PHOTOS: Tomorrowland’s PeopleMover Goodyear Planters Removed from Disneyland Park

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One’s initial reaction to plants disappearing from a park is oft, understandably, negative. Short of the eradication of unsightly weeds, we rarely applaud such things. Disney has an exceptional track record when it comes to horticulture and conservation, so when an entire network of planters disappears from Disneyland, there’s likely sound reasoning behind it. The recent departure of several massive, formerly plant-bearing structures from Tomorrowland’s main thoroughfare is a decision at which we needn’t impulsively shake a stick.

Except, when something short of a weed is removed from a Disney park, it’s sure to have a history. The compulsory pro/con debate ensues. And, these were more than mere planters. The familiar bench-bearing structures stretched from the Tomorrowland entrance down to the former home of the Disneyland PeopleMover. Through low-traffic spans, they were less-notably bulky, and even understated. Shaped like a rounded-diamond Goodyear Tires sign, they were an homage to the PeopleMover’s original sponsor. They had been in place since that beloved attraction’s inception on July 2, 1967.

That’s the difficult bit. These planter benches had been a Disneyland fixture longer than most guests have been alive. Even if unconsciously, they were a feature of every single Disney visit, and their absence will be felt. Such things always are.

Planter Benches Removed

Yet, the refurbishment will be felt in another significant way—that for which it is intended. In this area, at least, it will be notably easier to move about. The walkway between Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is one of civilization’s more arduous pinch points. Even on relatively sparsely crowded days, making that right turn off Main Street was often tantamount to stepping on flypaper.

Issues arise mostly from the sheer volume of guests drawn to the area. Then there was the dubious motivation to slap the Astro Orbiter attraction right in front of your most popular land. The planters themselves are hardly to blame. Though as crowd levels increased, and guests got to filling the benches, the area began to resemble a local impassible highway. Throw in the traditional stroller bivouac, and you don’t so much walk into Tomorrowland as plod through confounding quicksand.

Planter Benches In Place (right)

So, yes, the Goodyear-shaped planter benches literally represented living Disney history. If you are moved to cancel your Annual Pass over such developments, that’s your right. Your absence may well add to the ease of movement. But, as desperate Disney Cast Members were powerless to convince guests of the wisdom of favoring the right side of the walkway, the restless souls in charge of refurbishment have taken matters into their own hands.

We’re as much to blame as anyone or anything else. May the benefits outweigh the costs. Being able to get to Space Mountain before one’s FastPass expires should help.

About the author

Christopher Schmidt

Christopher Schmidt is a former Disneyland Resort bartender and author of The Unofficial Walt Disney World Drinking Companion, The Unofficial Disneyland Drinking Companion, and The Complete Guide to runDisney - Disneyland Edition.
If it involves amusement, attractions, athletics, adventure, and responsible enjoyment of exotic libations, you will find Christopher in the middle of it, eager to tell you all about it.
Questions, topic ideas or improvements, and private correspondence? Drop me a message: [email protected]

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Grabt
Guest
Grabt

If this article doesn’t win a Pulitzer, there is no justice in the world. Never have such beautiful words been out to paper about planters.

Emilio
Guest
Emilio
RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

And now they should remove the big spacey rocks at the front of the land, to help get rid of the bottlenecking crowds trying to get by. I’m all for easing the pedestrian traffic more.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

It’s pretty clear why they did this.
Way too much traffic.
I applaud the move.

Jeff C
Guest
Jeff C

If they really wanted to make the land easy to navigate, please for the love of Pete move the Astro Orbiter back to where she was on top of the Peoplemover. This does not belong at ground level. Even if the rumored Peoplemover track is removed, the hub building could stay.

Rob M
Guest
Rob M

Things have certainly chanted A LOT since i was last at Disneyland…..that was back in 1986. I’m a former CM from Disneyland and worked in Guest Services as a French Language interpreter. I prefer the old Disneyland…..I’m heading there next October to visit with my childhood friends to see the NEW DISNEYLAND….but will stick with the Magic Kingdom.