Friday, March 21, 2008

This Day in Disneyland History

"Ladies and Gentleman, welcome aboard our McDonnell-Douglas DC-88 Spaceliner for today's mission to Mars. The Captain has asked that you remain in your seats at all times, and please, no smoking!"

March 21st, 1975 was the day Disneyland officially changed the designation of "Flight to the Moon" to "Mission to Mars". Since the USA had been to been to the moon for 6 years, I can see why the attraction was updated. Technically this is the third update to this attraction. From 1955 to 1966 it was the "Rocket to the Moon", although the first version was in a completely different building that was removed when the New Tomorrowland 67 was built.

Here is a June 1974 "D" Ticket. This would be the last appearance for "Flight to the Moon". Also notice; the "Tomorrowland Jets" are making a final appearance too*.

This June 1975 "D ticket has a couple of new names on it. "Mission to Mars" sounds much more exciting. *And we have the "Rocket Jets"! I'm sure the name was Rocket Jets since 1967, it's that way in all the Guide books. I was told "it just never got updated on the tickets", until 1975, that seems odd? So it was the "Astro-Jet" from 56-66, then the "Rocket Jets" from 67-96, when were they the "Tomorrowland Jets"?

Here are the attraction lists from Before and After, the first is June 1974, the second is June 1975:

Now here are the Guide Books, Before and After. First from the "Spring 1975" edition covering February 19, 1975 to June 13, 1975. Looks like it was closed for some time since it's "Opening Spring 75". And the second Guide book page is from the "Summer 1975" edition covering June 4, 1975 to September 6, 1975.

McDonnell-Douglas was the sponsor from a the 60' thru 1985. The last reference I see is in the June 1985 guide book. This 1986 guide book (printed 12/85) shows that Mission to Mars will "re-open March 15, 1986" I don't see McDonnell-Douglas anywhere. Funny how today the Pizza Port sign is still the shape of the stylized McDonnell-Douglas Logo from the 67' redo.

I rode Mission to Mars for the last time on May 6th, 1992. It was just a few days after the L.A. riots so I figured it would be a light crowd day, it was! I rode everything at least twice, even Mission to Mars. I think I enjoyed "Mission Control" more than the rocket part. It did seem pretty outdated by 1992, but it was still fun. Mission to Mars closed on November 2nd, 1992.

What's that I hear over the loud-speaker: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the outer locks are now open and you may vacate the spacecraft. Thank you for flying McDonnell-Douglas today, and we hope to see you again soon"


Jason Schultz said...

Astro-Jets: 3/24/1956 - 8/7/1964. Tomorrowland Jets: 8/7/1964 - 9/5/1966. Rocket Jets: 7/2/1967 - 1/5/1997.

Flight to the Moon closed on 1/5/1975, apparently a popular date for Tomorrowland closings! I found it mildly interesting that Mission to Mars and Redd Rockett's Pizza Port share an opening date, since they also share the building space...

outsidetheberm said...

Wouldn't it be great to see Disney attempt another 'Flight' into space attraction? This time, allow the guests to exit the rocket upon arrival and walk the planet's surface. -- Something like POP once tried.

Also, as a Friday reminder to you, we have posted something you might enjoy today!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Thanks Jason! See everyone, I told you this guy knows A LOT!!!! Why did they change the name to "Tomorrowland Jets" when it was still the same "Astro-jet" ride?

Outsidetheberm, OMG, what an AMAZING post of Knott's Berry Tales! I owe you big time for that! I saw it lase last night and then I had a dream about it! Too cool.... Thanks so much for putting that post together!

walterworld said...

I sure love the old look of the Guide books from the 70's. That was my childhoof time at the park and I collected one of the books with each visit...

Thanks for your interesting posts!