Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#Disneyland60.....Today In Disneyland History.....August 5, 1955 & August 5, 1967

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Opens
August 5, 1955
Adventures Through Inner Space Opens
August 5, 1967

August 5 was marked with two special attraction openings in Tomorrowland at Disneyland and as fate would have it, both would come to occupy the same space.  First up was the opening of The 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Exhibit, which opened to the public during Disneyland’s very first year. The popular walk-through exhibit featured props and set pieces from the 1954 blockbuster release 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” Guests were actually able to view the exterior of the Nautilus, Professor Aronnax's cabin, the pump room, the chart room, the diving chamber, the wheelhouse and the famous organ (which would later come to reside in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ballroom). The exhibit remained open until August 28, 1966 and was replaced the following year with Adventure Through Inner Space.

A year after the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Exhibit closed, Disneyland's attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space opened in the same building in Tomorrowland as part of the new Tomorrowland.  In this memorable attraction, Guests were transported through a microscope where they were shrunken down and sent off to explore the inside of an atom. Featuring the voice of Paul Frees & the song "Miracles from Molecules" written by the Sherman Brothers, it was the first to use the OmniMover system - called Atomobiles - to transport guests.  The attraction was designed to simulate humans shrinking to a size smaller than an atom (the "inner space"). As riders waited for their journey into the atom, they were able to see other riders entering one end of the Monsanto Mighty Microscope. The other end of the Monsanto Mighty Microscope had a glass tube in which miniaturized riders could be seen moving across. The microscope was aimed at a panel beyond which snow could be seen falling.

Upon boarding their Atommobiles, riders were greeted by the voice of an unseen scientist, Paul Frees (who would also later be known as our Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion). "I am the first person to make this fabulous journey. Suspended in the timelessness of inner space are the thought waves of my first impressions. They will be our only source of contact once you have passed beyond the limits of normal Mag-ni-fi-ca-tion."
The Atommobile entered the Monsanto Mighty Microscope and began to shake back and forth as the riders entered the darkness backwards.  As their vision returned, the riders saw giant snowflakes all around them, some still spinning as they fell. As they continued to shrink, the our scientist would exclaim, "I am passing beyond the magnification limits of even the most powerful microscopes. These are snowflakes – and yet they seem to grow larger and larger. Or can I be shrinking – shrinking beyond the smallness of a tiny snowflake crystal? Indeed, I am becoming smaller and smaller!"  As the ride and the shrinking continued, the molecules became larger, and took on a peculiar Mickey Mouse shape. "These fuzzy spheres must be the atoms that make up the molecule – two hydrogen atoms bonded to a single oxygen atom. And I see that it's the orbiting electrons that give the atom its fuzzy appearance. And still I continue to shrink." As your voyage continued through the molecules, our
Guide would excitedly go on to wonder, "Is it possible that I can enter the atom itself?" As the Atommobile entered the atom it, a storm of lights flashed past on all sides at impossible speeds. "Electrons are dashing about me – like so many fiery comets! Can I possibly survive?"
As riders were led deeper and deeper into the depths of the molecule, at one point a large pulsating red ball could then be seen inside the atom. "And there is the nucleus of the atom! Do I dare explore the vastness of ITS inner space? No, I dare not go on. I must return to the realm of the molecule, before I go on shrinking...forever!"
 Luckily for all on this mysterious voyage into the vast realms of inner space, the passengers would soon begin the return journey to full size, and were greeted with the sight of water molecules swirling rapidly. Our scientist would share this as a discovery and pronounce "Ah, how strange! The molecules are so active now! They have become fluid – freed from their frozen state. That can only mean that the snowflake is melting!" 

"Yes, the snowflake has melted, Frees informed us, "But there is no cause for alarm. You are back on visual, and returning to your normal size." The riders could see evidence of the scientist's monitoring as they passed under a large microscope through which they can see his giant eye. Having returned to normal size, the riders disembarked and passed by displays of Monsanto's advances in material science before exiting the attraction building.  As Tomorrowland is always evolving and in a state of perpetual change, Adventure Through Inner Space would finally take it’s last voyage inside the atom on September 2, 1985 when it finally closed to make way for Disney and George Lucas's new Star Tours attraction, which would open in early 1987. Although over the years the original Star Tours was updated to the current Star Tours- The Adventure Continues, the a rich history of tomorrow continues to live on in that same location And that’s what happened today in Disneyland’s history. 


  1. I love these posts! Wish I could have seen these attractions.

  2. These remain two of my all time favorite rides to this day.