Monday, 15 September 2014

Disneyland Skyway

I know this is a little late but had some problems with the photos. Better late than never though!

This time I am going to talk about what I would do with the old Skyway Station in Fantasyland. What? You don't know about the Fantasyland Skyway Station? I don't blame you, most don't unfortunately.

The Skyway was a ride that had opened in 1956. You would use one of your D Tickets to go from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland or Vice Versa. The Skyway had been a bird's eye view of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland so was a relatively popular attraction. There was a small problem in 1958 when the designs for Matterhorn were finished as they had realized that where the imagineers wanted to put the Matterhorn was right in the middle of the way. They decided to use this to their advantage to add holes through the Matterhorn making it cheaper for them. The imagineers then did something unimaginable in making the Matterhorn without even closing the Skyway once! Then in 1994 the Skyway closed for one reason. It wasn't a death, it wasn't cost but it was because the posts needed refurbishments but the only way to refurbish the post inside the Matterhorn was to take down the Matterhorn, repair the post, then rebuild the Matterhorn. So they had to choose between taking down the Matterhorn, or getting rid of the Skyway. Sadly it was the latter.

The Tomorrowland station was destroyed with the line going across. What's left of it can be see easily if you know what you are looking for and what it is you are looking at. On you way to the Disneyland railroad Tomorrowland station stop look at the side of Innoventions and there is a metal blue staircase that leads up to the PeopleMover track. That was used as an emergency exit for the PeopleMover but also double as both the entrance and exit of the Skyway station. It would peer out over the walkway to go across to the fantasy land station. The stairs were left in as when it was taken it out, the PeopleMover was still in use (for less than a year, but was still in) and then replaced with Rocket Rods where it would also be used. 

(The stairs showing all that is left of the old station)

The Fantasyland station wasn't destroyed but was completely gutted of everything. It was then surrounded by trees and unused by everyone. It is still intact hidden away (for now at least) in the back of fantasyland. There are two easy ways to find it if you want to. The first way is to go to the exit of Casey Jr. Once you get there keep walking towards the Big Thunder Ranch. On your right hand side, there will be a little pathway with a chain going across it. If you were to go up that pathway (which you can't), you'd be at the fantasyland station. Open the doors and you are inside to the building that hosted half of this ride. The other way is if you are at the Village Haus restaurant, just walk straight across the path and you will hit that same chained off pathway. 

(Pathway that leads up to Fantasyland station (entrance seen there from lighting) at night)

Now, what would I do with it. Well the only thing that could really have anything done too is the fantasyland station as there is nothing else that can be revived. What I would do is open it back up to the public, but what I'd put in it as a museum/ blast to the past with that was in here. I'd open the main doors that the carts would come in and go out of so guests could see what the view would look like on it. I'd also include a cart that people can go in to experience how it would feel sitting in one if they couldn't previously experience it. Include a couple of posters, sketches, scale models, wall art, etc. and you are set for an exhibit that can stay for a long time. And when it does get boring you can use it like the blue sky cellar but instead of showcasing the future, you showcase the past. So then bring in stuff from America Sings, or the People Mover, or Bear Country Jamboree, or so on and so forth.

The other option that I would do if the first idea isn't feasible is I would demolish the station. While it has history and I love seeing it every time I go, that's taking up space that could be used for an attraction that can't be made otherwise as there's not enough space. For example, if you have read a recent mice age article about Star Wars land it explains how they might be instead taking out Toontown and Big. Thunder ranch instead of changing Tomorrowland. If that was the case it would fit perfectly for them to take it out to make more space. Although I'd rather the first option, if it doesn't work I'd rather the second over nothing.

Until next time! 


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