Abandoned Disney (8) Adventure Thru Inner Space (2) Adventureland (12) America Sings (1) Animal Kingdom (2) Animation (19) Animatronics (20) Area Music (7) Backyard Imagineering (6) Behind-the-Scenes (39) Big Thunder Mountain (3) California Adventure (5) Captain E.O. (1) Carousel of Progress (12) Castle (7) Characters (6) Club 33 (1) Concept (13) Construction (15) Country Bear Jamboree (2) Death (2) Disney Channel (1) Disneyland (47) Disney-MGM Studios (1) Donald Duck (3) Entertainment (5) Epcot (28) Fantasyland (15) Fess Parker (1) Film (25) Frito Kid (4) Frontierland (14) Germany (1) Hall of Presidents (4) Haunted Mansion (10) Hidden Mickeys (2) Holidays (1) Hollywood Studios (1) Horizons (3) House of the Future (1) Illustration (3) Imagineering (1) John Lasseter (4) Journey Into Imagination (2) Jungle Cruise (15) Lake Buena Vista (1) Liberty Square (3) Lillian Disney (2) Ludwig Von Drake (1) Magic Kingdom (23) Main Street U.S.A (11) Maintenance (1) Management (5) Maps (13) Marc Davis (8) Marty Sklar (3) Matterhorn (3) Monorail (2) Mr. Lincoln (3) Muppets (2) Music (3) Mystery (9) Nature's Wonderland (7) New Orleans Square (6) Orange Bird (2) Paul Frees (1) PeopleMover (6) Peter Pan (2) Photos (1) Pirates of the Caribbean (9) Pixar (5) Pleasure Island (1) Podcast (1) Progress City (1) Props (2) Railroad (2) Resorts (2) River Country (4) Rivers of America (2) Roy Disney (1) Scale Models (19) Skyway (3) Song of the South (2) Sound Effects (2) Souvenirs (1) Space (3) Space Mountain (4) Splash Mountain (1) Tangled (2) The Living Seas (1) Then and Now (17) Tiki Birds (2) Tilt Shift (2) Tomorrowland (35) Tomorrowland 67 (4) Treehouse (1) Walt Disney (15) Walt Disney Family (7) Walt Disney Family Museum (1) Walt Disney World (6) Ward Kimball (1) Wonders of Life (1) World of Motion (2) World's Fair (2) Yeti (1)

Orange Bird Photo Hunt



Entries in PeopleMover (6)


Tiny Submarine Voyage + PeopleMover Model

After having such a great time making a tiny Jungle Cruise model, I decided to make a tiny model of a couple of other favorite attractions.

This time around I chose start with the wooden box. Filled it with a block of floral foam and began to carve.

The texture of the foam made for nice rock details. I painted all the rockwork a dark color then dry-brushed a highlight color over the outermost surfaces of the rocks. Painted the water and let it dry.

I then cut and painted a styrene strip to look like the guide track that Disneyland's old Submarine Voyage (and it's replacement, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage) used to keep the subs on course.   

Began adding Woodland Scenics Realistic Water to the lagoon.

Using various StripStyrene styrene strips, I shaped the back end of a submarine. The styrene is easily joined using any brand of general purpose plastic solvent cement. I like Plastruct Plastic Weld. TIP: Hold any two pieces of styrene together and brush the solvent along the seams. No need to add solvent between pieces before joinging. Solvent isn't a glue. It actually melts the styrene pieces together then evaporates away.

I chose to paint the submarine the original gray color, much like I wanted the early striped Jungle Cruise canopy in the last model.

Applying generous amounts of green paint to will allow plenty of turf to stick.

I then sprinkled on a thick layer of modeling turf onto the wet paint. Dumped it off once dry.

More styrene strips for the construction of the PeopleMover track.

Tiny little baby PeopleMover cars. Isn't that CUTE??

PeopleMover Construction Update: In response to some question posted below, here's the process I used to construct the PeopleMover cars. After attempting a few different things, I found this to be the most successful. Join a thin strip to the bottom of the thicker strip you plan on using for your cars. The thin strip will help keep everything together. Follow each step below. As for the little roofs, I suggest cutting those separately. 

Added pretty bushes.


I wanted some good detail and depth in the the lagoon water. I added small plants between layers of water. After each thin layer of water dried, I colored little details directly onto the dry surface of the water using brightly-colored Prismacolor markers. Marker ink is inherently translucent which added a great effect.

Started adding pretty little trees. Trimmed them like I was Mr. Miyagi. Purple sewing scissors required.

Adorable and life-like little Woodland Scenic Fine-Leaf Foliage trees.

Once the PeopleMovers were painted (VERY DIFFICULT) and were solvent-ed to the track, the model was complete!

Up on the shelf it goes, right next to this project and of course this project.

I'm so tired. But I can't stop at two. Maybe one more. My wife has requested I make her favorite ride exterior. I can't say no... This is the first time she's ever asked me to make ANYTHING Disney-related for her. \

Also... Am I the only one who wishes they'd just classify the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as a Fantasyland attraction? Wouldn't that solve the whole "non-futuristic singing fish don't belong in Tomorrowland" argument?? They already "moved" the Matterhorn from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland a few years after it was built for similar reasons. Just do it, Disney. (Then fix Tomorrowland.)


Related posts:

Tiny Jungle Cruise Model
 and Beyond Robot
EPCOT City Model [Part 1]
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
Mechanizing a Miniature Main Street Electrical Parade
The Wonders of Nature's Wonderland [ PART 2 ]




Let's look back at some popular posts of 2011.

Walt Disney's Carolwood Pacific and Other Backyard Railroads
We did lots of investigating in order to map out Walt Disney's very own backyard railroad and compare it to the current property.


EPCOT Center Construction Photos: Future World
We dug up some fantastic old construction photos. Many had never posted online before.


National Geographic Aug '63
This two part post was very popular. Filled with amazing Disneyland photos from the early 60s.



Ride Concept Competition
Our first-ever competition was a huge success. We asked for your ideas for new rides and received so many great ones. You can check out the winners here.


ABANDONED DISNEY: Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts
An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of the greatest attraction special effects of all time.


Not Having Fun at Disneyland
Old Disneyland photos of kids not having fun at Disneyland. Fun for a laugh!


ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country [Part 4]
Our most popular post of all time is still our first River Country post. Subsequent River Country posts are also very popular. Take a look at Disney's only abandoned park.


Bin Laden Mansion Minutes From Walt Disney World
The day Osama bin Laden was captured and killed we discovered that his brother had a mansion minutes north of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The home is now abandoned.

Walt Disney Studio Post Production Behind-the-Scenes
We found this fantastic video about Walt's studio. Lots of great footage.


Lake Buena Vista: The Other Prototype City with a Peoplemover
A Peoplemover and a Monorail at Downtown Disney?? It was supposed to happen.


EPCOT Center Graphics
Enjoy Mitch's custom graphics inspired by and featuring some of that wonderful Future World architecture.


Frito Kid Mysteries Continue
The very obscure and mysterious Frito Kid once lived at Disneyland. We pin-point his exact locations.


THEN AND NOW: Disneyland [Part 1]
Our "THEN AND NOW" series is one of our most popular. We've posted many comparisons from Walt Disney World in the past. This year we've added Disneyland.


Create Your Own Background Music
Quite possibly the most fun you'll ever have clicking around one of our posts. Easily create music with a click of a mouse. You might need this when scoring your own attraction.


Thanks for a great year. We are thrilled to welcome many new visitors. Keep coming back and feel free to join us on Twitter for daily tweets.

Here's a look at last year's Year in Review.



Lake Buena Vista: The Other Prototype City with a Peoplemover

The Lake Buena Vista area, know today for its Downtown Disney, once sought out to become more than a district of Disney merchandise, second-rate rainforest animal dining environments, and third party gift shops. From its inception, Lake Buena Vista (chartered 1967) was to be a kind of “new town”. The town was to accommodate “transient residents” and welcome millions of visitors to its wide array of recreational facilities. Oh and to get around... Peoplemovers and Monorails.

A Peoplemover system was clearly never installed but we take a look at how such an idea almost became a reality.  


A Prototype of a Prototype

“In a sense, it is a prototype of the prototype community that is being built at Walt Disney World.” So it was explained in publications of the mid-70s. And the similarities are striking.

Though LBV was not the radial city of tomorrow that EPCOT was to be, it was to put into place some of the same environmental practices, transportation systems, and other concepts of urban design.

As listed in the 1976 publication “Lake Buena Vista Peoplemover”:

The basic development concepts and policies that have evolved from this planning process are:

  1. To build an activity-oriented “transient” home community.
  2. To develop commercial , industrial and institutional areas that will serve both local and regional demands.
  3. To develop unifying transportation elements that tie the community together.
  4. To build with distinctive, innovative designs to the extent possible within the limitations imposed by land development economics, financing, and marketing.
  5. To maintain a high degree of flexibility to respond to unforeseen opportunities inherent in these unique conditions.


A “Water Park”?

The LBV city was described as a “water park of woods, waterways, trails, fields, and active recreation.” No water slides or splash pads. I’m not clear on why this term was used however water-based recreational activities were a part of the plan as were abundant views of water ways from homes and hotel rooms.

Themed Recreational-Residential Communities

“Themes” were to include golf, tennis, equestrian, and boating. Each community would have a sort of central club-house to accommodate its theme. Enjoy tennis? Well the tennis community would be perfect for you. Have a boat? Why not live in the boating community? The boating community would be nestled between Lake Mabel and South Lake just East of Bay Lake. “Water related sports activities will center around the aquatic club on Lake Mabel.” Fun. And logically the equestrian community, with its rustic Old West style, was to partner with the Tri-Circle-D Ranch (Fort Wilderness) and offer horse trails and such.

Side note: You can live on Lake Mabel today, as my wife did when we were dating. Ahh the memories. And there are a few houses along South Lake right off of CR-535 (you know, the back way to Magic Kingdom/Disney University/Central Shops/West Clock via Reams Road).

Walt’s Cabin

Side note II: Our pal Hoot Gibson told me once about an old cabin between Lake Mabel and Bay Lake that Walt himself wanted to stay in when visiting Disney World. I’ve only met one person who has ever seen this fabled cabin which has since crumbled to the ground. Bay Lake mysterious cabin experts, please send details.


Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Areas

Early phases of commercial LBV that still exist today in one form or another are “major hotels” along what is now Hotel Plaza Blvd and “a 100,000 square foot shopping village” later known as the Village and today as Downtown Disney. A 20-bed emergency hospital was built. In what form it exists today, I don’t know. It was “linked to a major hospital in Orlando by radio telemetry and voice communication which enables Orlando’s doctors to diagnose from a remote location.” Fancy.

And now the real reason I brought us all together today... Transportation.


Three basic modes of transportation were implemented to reduce the need for internal travel by car: Pathways for bicycles, horses and electric vehicles; a water network; and a network of trails for hiking. Additionally roads for vehicles were built.

As part of the master plan, but never built, were Peoplemover and Monorail routes.


The Multi-Modal Terminal

“Intra-urban, inter-urban, and inter-state facilities” were to make up the central transportation hub of LBV. Much like the Walt Disney World’s current Ticket and Transportation Center (but far cooler) this center would offer choices for short or long distance travel. Travel choices would include everything from Monorails to Peoplemovers to taxi cabs and busses.

Not only would this transportation system have offered transport to and from LBV and Walt Disney World, but five other “satellite” terminal sites would have been built around the Orlando area.


Peoplemover Vehicles

The Peoplemovers in such a setting were described as “horizontal elevators”. But unlike regular elevators the Peoplemovers would take you directly to your stop without intervening stops. Much like regular elevators you would call the vehicle to stop where you are waiting. Once inside you would select your destination on a control panel. If no close-by vehicle is available a reserve supply of units would fill the empty position resulting in minimal waiting. If a station were to be full of empty units, they would be sent to the “spur track” to make room for vehicle arriving from other stations.

As far as I can tell, these Peoplemovers would differ from those of the city of EPCOT because of their start/stop load/unload system. EPCOT’s system was to have Peoplemovers that “never stop”.

4-6 seated passengers and an additional 4-6 standing passengers would fit in each vehicle (much larger than Disneyland's or Magic Kingdom's vehicles). Individual vehicles could leave the stations independent of other vehicles however multiple units could “form a train” to accommodate larger crowds.

Cars would be fully enclosed to defend against the elements. Rocket Rods were to appear at random for those lucky guest who desired to pop-a-wheelie and travel slightly faster. Just messin’.

Peoplemover and Monorail Routes

As published in 1967:

1967 routes over today's view of Lake Buena Vista:

It would have been “reliable... polution-free, smooth, efficient, quiet (and) required minimum routine maintenance and has low operating costs.”


“I feel your pain, Disneyland” said Lake Buena Vista City to a depressed little Tomorrowland, “I feel your pain.”


Related posts:

A Look at the Progress City Model- Then and Now
1967 "New Tomorrowland" Broadcast
2 Fantastic Disneyland Scale Models
THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]