Adventure Thru Inner Space
"Miniaturization Control: We are in Phase Blue, increase U angle"
"Miniaturization Control: Roger that, U angle increased to 14* degress 28 units. Adjustments are now made for an Adventure Thru This Blog Post"
Sound familiar? Well maybe not exactly, but if it does you are pretty lucky! This is from Adventure Thru Inner Space an attraction sponsored by Monsanto a chemical company. Be ready to go on an adventure thru this blog, for though you may feel like your shrinking into the ride, your mind will expand.
" YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE: This is the tracking procedure of an adventure through inner space. Adventurous men of science who have made this journey before you are carefully plotting every phase of this incredible journey as you shrink beyond the smallness of an atom: the smallest building block of matter. We wish you an enlightening experience. For though your body will shrink, your mind will expand."
The "Protozoa Ride"
WED Enterprises created and designed the attraction The Magic Microscope with much help from Walt Disney and Dr. Charles Allan Thomas. WED opted to use a transportation system called Omnimover first used for their Magic Skyway attraction at the New York World's Fair. The Omnimover consisted of an endless loop of vehicles moving on a fixed track. All the vehicles were attached to one another. Because the vehicles would not stop for loading and unloading, guest would have to use a moving ramp. In 1965, Bob Gurr designed a version of the Omnimover for a ride system that was never built at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles that looked promising for The Magic Microscope attraction. Together with John Hench, Gurr tried to figure out how it could be possible for the Omnimover to travel up and down steep hills, and look in any direction. Gurr assigned a new engineer, Bert W. Brundage, to start the Omnimover drawings based on Gurr's original designs. At the same time, WED made arrangements to use a recently acquired warehouse as an indoor test track. Bert W. Brundage along with Roger E. Broggie completed the design for what became known as the Atomobile. The Atomobile comfortably carried two-and-one-half passengers. Each individual vehicle could rotate 180 degrees to each side to highlight special points of interest in the attraction. Claude Coats served as the main designer for the attraction. Yale Gracey supervised all the special effects such as the projected images from film and transparencies, dimensional reflections, and delicate crystalline etchings on glass that made up much of the experience. Over 85 projectors and reflecting devices would have to be built. X. Atencio wrote the script and Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman wrote the song Miracles from Molecules. The Sherman brothers had already written songs heard at Disneyland such as It's a Small World and There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow. Buddy Baker wrote the ethereal music for the attraction. All his compositions were new except for the piece heard in the queue area. That composition, titled Mysteries of the Atom, was originally composed and recorded for a scientific segment of the attraction Progressland but never used.
Adventure Thru the Ride
"WHEN YOU FIRST ENTER THE LOBBY ENTRANCE YOU ARE IMMEDIATELY FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN THE SCIENCE LAB SET OF THE CLASSIC SCI-FI MOVIE "FANTASTIC VOYAGE" THIS HUGE LASER CANNON LOOKING THING CALLED THE MIGHTY MICROSCOPE TILTS TOWARD A LARGE PETRI DISH OF SNOW THAT FLICKERS DOWNWARD (LIKE IT WAS SNOWING INSIDE). LARGE ROUNDED CHAIRS SEATING 1-2 GUESTS WOULD TRAVEL ON A TRACK INSIDE THE MACHINE TO A DARKEND TUNNEL.
ON THE WALL NEXT TO THE MIGHTY MICROSCOPE WAS A LARGE MURAL SHOWING A SLIDE OF A SNOW CRYSTAL WITH LABELS OF THE STAGES OF SIZE. A CIRCULAR LIGHT WOULD TRAVEL TO THE CENTER EVERY SO OFTEN AND TRAFFIC CONTROL VOICES AND SOUND EFFECTS WOULD FILL THE ROOM AS IF SCIENTISTS WERE CONDUCTING THIS EXPERIMENT ON THE DISNEYLAND GUESTS AND NOT A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL. NARRATOR PAUL FREES WOULD POP IN NOW AND THEN OVER THE TRAFFIC CONTROL TO GIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE JOURNEY YOU ARE ABOUT TO TAKE.
ALONG THE WALKWAY THERE SMALL SHOEBOX SIZED BOXES WITH A LENS WINDOW TO SEE A PREVIEW OF WHAT IS TO BE SEEN INSIDE THE RIDE. THESE SMALL DIARAMAS WERE LIT UP INSIDE WITH A PAPER OR FABRIC CUT OUT OF CRYSTALS OR MOLECULES AND LITTLE CARVED PEOPLE SITTING IN AN ATOMMOBILE CHAIR (LIKE THE ONES INSIDE THE SMALLER TUBE HEADING TWARD THE PETRI DISH) WOULD POINT OR LOOK AT THE ITEMS BEING SHOWCASED. THE WALKWAY TO THE ATTRACTION IS STILL VERY MUCH THE SAME AS THE NEW ATTRACTION "STAR TOURS".
AS YOU ENTER THE MIGHTY MICROSCOPE IT IS VERY DARK AND THE ATOMMOBILE SHAKES SO YOU CAN'T FEEL THAT LEFT TURN IT MAKES. YES, YOU DON'T REALLY GO FORWARD TO THE SMALLER PART OF THE MICROSCOPE THAT HAS THE SMALLER ATOMMOBILES IN THE CLEAR PORTION OF THE MICROSCOPE.
AS YOU MOVE IN THE DARKNESS SMALL SNOWFLAKES APPEAR AT THE TOP OF THE CEILING (PROJECTED FROM HIDDEN SOURCE) AND YOUR CHAIR TILTS BACK TO SEE THEM. AS YOU MOVE FORWARD THE CHAIR SPINS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM TO SEE MORE LARGER SIZE SNOWFLAKES PROJECTED ON A HUGE WALL ALL AROUND YOU. THE NEXT ROOM HAS GIANT "PHYSICAL" SNOWFLAKES AND CRYSTAL SETS THAT WERE BUILT TO GIVE THE ILLUSION OF SIZE. SOME OF THE LARGE CRYSTAL MODELS HAD SMALLER SNOWFLAKES PROJECTED IN THE CENTER OF THEM AND ROTATED. I SEEM TO REMEMBER THAT THE CRYSTAL SNOWFLAKE ROOMS WERE COLD TOO.
AS THE CAR WOULD MOVE FORWARD YOU WOULD SHRINK SMALLER AND THE CRYSTALS WERE MADE BIGGER UNTIL YOU COULD GO INTO A TUNNEL OFHANGING MATERIAL REPRESENTING GROUPS OF ATOMS. THE RIDE TOOK YOU INTO GIANT SETS OR PROJECTIONS OF ATOMS ALL AROUND YOU IN MANY LARGE ROOMS. THE ATOMMOBILES WOULD MOVE FROM ROOM TO ROOM AND WOULD HIDE THE TRANSITION IN COMPLETE DARKNESS. THE REST OF THE RIDE HAD LARGE OVAL SHAPED ROOMS ABOUT 10-20 FEET TALL AND 50 FEET WIDE WITH THOUSANDS OF MOLECULE PROJECTED ON THEM FROM MANY HIDDEN PROJECTORS. BEING IN THESE ROOMS WITH ALL THE ATOMS MOVING ALL ABOUT GAVE A SENSE OF FLOATING MOVEMENT AND A SLIGHT DIZZY FEELING. (KIND OF LIKE THE SPINNING TUNNEL IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TOUR BUT A LOT SLOWER)
THE TRIP FINALLY ENDS WITH MEETING THE CENTER OF THE MOLECULE AND REACH THE GIANT ATOM. IT MAKES A HEART BEAT SOUND AND BLINKS IN SINK WITH EACH BEAT. THE NARRATOR NO LONGER WANTS TO GO ON SHRINKING SO ITS TIME TO REGAIN NORMAL SIZE. THE CHAIR ROTATES AND TILTS BACK TO AN END OF A MICROSCOPE. AS YOU PASS BY YOU CAN LOOK FAR UP INTO IT AND SEE A GIANT EYE BALL MOVING LEFT AND RIGHT LOOKING AT YOU. (THIS FREAKED ME OUT AS A KID!)
THE NARRATOR SAYS "WERE BACK ON VISUAL AND WERE RETURNING TO OUR NORMAL SIZE" THE RIDE WOULD END THERE AND YOU COULD SEE THE SMALL BUBBLES PROJECTED ON THE WALL TO SHOW THE SNOWFLAKE HAS MELTED. NOTE: THE SAME EXACT BUBBLES PROJECTION ARE USED IN IT'S A SMALL WORLD RIDE AT DISNEYLAND CALIFORNIA. IT IS IN THE MERMAID SECTION IF YOU LOOK FOR IT.
THE CHAIRS LET YOU OFF IN A DISPLAY AREA OF PRODUCTS MADE BY MONSANTO AND A GIFT SHOP FOLLOWED.
A small sign outside of the attraction that read "Adventure thru Inner Space and 'Miracles from Molecules' Presented by Monsanto. Admission free." Guests would then enter through one of three turnstiles to begin curving past 8 display pods showcasing Monsanto product and miniature key scenes from the ride ahead. Ominous music, sci-fi sound effects and a deep voice narration played in the background while voices of a tracking crew were heard speaking technical jargon: "Phase orange. Forward units obscured. Cannot, repeat, cannot locate Atomobiles...still no evidence of Atomobiles. Critical phases continue precision scan procedure." A 33 foot long by 16 foot high electronic tracking board showed the guests the target of their trip. On the tracking board, there was a giant, blue snowflake with an orange and red center.Concentric rings of white light were on behind the snowflake. Each would turn off in sequence to give the illusion of dark rings pulsing towards the snowflake's center. The most impressive feature in the queue was a massive, 37 feet long and 12 feet high, microscope designed by George McGinnis. The microscope was officially named the "Mighty Microscope" and bore a Monsanto logo. Those waiting to board the continuous line of Atomobiles which carried them into the "Mighty Microscope" could see inner space travelers apparently shrinking as they moved passed a transparent section of the microscope. Through this transparent section one could see miniature Atomobiles complete with miniature people moving upwards to the tip of the microscope that was focused on a slide where a snowflake flurry was occurring. The miniature Atomobiles were passing by at the same speed as the actual guest-loaded Atomobiles and a flashing white light seen by the miniature Atomobiles mimicked one seen at the entrance of the big Atomobiles into the microscope. All this helped the illusion of guests shrinking which often scared the impressionable children waiting in line."
"Above the loading area, a sign read "Monsanto welcomes you to the world of the molecule." Guests stepped from a turntable platform that revolved synchronized with the smooth moving Atomobiles. The speed of the loading turntable was adjusted to run 10% slower than the unloading because it was discovered that people always hurried to try boarding vehicles up ahead. Built by Arrow Development, the 123 vehicles would travel on a hidden tubular steel track on rubber tires and depart every 3 seconds. The track was 682 feet in length and the vehicles moved at a speed of 1.2 miles per hour for a 6-minute ride. This allowed up to 3,275 guests per hour to experience the trip. Sixteen electronic motors from General Electric were located in pairs along the route boosting the chain of vehicles along the track. Riders would never lean forwards or backwards as tilting was done to compensate where the track inclined or descended enhancing the feeling of floating. The serious onboard narration, performed by Paul Frees, was heard from 3 speakers within the vehicles behind the heads of the riders. The narration was divided into separate blocks that would get triggered at 14 different route locations. This would ensure proper synchronization at all times. The attraction included 5 other separate sound systems within the route. Separate ethereal score parts and sound effects were heard playing in each scene outside the Atomobile. Some of these sounds were known as "color tones" because they combined lighting effects with orchestrations in a synchronized pattern. The combined effects of the cold temperature, sounds close and distant, flashing lights, pulsing bursts of air, the emotional narration, the faint conversations of the "tracking crew", and the rotation of the vehicle, in the dark, towards new scenes through a universe of complex images formed the context for the story of an adventure through inner space.
After entering the darkness of the "Mighty Microscope," the Atomobile turned to face backwards and entered an all white tunnel of snowflakes projected from several hidden sources onto the tunnel walls. The tinkling music of falling snow was heard as a voice began to narrate: "For centuries, man had but his own two eyes to explore the wonders of his world. Then he invented the microscope, a mighty eye, and discovered the fantastic universe beyond the limits of his own meager sight. Now your adventure through inner space has begun. Through Monsanto's 'Mighty Microscope' you will travel into the incredible universe found within a tiny fragment of a snowflake. I am the first person to make this fabulous journey. Suspended in the timelessness of inner space are the thought waves of my first impressions. They will be our only source of contact once you have passed beyond the limits of normal MAGNIFICATION." The word "magnification" became a loud and reverberating echo, as snowflakes grew larger to reveal their delicate structure. The larger snowflakes were dimensional and some moved and spun. The snowflakes grew larger and larger and seemed to crowd in closely.
"I am passing beyond the magnification limits of even the most powerful microscope. These are snowflakes, and yet they seem to grow larger and larger, or can I be shrinking…shrinking beyond the smallness of a tiny snowflake crystal? Indeed, I am becoming smaller and smaller!" At this point the huge overlapping shapes seemed to lose their resemblance to snowflakes and appeared as solid prisms of heavy, layered, six-sided, towering walls of ice cliffs. They clustered around the route to form a tunnel for the line of Atomobiles. "These tiny bits of snowflake crystal tower above me, like an enormous wall of ice. Can I penetrate this gigantic prism? And yet this wall of ice only seems smooth and solid. From this tiny viewpoint I can see that nothing is solid, no matter how it appears. And still I continue to shrink."
The corridor opened into an area filled with lacy, shimmering patterns going in every direction. This web work, which appeared to be an infinity of two dimensional, six-sided honeycombs, gave way suddenly to total darkness. "What compelling force draws me into this mysterious darkness? Can this be the threshold of inner space?" From all about a frantic staccato plucking of violin strings was heard as guests were surrounded by countless fleecy spheres, each of them consisted of two smaller spheres attached to a larger one. The spheres were multiplied by the use of mirrors. "What are these strange spheres? Have I reached the universe of the molecule? Yes! These are water molecules, H2O. They vibrate in such an orderly pattern because this is water frozen into the solid state of matter."
As guests continued to shrink, they saw whirling, orbiting lights spinning at fantastic speeds within the molecules. "These fuzzy spheres must be the atoms that make up the molecule. Two hydrogen atoms bonded to a single oxygen atom. And I see it's the orbiting electrons that give the atom its fuzzy appearance." As if breaking through a dense cloud of meteors, guests reached the universe of the oxygen atom. "And still I continue to shrink! Is it possible that I can enter the atom itself? Electrons are dashing about me, like so many fiery comets! Can I possibly survive?" When the violent breakthrough into the atom was over, the stillness and vast emptiness within was in great contrast. "I have pierced the wall of the oxygen atom. I am so infinitely small now that I can see millions of orbiting electrons. They appear like the Milky Way of our own solar system. This vast realm, this is the infinite universe within a tiny speck of snowflake crystal." The Atomobile turned towards the mysterious nucleus of the atom that throbbed with bursts of air and flashing light in the guest's direction while emitting a synchronized booming sound like the magnified beating of a human heart. "And there is the nucleus of the atom. Do I dare explore the vastness of its inner space? No, I dare not go on. I must return to the realm of the molecule before I go on shrinking forever!" The snowflake began to melt reversing the journey as thousands of projected, vibrating H2O molecules blended into bubbles. "Oh, how strange, the molecules are so active now. They have become fluid…freed from their frozen state. That can only mean that the snowflake is melting." As the reverberating effect of the word "melting" faded away, guests found themselves in a room with a giant microscope's scope looking down at them. As they passed in front of it, they saw a detailed, huge, animated human eye looking from high above.
The tone of the narration changed to signal the end of our adventure. "Yes, the snowflake has melted but there is no cause for alarm. You are back on visual and returning to your normal size. This has been one of many exciting adventures through inner space in a never-ending search for new ways to rearrange molecules for the benefit of mankind. Now, in our display area you will see modern miracles created by rearranging the molecules of not only water, but of air, coal, petroleum and many other raw materials. This is Monsanto."
Miracles from Molecules
Guests exited into a post-show area named Miracles from Molecules. The Atomobiles circled the spectacular "Fountain of Fashion" before unloading into the display area. The Sherman brothers' song Miracles from Molecules played on a continuous loop. Five animated cartoon posters showed situations representing five of the major markets Monsanto serves: agriculture, home furnishings, apparel, transportation, and construction. More than 2,000 Monsanto products were displayed in 24 glass-encased displays that rotated continuously to create a "Rainbow of Products." Towards the back, a 12 foot high "World Clock" showed the locations of 90 Monsanto facilities around the globe. This illuminated instrument depicted the world in an extended North Polar view and showed the time of day for any given point on the world map. The "World Clock" didn't last too long and was replaced by more displays. Big letters on the wall now read "Monsanto, products from molecules working for you" where the top of the "World Clock" once stood."