Rocket Rods Roller Coaster (Disneyland Theme Park - Anaheim, California) - Thrill Ride POV Video - Defunct / Abandoned Disney Ride

  • 2 years ago
Rocket Rods was a high-speed thrill attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The ride, meant to evoke a futuristic rapid transit system, opened in 1998 on the existing PeopleMover infrastructure as part of the New Tomorrowland project. Plagued with technical problems, Rocket Rods was shut down for renovations in September 2000, but was confirmed to be closed permanently via an official press release in April 2001 after a little over two years of intermittent operation. While Rocket Rods' queue was replaced with Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in 2005, the majority of the track infrastructure utilized by both the attraction and its predecessor sit visibly derelict throughout Tomorrowland as of present day.

Rocket Rods opened on May 22, 1998 as part of the New Tomorrowland. The high-speed attraction ran on a renovated PeopleMover track and riders entered the attraction through the former Circle-Vision 360° building at the front of Tomorrowland.

The ride was met with mixed reception from guests, as some enjoyed the thrilling acceleration and speed, but others felt it lacked the thrills of a true thrill ride while going too fast to be enjoyable for sightseeing. Rocket Rods was also operating sporadically due to constant downtime and mechanical problems. Guests would have to wait in line for over three hours, as there were intermittent closures. Disney could not convince a corporate sponsor to provide funding for a big budget and entertaining pre-show. At that point, the company was still facing financial issues following the disastrous grand opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992. To save on costs, Disney chose not to modify the original PeopleMover track with banked turns. The support structure was not suitable for the much greater speed and weight of the Rocket Rods ride vehicles, which caused the structure to weaken. Their tires were worn down at a quick pace, resulting in damaged engines. The constant changes of speed in the ride often caused malfunctions. In addition, the computer system would shut the attraction down if it wasn't in the correct position, leading to frequent downtime for breakdowns, evacuations, reboots and maintenance.

On July 6, 1998, just a little over a month after its grand opening, Rocket Rods was closed for a refurbishment to address the issues. It was reported to remain closed for five weeks, but it ended up staying closed for three months before reopening in October 1998.

On August 29, 2000, Disneyland announced that Rocket Rods would close again on September 25 for a refurbishment that was to last until the spring of 2001, but no work was ever seen on the attraction. On April 27, 2001, the Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register reported that Rocket Rods would never reopen.