Here’s the truth: I’ve been experiencing the PeopleMover at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for some 50 years now. I feel old. In the early years I rode the one at Disneyland. It had roofs over each car, and was a little clunky, but it had a great view. When I started visiting Walt Disney World, I was far more impressed with the technology behind the design of this PeopleMover. And again, the view was great.
For years, I thought the PeopleMover was one of best kept secrets about visiting these parks. I would tell friends and guests that if they want a really great experience, take a break and enjoy the PeopleMover. It accommodates lots of guests at any time, so the wait is seldom more than a few minutes. Usually, it has been a walk on.
The other day I rode it to get photos of the upcoming TRON coaster being built. It looks great!
If you get a chance in the next few weeks ride the PeopleMover to see it because the view because this coaster is going to be inside a show building shortly. The portion that is visible to guests as they approach the coaster has yet to be laid out. The coaster you see is set very much in the back. The visible part of the coaster guests will see in the future will be much more adjacent to Space Mountain when it’s added.
Again, one of the reasons I recommended the PeopleMover was that there was seldom ever a queue of more than 5 minutes. No wait, and you get to enjoy a nice long ride while you sit down and relax. It’s a great respite from the hustle and bustle of the day.
Well…over the last year, and especially the last couple of months, I’ve noticed that there always seems to be a significant queue waiting for this attraction. Here’s what the photo looked like early afternoon the other day.
Admittedly, I think it’s no longer a “best kept secret”. In fact, I think it’s become a cult favorite. Not only do people ride it, but they celebrate it with T-shirts and other merchandise. I came upon this poster the other day when I was in one of the shops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
But is the popularity why there’s such a long queue? While I waited, I took the time to study each train as it came off the loading platform. I found over a dozen trains that had cars empty. In some cases, the entire train was empty. Take a look at the image below. If you study it you can see a train with empty cars on it.
And when you’re on the platform, you’ll see that there are many vehicles that have nose cones in them.
After riding the other day I found a nearby ops manager. I shared with the individual my concern. The manager could not have been more empathetic. The individual explained that this has been an ongoing problem for some time, and that the management team was trying to get attention toward repairing the damaged cars.
From what I could tell, it was easily some 15% of cars on the PeopleMover were not being used. that’s a big number, and explains much of why there is such a big crowd down below. I hope management gets attention drawn to this and it gets repaired soon.
Perhaps one of the worst decisions made at Disneyland was removing the PeopleMover. I love the attraction, and I love the sights and sounds when I ride it. But every attraction needs tender love and care. And for the number of people it accommodates, senior management needs to pay more attention to it.