Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Thu August 20 2015

Throwback Thursday: Going Small on Disneyland's Adventure Thru Inner Space

Entertainment | Gabe Zaldivar | August 20, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Going Small on Disneyland's Adventure Thru Inner Space

Image via YouTube

Let’s go back in time to when Disneyland shrunk its visitors.

Now we aren’t talking about any attraction dedicated to the Rick Moranis romp “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.” No, for this Throwback Thursday we are examining a ride that resembled the Haunted Mansion; but instead of ghosts, patrons enjoyed the sight of giant snowflakes.

Let’s all just be thankful that we grew up when Star Tours was around. Monsanto sponsored Adventure Thru Inner Space, a ride which whisked visitors around at a sensible pace, illustrating what it might be like to shrink to miniscule proportions. The ride was active from 1967 to 1985, so you will excuse officials for the effects that are quite dated.

And we know this thanks to YouTube, which gives we modern-day denizens a sneak peek back at the days when Star Tours, Space Mountain and other attractions were just a glint in Imagineers’ collective eyes.  

YouTube channel Disney History Institute does a fine job documenting the history of the ride that made a big deal out of small matter:

Now you might not be able to take a ride on the actual good ship Inner Space. However, Steve Wesson created this awesome recreation on YouTube, showing us essentially the twists and turns of the slow-moving attraction.

Some of us born too late can’t attest to the authenticity of the ride. However, a YouTube user by the name of Robert J. Holtz comments on the above video.

Holtz offers: “Very impressive reproduction. That must have been a lot of work.  You captured certain nuances that I distinctly remember especially the way the Omnimovers jerked around in certain places.  As a kid, that was one of my favorite things.  My mother and sister despised this ride but it was my Dad' favorite attraction in the whole park. I thought it was pretty great too.  I have fond memories of our riding this together.  The eye through the microscope at the end always amazed me.  Thank for bringing this back into the world.”

As the following documentary snippet contends, the ride relied heavily on projectors illuminating images for patrons to admire, ditching the animatronics that would be a staple of many Disneyland rides.

Now I was astonished to discover that this attraction has new life thanks to budding technology.

The LA Times’ Todd Martens was at the recent D23 Expo and relived the ride thanks to virtual reality sets.

Hilariously, Martens adds that the attraction had quite the reputation as a respite for couples to canoodle in some of the darker portions of the ride. Now those in love have to find other areas of the park to steal a kiss. And the rest will have to merely imagine what it’s like to shrink down to the size of an atom.

We trust that the nostalgia will wear off when you begin to appreciate anew how Tomorrowland has grown.

Rides are now faster and far more elaborate. Still, there will always be a special place in our heart for attractions that kicked off such a beloved portion of an iconic theme park. 


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