Walter Elias Disney, or as I call him, Uncle Walt was the Steve Jobs of the early 20th century. One of his simple little inventions, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority shows Uncle Walt’s engineering genius and how he was not only an artist but a wonderful inventor.
Way back when Walt started to make his first animated features he couldn’t get the look he wanted with the camera’s of the day so he just up and invented a new camera that revolutionized the way of producing animated movies. Disney’s multi-plane camera allowed lifelike scenery to look like it was in 3 dimensions. Even before that he invented the first sound cartoon. Up until that time all cartoons were silent but that didn’t work for Uncle Walt.
Then there is the modern day theme park. Walt took his daughter to a carnival. He found it dirty and not for families. He decided that day he wanted to create a place where families could enjoy a day together in a clean family oriented environment. Disneyland and all the modern theme parks were born.
As Walt started dreaming about his “theme” park he needed robots. So he went out and developed audio-animatronics. The first audio-animatronic figure was introduced by Uncle Walt at the 1964 World’s Fair. The rest as they say is history.
Maybe Uncle Walt’s most innovative creation is what we know today as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. This ride started out in Disneyland as a rather normal ride called the WEDWay People Mover which rode on regular tires and was propelled by normal engines.
When Walt moved east his vision included a whole new way for people to live (Epcot). He needed a transportation system for his city of the future so he developed a new kind of propulsion. Did you hear that? He invented a whole new kind of propulsion. Truly amazing. Walt was so far ahead of the world that only in the last 15 years of so has industry started using the linear induction motors that Disney invented 40 years ago.
Today’s most innovative rides, like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster are powered by the technology Walt created 40 years ago.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority shows us how Uncle Walt is undoubtedly the most accomplished inventor and artist ever. What a genius.