Disneyland's Autopia ride goes electric

Jet Sanchez
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Autopia in 1996

Autopia in 1996

Autopia, one of the Disneyland California's iconic attractions, is set to undergo a significant transformation.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the beloved ride, known for giving young visitors their first driving experience, will be converting its fleet from petrol to electric (EV) or hybrid vehicles (HEVs).

Disneyland Autopia

"As the industry moves toward alternative fuel sources, we have developed a roadmap to electrify this attraction and are evaluating technology that will enable us to convert from gas engines in the next few years," stated Jessica Good, a spokesperson for Disneyland Resort.

However, specific timelines for this ambitious project remain undisclosed.

Autopia's legacy

Walt Disney Disneyland Autopia 1956
Walt Disney with Indonesian president Sukarno enjoying Autopia, 1956

Since its debut in 1955, Autopia has held a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts and Disneyland visitors alike.

Designed to simulate the experience of driving, Autopia offered many children their first chance to get behind the wheel. This attraction has been a rite of passage for young drivers, providing a blend of excitement and education about road safety and car operation.

Autopia’s significance extends beyond simple amusement.

Disneyland Autopia
Disneyland Autopia, 1995

At a time when America was enamoured with the open road and the automobile symbolised freedom and progress, Autopia captured the spirit of an era. The ride showcased the futuristic vision of a world connected by highways and personal vehicles, aligning with the optimism of mid-20th century America.

For car lovers, Autopia represents a nostalgic nod to the golden age of motoring. The attraction's early vehicles were styled after contemporary roadsters, embodying the sleek, innovative designs that defined the post-war automotive boom.

Over the decades, as the ride evolved, it continued to reflect trends in car design and technology, maintaining its relevance and appeal.


Disneyland Autopia

In addition to these updates, Disneyland Resort is poised for a massive expansion under the DisneylandForward project. Recently approved by Anaheim city officials, this multi-billion-dollar initiative aims to transform the resort over the next four decades.

The expansion plan, reviewed and approved by Anaheim's Planning Commission, will not increase Disneyland's existing 198-acre footprint.

Instead, it focuses on maximising the potential of the current space. This includes transforming a sprawling 20-hectare parking lot into a hub for new rides and entertainment options, while parking facilities will be relocated to a multistorey structure.

The goal is to develop new attractions and enhance visitor experiences, all within the resort's existing boundaries and in harmony with the surrounding residential areas.


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