Growing up in the Los Angeles area meant lots of trips to Disneyland. One of my favorite attractions at the time was The Adventure through Inner Space by Monsanto. This ride was in the location that now houses Star Tours in Tomorrowland. Your approach to the attraction was pretty exciting, the building was futuristic looking, and the peoplemover moving along overhead added to the set up. As you walked up to it and went into the building there was a winding queue area. Very modern looking (to a 10 year old kid). You would look up and see cars filled with riders that would seem to enter a machine of some kind, and then would come out MINIATURIZED! I remember looking so closely at the people in the cars (called Atom-Mobiles) that had been miniaturized. I was amazed and thought "Is it possible that I'll actually be shrunk like that?".
The voice of Paul Frees was perfect for this attraction. He sounded so technical, so serious, almost alarming. As you boarded your vehicle and got settled in, Frees' narration began and explained the adventure you were about to experience. I remember him saying something about his thought waves being suspended in this world (or something like that), and then he would tell you that his thoughts would be your only connection to the world once you passed the limits of "normal" magnification.... and then there you were!
He would explain how you were shrinking smaller and smaller. The gigantic snowflakes looked like big pieces of styrofoam but I was sold, we really were shrinking! With mostly cut outs and projections of flashes that were supposed to be molecule particles it was quite entertaining.
Finally a feeling of relief as the narrator would explain that they've tracked you and are bringing you back! You would look up and see a giant eye looking at you through a microscope. You were on your way home!
You would cruise past some displays of the Monsanto corp. and there was also a post show area which featured information about all that Monsanto does.
This ride was in Disneyland from 1967 to 1985, when it was closed to make room for the new Star Tours simulator attraction. I think one of the things that made it so popular, was that it didn't require a ticket! This was back in the days of the old ticket books (A through E tickets), and when you ran out of tickets, it was off to Adventure thru Inner Space!
I'm surprised that I didn't get kicked off of the ride when I went with my nephew (who is about 3 years older than me) and we were lighting firecrackers and throwing them in the ride... how we didn't get caught, I don't know, but yup, we were two obnoxious little creeps doing that! (We only threw about 3 during the whole ride).
This is one of those classic attractions that is missed by Disneyland fans. Star Tours being the incredible ride that it was (especially for it's time!) helped to take away some of the sting of losing such a beloved Disneyland ride.
If you never got to experience it, or want to remember it, here's a link to a youtube video that pays tribute to this great ride:
and here's a link to a great website about Monsanto's Adventure Thru Inner Space:
Yesterland: Adventure Thru Inner Space