The Autopia Cars

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Black Loop. Today we are sharing some the best attraction ride vehicles at Disney.


 

Autopia Cars post

Ahhhhh, the open road. Feel that wind blowing through your mouse ears. Smell that buttery popcorn at a cart in the distance. Listen to the shrieks or terror from the snowy mountain over yonder. Wait, why is my car on a track? More importantly, “brakes! Brakes! Where are the brakes!” Not to worry! We are at Disneyland riding one of my favorite attractions, Autopia!

Autopia

Autopia is one of the few attractions at Disneyland that has been around since opening day in 1955. Did you know that the original cars designed by Disney imagineer and legend, Bob Gurr, actually had no bumpers? After seeing the damage that was done to the cars in testing, they were fitted with bumpers. Later on, they were replaced with spring loaded bumpers. Even after these changes, they continued to have issues with collisions on the track until they added the center guide rail in 1965.

Bob Gurr

Disney Imagineer, Bob Gurr in 2013

 

 

As a child, I dreamed of the day I’d be able to get behind the wheel of a car and just drive! This is why the cars of Autopia are my favorite ride vehicles at Disneyland. As soon as you are 32″ tall you can drive! Unless you want to drive alone, then you’ll need to be 54″ tall. But who wants to drive alone? You’ll definitely want to have a co-pilot to show off your mad driving skills to. “Look mom! No hands!!!”

Autopia at Disneyland in 1987

My dad and I on Autopia in the 1980’s

Now that I’m an adult with sweet little kiddos of my own, I love to take them on Autopia and just watch them go! Granted, these days, I make sure to take my Excedrin before getting in the car with my crazy drivers. Even though there is a center guide rail to keep us from crashing, we still hit that center guide rail…a lot! Especially when your driver can’t see over the steering wheel.

Autopia Car

Even though I have to take my pain meds to try to ward off a migraine before getting on this ride, it is still one of my favorites and my kids love it as much as I did growing up. Hearing their squeals of delight as we bounce back and forth off of the center guide rail always brings a smile to my face. Seriously, listen to how happy my little one gets every time we jerk back and forth!

Thanks for joining us today to chat about Disneyland’s Autopia Cars! If you want to check out some more of Disney’s best attraction ride vehicles, be sure to jump back on the Blogorail loop and visit all 5 stops!

For more info on the best attraction ride vehicles at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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15 Comments
  • Lee Beatens
    Posted at 07:36h, 15 March Reply

    This is one of my favorite attractions! Did you know that the WDW version still has cars that look close to the original DL Bob Gurr design? I wonder if they will change the DL design with the new Honda sponsorship, to distance it from the old Chevron version?

    Do you think they will ever change the ride over to electric, or some other less environmentally un-friendly fuel source?

    • Rosanne Mottola
      Posted at 20:37h, 15 March Reply

      I hope so. The cast members working that attraction has to deal with the smell of fuel all day long and as you can imagine, it gets to be ridiculously hot!

    • MousekaTools
      Posted at 01:40h, 16 March Reply

      I haven’t heard anything about the cars changing, but since it is down for refurbishment through April right now and with the new Honda sponsorship, I suppose anything is possible! I would definitely like to see some kind of change over in the fuel source, and I do think that they’ll eventually move that route. Being that Autopia is in “tomorrow” land, I think it would make sense for them to embrace new technology in that way. However, as terrible as it is, I will miss the smell of the track when/if they do change over to electric cars.

  • Kimberly
    Posted at 09:57h, 15 March Reply

    I was very surprised to recently learn Autopia didn’t always have the guide rail. I haven’t ridden Autopia or the Tomorrowland Speedway, but I imagine it’s very exciting for those little drivers!

    • MousekaTools
      Posted at 01:41h, 16 March Reply

      Can you imagine people turning the cars around and going the opposite way on the track? It must have been a real mess out there without that center guide rail…but probably pretty fun! 😉

  • Rosanne Mottola
    Posted at 20:35h, 15 March Reply

    This isn’t my favorite attraction (full disclosure) but I remember my little brother’s face when he found out he could drive my dad around! A REAL car! Such a cool idea when it was originally conceived.

    • MousekaTools
      Posted at 01:30h, 16 March Reply

      I appreciate the honesty! 😉 Everyone has their favorites for one reason or another, and if this one isn’t yours, that is just one less person in front of me in line! hahahaha Thanks for stopping by!

  • Heidi Strawser
    Posted at 21:23h, 15 March Reply

    I haven’t been on the WDW version of this ride for a LONG time. I believe I rode it back in the 80’s with my little brothers. But, quite frankly, the lines are always a MILE long, so I usually let my hubby stand in line with Ian while the girls and I go do something else (like the teacups, which he hates anyway). It’s always fun to hear about how attractions have changed over the years. And I love that video! Your daughter drives like my husband – finding things out the side window much more fun to look at than the road! LOL

    • MousekaTools
      Posted at 01:25h, 16 March Reply

      Yeah, she definitely falls into the “squirrel” level of distraction! 😉 Oh Disney and the mile long lines! haha Thank goodness they’ve got fastpasses for it! I don’t know what I’d do without those things!

  • Patricia Mickus
    Posted at 01:14h, 16 March Reply

    This was the first Disney ride my kids experienced over 12 years ago. It still remains a must do on our vacation.

    • MousekaTools
      Posted at 01:20h, 16 March Reply

      It may not be the most thrilling ride, and it may not be the most popular, but like you, it holds a lot of memories for our family, so it will always be a must do! 🙂

  • Pam
    Posted at 07:08h, 16 March Reply

    I’ve been on the Tomorrowland Speedway but I have not been to Disneyland to experience Autopia. Looks like it is a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kimberly Kahl
    Posted at 07:56h, 16 March Reply

    My son and I love these cars! I don’t know what it is about them. I mean, I can drive a regular car. Why do I want to drive these? I don’t know, but I do!

  • Cindy Howell
    Posted at 23:54h, 16 March Reply

    Aww, I love the 1980’s photo of you. This is definitely one of those rides you always remember fondly.

  • Capturing Magical Memories
    Posted at 06:29h, 28 March Reply

    I did a ‘Lunch with an Imagineer’ and heard a great story about opening day and this ride. Seems Sammy Davis Jr. was hit from behind and actually jumped the tracks. Glad that fixed that issue with how the way my kids drive.

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