Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Moonliner Extravaganza!

Looking at the scaled-down replica of the Moonliner that exists in Tomorrowland, I doubt that very few guests are inspired or overcome with a sense of awe. No...they are just passing by on the way to Space Mountain.

As Cox Pilot put it so eloquently once: When I first visited Disneyland in July of 1955, Tomorrowland was the first thing I wanted to see. My parents were more interested in Main Street and the shops, but I pulled and pulled to just see, and ride in, the Moonliner. I never dreamed that I would be working day after day in its shadow. The 6 years I worked under the Moonliner never jaded me. Each day we would leave the wardrobe building and enter the Tomorrowland area through the gate just to the left of the domed builders, and I would always look up as I passed through the big gate. The feeling was like leaving black and white Kansas and entering into the color world of Oz. Of all the changes in Tomorrowland over the years, the only thing that was a huge disappointment was the removal of the liner.

Daveland reader Stu P. was also inspired by the Moonliner; in fact, he built a scaled replica of it. Not really all that amazing in itself; there are many models, kits, and collectibles available out there that commemorate the Moonliner. BUT... how many of them have actually been in flight? I’d hazard a guess that the photos here today show the only one ever to blast off!

Stu built that model about a year ago, and here is what he related to me:

I actually got up enough nerve to fly her again a few weeks ago. She landed with no real damage, except for one popped off foot pad, that was easily glued back.

Thanks to Stu for sharing these way cool images of his Moonliner model!

Follow my updates on Twitter. View more vintage & current Moonliner photos on my regular website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

"T-minus five, four, three, two, one - Ignition!"

Neat post, I want one!!!!

Matt said...

Now that is WAY cool. Hello, Disney Marketing Dept, you're missing a great oppy here ;)

Thufer said...

Very, very good post....thanks Dave and to Cox Pilot for the inspirational memories.

Stu P, wow, how cool is that. Good job.

Major Pepperidge said...

Cool to see the rocket really flying! Did Stu modify an already existing model, or did he build his from scratch?

JG said...

Now that was great! Thank you Stu!

Years ago, I had a Gold Key Comics book with a story where Mickey and Goofy flew the Moon Liner Rocket to the Moon. Of course, it's lost and I can't remember any of the story except that bit, but it made the whole Moon Liner so much more real because I had seen it fly in the comic book.


stu29573 said...

Thatnks for the comments! Major, the rocket was pretty much scratch built using bits of an Estes kit, poster board, typing paper, wooden dowels, and lead fishing weights in the nose for stability. It took a few months to build it, and it now sits proudly on my piano!

Connie Moreno said...

WOW! That was waaaay uber cool!

keeline said...

When Glencoe reissued the Strombecker Moonliner as the "Marsliner", I thought about making a plastic model conversion from it. The model rocket group I was associated with at the time included these conversions as part of its periodic contests. However, since when these fail it is fairly spectacular and I had just one of the Glencoe kits, I decided to leave it intact.

It's great to see this in flight and kudos to the photographer as getting a clear image of a launching rocket is very difficult.