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Ford's Magic Skyway (1964)

Illustration for article titled Fords Magic Skyway (1964)

Of all the major attractions at the 1964 World's Fair it seems Ford's Magic Skyway receives the least amount of chatter, ink and pixels in 2011. It wasn't moved to Disneyland like Carousel of Progress or It's A Small World, and it wasn't a sexy sequel like Futurama II. But it looked like quite the ride nonetheless.

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Narrated by Walt Disney, fairgoers hopped into Fords on a journey from the age of the dinosaurs to the invention of the wheel to a "highway in the sky carrying you across the boundless night and out into time and space." The audio-animatronic dinosaurs and cavemen of Magic Skyway would be familiar to anyone visiting a Disney park today, as Epcot's Spaceship Earth, Universe of Energy and World of Motion (R.I.P.) all look like they drew quite a bit of inspiration from this attraction.

At the end of the ride Walt's familiar voice proclaimed, "perhaps someday we'll be riding rocketships like those flashing overhead to anywhere in space. Perhaps someday we will drive jet-powered vehicles over weather-controlled highways in the sky like those spiralling tubes around you." Perhaps indeed.

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For more on Ford's Magic Skyway check out the video below.

The concept art above appears in Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show by John Hench.

This post originally appeared at Paleofuture.com.

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The Magic Skyway became the basis for the propulsion system for the People Mover, while the Dinosaur portion was shoehorned into the Grand Canyon Diorama/Primeval World attraction within the Disneyland Railroad