Friday, May 18, 2012
TPE: Location, location, location!
When it comes to the Astro Jets/Rockets Jets, it's definitely all about location, location, location.
I can only surmise that a lack of time and money convinced Walt to put this basic off-the-shelf attraction in Tomorrowland. Basically, it's Dumbo disguised as a rocket. Or Astro Jet, depending on the years you are looking at.
Zooming in, you can see the control booth, and Snow Hill in the background...pre-Matterhorn.
The Astro Jets closed September 1966 to make room for the new Tomorrowland, reopening in August 1967 as the Rocket Jets. This version was located on top of the new PeopleMover platform and was accessible from the ground by elevator. Rocket Jets lifted guests 70' above ground, giving them fantastic views of the park.
This version remained open until 1997, when it closed for renovations with the rest of Tomorrowland. The new form of the attraction opened one year later as The Astro Orbitor. Weighing too much for the current building, it was moved smack-dab in the middle of the Tomorrowland entrance, making the attraction the new focal point as guests left Central Plaza.
I say, shore up the foundation and put it back on top of the platform where it belongs!
Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage Rocket Jets photos on my Astro/Rocket Jet web page.