Tag Archives: Luigi’s Flying Tires

Disney Offers First Glimpse of Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters for Cars Land 2016

Luigis Rollickin Roadsters California Adventure

The Walt Disney Company has been quickly working on a replacement for the ill-fated Luigi’s Flying Tires attraction which opened with Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in 2012, and closed permanently in February this year. It doesn’t happen too terribly often, but once in a while, Disney does have a misfire with attractions for any number of reasons. We saw it happen with Rocket Rods in Tomorrowland (May 1998 – September 2000), and before that, the predecessor of Luigi’s Flying Tires – the Flying Saucers (August 1961 – August 1966).

As curious as it may be (and yeah – there’s always been a lot of head scratching over this one), Walt Disney Imagineering pushed forward with the Flying Tires concept – a charge reportedly led internally by John Lasseter, Principal Creative Advisor for WDI – regardless of the fact that arguably the finest Imagineers of all time couldn’t get the smaller, earlier version of the attraction to ever operate adequately in the ’60s. Typically, you duplicate and plus successful attractions – however, the story goes that John had very fond memories of the Flying Saucers at Disneyland as a child and so, he insisted on a bigger, bulkier (heavier) design for Cars Land. As predicted, the bigger, slower brother of Disneyland’s Flying Saucers attraction opened and closed with little fanfare at Disney California Adventure – the minute we took our first lackluster ride when Cars Land opened, we knew without a doubt that the clock was ticking for Luigi’s Flying Tires; the writing was on the wall.

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Letting the Air Out of Luigi’s Flying Tires at DCA

luigi-flying-tires-dcaIn summer of 1961, a new attraction opened in Tomorrowland at Disneyland – the infamous Flying Saucers. The idea was unique – think of the way an air hockey table works – and you’re sitting on top of the puck. Single riders would sit on their own saucer vehicle, which kind of also resembled a bumper car – and once the air pressure from the large platform base built up below them, the vehicles would begin to kinda-sorta hover. Depending on the direction guests leaned, that’s the direction the saucers would bounce and skid. It was noisy, and by multiple accounts from former Imagineers over the years, the Flying Saucers were one big headache from start to finish. And that finish came quickly in Disneyland years – the ill-fated attraction only lasted roughly five years before it was ripped out for something different; that something different was the first Tomorrowland Stage, which is now Tomorrowland Terrace.

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