Collectible Disney Pin Series: Dead Rides Part 1
Even dead rides deserve their day in the sun.
I am always on the search for unique and unusual Disney pin series. Being a big fan of pins commemorating classic Disney attractions, I was thrilled to discover a gem of a series known as the Dead Ride pins. This seven-pin set celebrates the memory some of Disneyland’s original attractions. This three-part series will take a look at these classic LE 300 pins.
Rocket to the Moon was long gone before I ever first set foot into Disneyland, but the story of this early Disneyland attraction is pretty amazing. This ride simulated a trip from Earth to the moon, which was a pretty remarkable feat considering that astronaut Neil Armstrong was still 14 years away from actually landing on the moon. This ride was a vision of the future, and a perfect attraction for Disney’s Tomorrowland.
Rocket to the Moon actually lived past 1966, but was renamed Flight to the Moon as soon as it became apparent that landing on the moon might soon become a reality. After the famous moon landing in 1969, the ride began to show its age, and in 1975, the ride briefly closed again and was reopened as Mission to Mars. Mission to Mars lasted another 17 years, closing for good in 1992.
Even though missions to space ceased in 1992, the spirit of the original Rocket to the Moon attraction are commemorated at the site of Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port, where a scale model of the original moonliner sits to this day.
While Disneyland has hosted several iterations of the popular children’s ride since opening in 1955, Midget Autopia was the first to receive the ax in 1966 in the name of progress. A path needed to be built for Disneyland’s upcoming new attraction, It’s a Small World, and Midget Autopia was simply in the way.
Midget Autopia was intended for the littlest of Disneyland patrons, included booster seats and was an automated driving experience that went through several themed areas, much like many of Fantasyland’s current rides. Midget Autopia was eventually replaced by a new automated vehicle…strollers!
While the original ride was scrapped, Walt actually donated the ride to his home town of Marceline, Missouri. There it ran for several years until upkeep forced the closure of the ride forever. In its place is a memorial plaque and in the town’s children museum sits on of the original Midget Autopia cars.
More Dead Rides to come!