Ah, Theme Park history! Is there anything better than looking back and remembering those great old attractions of the past? If they are good attractions, no. But if they are attractions like the one featured in this post, then the answer may be ‘yes’.
Flying Saucers was a unsuccessful ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California from 1961 to 1966. The ride was manufactured by Arrow Development and National Research Associates, Inc. One guest rode on a personal flying saucer on a cushion of air, similar to an air hockey game. It was also much like bumper cars with guests ramming each other with their saucers.
The Disney History Institute posted this video of the attraction as it operated in 1961:
Luigi’s Flying Tires opened on June 15, 2012, with similar technology to the original attraction. It was located in Cars Land inside Disneyland’s sister park, Disney California Adventure. This version of the ride was themed to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires shop from the Disney·Pixar film Cars. This version held two or three passengers per ride vehicle instead of one.
Disneyland Live posted this ride video on YouTube:
On February 17, 2015 the attraction closed. Not even the addition of beach balls could save it! But it did not go away before giving us some rather unusual, and yet still fun, merchandise:
And just what is that?
I know, I know. You know because you read the title of this post! It’s a hat. And what does one look like while wearing such a hat?
Thanks to my reluctant model!
I picked this up at a local Disney Store that is approved to sell discounted Disneyland merchandise. This had a regular price of $24.95 US but the signs said that all DL merchandise was at least 50% off. Well, this hat was for sale at a much deeper discount as I got it for just $4.95 US.
And why was this hat on sale for such a low price? Because the ride it promotes was replaced by Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters which opened in March 2016, still themed to Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, but featuring new vehicles and a new ride system.
Inside the Magic posted this full ride POV video on YouTube:
Seems very familiar doesn’t it? It has much the same feel as Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, which is unfortunate, as it would have been nice to have something very different since they are side-by-side in Cars Land. But I guess expediency was the driving force (wink, wink) behind the decision to get something open in the space.
I never got to ride Disneyland’s original Flying Saucers. I also never got to ride Luigi’s Flying Tires. Maybe I’ll get to ride Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters before it too is replaced!