Why was Rocket Rods at Disneyland closed?

About 2 months ago i went to Disneyland. I discovered that Rocket Rods was closed, does anyone know why? [Ed.-- And Robert gives the reason...]

From Ricardo Tejeda
Posted August 8, 2001 at 8:48 PM
About 2 months ago i went to disneyland. I discovered that rocket rods was closed, does anyone know why?

[Ed. -- Okay, it's been a while, and a couple people have asked the same thing, so I let this one through.

DL Prez Cynthia Harriss, in a refreshing display of candor, admitted that Disney's cheapness in not build a custom track for the Rods doomed the ride. On the old Peoplemover track, the Rods were breaking down at an unacceptable rate. Both for financial reasons, and guest show.

So Disney shuttered the things, for good. Sure, at first, they put up a sign announcing a rehab. But then Harriss fessed up and said they weren't ever coming back.

A copy of Disney World's Buzz Lightyear ride is the leading candidate to move into the queue building. But it's not gotten the green light yet.]

From Mr. D. T.
Posted May 5, 2002 at 7:07 PM
Probably because it was a very cheap ride. A sad excuse for taking away the people-mover.

From Isabel Broad
Posted May 6, 2002 at 1:36 AM
Disappointingly, I was at Disneyland just a few days before they opened Rocket Rods and could see them tesing it.

We went back in April and as it was shut we never got a chance to goon it.

What about the yellow submarine - submarine voyage? That has been taken away leaving a large pond. The space is not that big so I would have thought their coices were limited.

From Jason Rasmussen
Posted May 6, 2002 at 12:54 PM
Why was it closed? GM, Test Track and banked turns. Here is a GREAT article on the whole issue:


I rode it twice. Once for a sneak preview (I remember their tag line: Yes, you WILL get bugs in your teeth) and another after it opened. HUGE lines both times. But, it was not that good. The launch was not as fast as I expected and it had to slow down each time it went into a curve so it was constantly speeding up and slowing down. There was only one section where it hit 35mph, but then slowed down very quickly. The path was exactally the same as the Peoplemover except for one section that diverted from the Tron section to curve around Innovations. All the cars did was beep. They beeped like a sonar radar as they approached a turn to indicate the slowdown, and beep in the station. But the cars sure looked cool and were very comfortable to sit in!!

I still wonder what they will do with the old track. Peoplemover was very relaxing and I enjoyed it a lot. I don't think they will resurect another version of RocketRods because of all the problems they had. I think they might bring back a version of the PeopleMover (slim chance), or just tear down the tracks.

From Anonymous
Posted May 6, 2002 at 1:53 PM
The People mover had to go because all the drive motor casings were wearing out and cracking. The motors required such a starting surge of power that auxilliary generators were required to start them every morning.The rocket rod track was, of course, the old peoplemover track. Due to the grade change, liniear induction would not work. In order to attain the traction necessary, it was coated with what I was told was aircraft carrier deck surfacing. This tore up 70,000 mile tires in two weeks. Also, the motor drives were never designed to vibrate as they did as they went around the track... too many small components to shake loose. The guide wheels on the front bogey wore out too quickly also. The tire pressure sensors never worked propperly. I was told the rods were the highest cost to ride ratio in the whole park. (I wired many of the systems of the cars as a contractor in north hollywood)

From Robert Niles
Posted May 6, 2002 at 3:34 PM
When you work in a theme park, you quickly come to understand how one decision or action can create a ripple effect, affecting dozens of other actions or decisions along the way.

Rocket Rods provides another textbook example. The loss of GM's sponsorship, and the subsequent decision not to replace the track set in the motion in the chain of events that led to Rocket Rod's inevitable demise.

A great theme park manager develops a feel for these things, and can anticipate the chain of events before it happens. He or she can see how a single decision will create a ripple effect, and choose the appropriate choice based on the most desirable "ripple."

Rocket Rods demonstrates that not enough people in Disney management possess this ability to anticipate the future. And they, their stockholders, and the theme park visiting public, pay for that myopia.

From Anonymous
Posted May 6, 2002 at 9:52 PM
As much as everyone wants to think it was closed because a loss of sponsorship, heres the downlow. The real reason, which was hidden to the public by disney, was that one of th metal "RODS" on the ride broke through the seat and the pole went through someone. The quickly closed it and covered it up with all these "too expensive, no sponsorship" excuses.

From Jason Rasmussen
Posted May 7, 2002 at 10:42 PM
Ehhh... I seriously doubt that last account since I am sort of a Disney inside myself. GM and Test Track were a huge factor in the closing of Rocket Rods, but RRs had a lot of their own problems as Anonymous (via mentioned above. They also had major brake problems with all the slowing down it had to do. Just waiting in line to board it you could feel the heat from the cars.

From Rich Valles
Posted May 15, 2002 at 9:12 PM
It's a real drag to see that Disney has taken out the Rocket Rods. I just went to DL last Saturday, and I was looking foward to getting on the Rocket Rods. Even though I already knew they were closed. But they MUST do something with the track. A new ride obviously, but a good one.

From Tim Overbeck
Posted May 18, 2002 at 3:12 AM
To the best of my knowledge is that they have not been able to keep the Rocket rods running consistantly since opening. From what I understand they have a few reoccuring buggs that they can't seem to work out. To me they are not worth the wait anyways but to each their own.

From Anonymous
Posted June 18, 2002 at 11:19 AM
I've been visiting DL since the '60s and have seen many rides come and go. I hated to see the 'renovation' of Tomorrowland, especially what it is today. For example, what is that replacement for the "rocket jets"? How embarrassing to say it's an improvement or renovation. Now, when I visit, I look around tomorrowland and wonder what happened. It looks very uninteresting and the people visiting look like they're not interested either. The peoplemovers were a nice way to get away from the crowds and relax awhile. I've never rode on the rocket rods, and it doesn't look like anyone else will either. The track needs to be redesigned and a slower, sleeker ride should be put there. Something needs to whiz by the entrance to tomorrowland to attract people or else it looks real dead. Paris DL tomorrowland looked so much better, with a less refurbished look. I liked the star tours entrance at the Paris DL with it's full-size X-wing fighter above the entrance. Things like that should be considered to improve what used to be my favorite theme of DL.

From Anonymous
Posted June 25, 2002 at 7:45 PM
The Rocket Rods.....

Paul Pressler's grand re-vision of Tomorrowland(that and the absolutely USELESS Astro Orbiter)!

Who the *$&% ever heard of the rocket jets running from ground level?!!!

Pressler, you suck! Give me the old Tomorrowland anyday!

From Anonymous
Posted July 2, 2002 at 11:54 PM
Hail the Peoplemover!

From Christopher Veck
Posted July 4, 2002 at 2:13 PM
I personaly liked this ride. The problems that plaged it were numerous. The few i can think of thap put them over the edge are following:
1)Low Capacity: 7 riders a car, 2 hr line= people cant go enjoy the other ammenties and buy stuff to give every park what they want- MONEY
2)Track: The track was unbanked which means that the cars had to slow down EVERY time they hit a turn, or else the lateral g's would be unbearable. Slowing down = slower ride time= lower capacity,
3) Tons of rehab: I read somewhere that they had to change the rear wheels every 20 some odd days so they had to spend more money.

From Anonymous
Posted July 28, 2002 at 7:20 PM
Rocket Rods was a GOOD ride. It wasn't the greatest ride in the park (personally that one is SM in my view) and it had consistently broken down. It once shut down as we were getting ready to launch at the light.....they took us off REAL quick like....interesting. One of the biggest problems as I noticed nonetheless was the 2 hour wait which took you 70% of the time indoors and underground....not exactly the ideal situation for a line to a ride that extends 2 hours or more....

From Anonymous
Posted August 12, 2002 at 1:22 AM

From Katie O'Connell
Posted August 12, 2002 at 6:31 PM
I have to admit, SM is great, but back to the Rocket Rods... I noticed that Disney had been cheap at the time, but if they're so cheap now, how come they have California Adventure still open, and are even planning to make a water park down the street? Rocket Rods was an OKAY ride, but it was really popular, and they should use some of that money to improve the rides at Disneyland. Disneyland is great and all, but for the teenagers, it's not all that exciting.

From Anonymous
Posted July 25, 2003 at 2:13 PM
i never rode the rocket rods...but they looked sooo cool. hey when u say sm above, do u mean space mountain or splash mountain???

From Katie O'Connell
Posted July 25, 2003 at 7:47 PM
I meant SM as in Splash Mountain. I can't believe that post is still up!

From Anonymous
Posted July 26, 2003 at 6:15 PM
yea, splash mountain is my all time favorite ride....and not just out of disneyland but its my favorite ride anywhere!!!!!

From Anonymous
Posted July 26, 2003 at 6:18 PM
my birthday is tommorow and im going to disneyland!!!!i never rode rocket rods but i wish they were still there...i loved that futuristic zooom sound they made when they sped by it was soo cool
P.S. i like sm also!

From Anonymous
Posted September 14, 2003 at 7:34 PM
Yeah, the zooming sound was cool. Also, I will miss waiting in line. I know that sounds crazy.....but people who got to ride it can back me up that they had the coolest waiting area. There were TV screens all around you showing 360 degree movies. I will miss that room. Hopefully they will it in tact for whatever ride that replaces rocket rods.

From Anonymous
Posted September 30, 2003 at 4:31 PM
Yeah, I remember the lines, too. They were pretty cool, even if it was for a couple of hours. They seriously need to get a new ride to replace the Rocket Rods, because Tomorrowland is kinda lacking right now (Space Mountain under refurbishment till 2005!)

From Anonymous
Posted October 3, 2003 at 7:33 AM
why not use the same technology as WDW people mover, the track is already there, wake up Eiser, stop being so F*$%ing CHEAP CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Anonymous
Posted October 3, 2003 at 7:35 AM
and while you are at it Mr. Executive of the decade do something with that empty pond (Sub ride)!! your theme parks are going to CRAP and you don't give two CRAPS, all you care about is YOUR big fat BONUS !!!!! rememer, some day you and Walt will meet and I hope he slugs you!

From Anonymous
Posted October 16, 2003 at 5:17 PM
The sub ride was kool. u should make it into another boat ride like maybe one u drive. I miss people mover. U should change it to like maybe a spinning ride where one can spin one self but of course, someone mite die or get injured or throw up.

From Anonymous
Posted October 18, 2003 at 10:09 PM
Everyone who said disney is cheap, well t blody hell you are right they could put tracks with no f****** tires those b******* are so cheap
Tell me what you think at independentboys@hotmail.com

From Anonymous
Posted October 24, 2003 at 1:09 AM
Yeah Disney should have waited and locked in a corporate sponsor for Rocket Rods, and just done it RIGHT the first time. It was an awesome ride in itself, but it would have been much nicer if it were built well enough to still be in operation.

From Mr. D. T.
Posted October 24, 2003 at 7:12 AM
Why was Rocket... Hasn't this question been asked a long time ago? :) :D

From Mike Z
Posted October 25, 2003 at 7:47 AM
I am going back to DCA in November...What is on the old Rocket Rods track now?

From Robert Niles
Posted October 25, 2003 at 10:56 AM
Nothing. It's as empty as... well... the rest of Tomorrowland? No Space Mountain. No CircleVision. No Rocket Rods/PeopleMover. No Subs. No moon rocks. And, if reports from maintenance prove correct, pretty soon, no Monorails, either.

From Anonymous
Posted October 31, 2003 at 11:10 PM
Does Disneyland Forever or any other type cd have the music that went on in RocketRod Version of Circle Theather queue line?

Where They would show the RocketRods model spinning and then the globe of tomorrowland. (loved that little snip of music) also the whole show's music was great.

I will be sadly miss the RocketRods were my favorite in the whole park. :(

I'm a high-tech fan and the cars just looked so beautiful, Heck I'd buy a car that was used if they were selling it for cheap ~.^ just for a collectors item or something.

From Anonymous
Posted November 11, 2003 at 4:05 PM
Tomorrowland really is empty... I sure hope that Disney is planning something big to soup it up again. They really need some new rides, instead of demolishing old ones!

From Anonymous
Posted November 12, 2003 at 1:03 PM
I was at DL last week and was really disappointed. Rocket Rods gone, Space Mountain under construction, Thunder Mountain not operating, Splash Mountain not operating (or up and down all day). The anticipation of going to DL was much better than the actual trip. Are they just spread too thin with California Adventure, etc., to invest in DL anymore? I agree Tommorowland is awful, and some of the other areas aren't far behind. It's sad to see DL declining.

From Anonymous
Posted November 14, 2003 at 10:47 AM
I was there this week. SM was up and down, but we got on it. Indiana Jones was off and on, lucked out on that one also. Never made it to tomorrowland, but as everyone else here has noted, didn't miss much. They better get something going in Tomorrowland, that used to be my favorite place.

From John Perry
Posted November 22, 2003 at 12:54 PM
Hey I was just at Disneyland this past weekend, and the entrance of where Rocket Rods used to be is now closed off, with a sign saying that a new attraction is coming soon. Does anybody know what Disney is going to put in?

From Robert Niles
Posted November 22, 2003 at 3:49 PM
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. From Disney World.

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