Wednesday, May 22, 2013

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Rocket Jets


We've talked about the Rocket Jets before. If you've read that article, you will know that a couple of the rockets from that ride are decorations at the Astro Blasters gift shop. But where exactly was Rocket Jets?

One of the rockets still in Disneyland
Well, Rocket Jets was sort of the predecessor to Tomorrowland's Astro Orbitor. But unlike Astro Orbitor, it wasn't located at the front of Tomorrowland. It was actually located high above Tomorrowland, on top of the PeopleMover station.

Pictured: Two no-longer existent rides
You would board a lift stylized to look like a tower from a real launchpad, walk onto the loading platform and enjoy the ride.

Now, Rocket Jets wasn't the first of its kind. It was not only preceded by Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Fantasyland (1955), but also another very similar and rather short-lived ride in Tomorrowland called the Astro Jets (1956).

Astro Jets, c. 1962
But despite the two other incarnations of a Tomorrowland rocket spinner ride, the Rocket Jets was perhaps the most iconic. Maybe because it resembled NASA's Saturn V rocket at the height of the Space Race, or maybe because it spanned four decades in the park. But one thing can be sure, and it's that the Rocket Jets attraction will be missed. Hopefully the Imagineering department decides to make something of the PeopleMover track, and the large space that was once occupied by the Rocket Jets. Speaking of that space, what's there now?

Oh yes, that um... thing.

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