then, of course, there is the audio track that accompanies the ride if all else fails. I hope you all will take a look at the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and see that it doesn’t just move people, but it can bring people together. So, whether you ride it to take a break from the sweltering heat, to get out of the rain, just to sit for a spell without having to wait in line first, or if you want to have a conversation with some friends, show the TTAP some love next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom and I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it.

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2 Responses to “Rides with friends by Betsy (@Floridamingo)”

  1. Lynn (lynnsc08) April 19, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Love this ride!! 🙂 Great post Betsy

  2. Nicole April 19, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Betsy, how fun!! You are awesome my friend and I love that I got a pic in this article! Long live the TTAP!

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