Disneyland's Autopia Attraction Is Dropping Gas Engines

disneyland autopia
Disneyland's Autopia Attraction Drops Gas EnginesDisneyland

Autopia is a classic Disneyland Park attraction where kids and adults alike can drive small, gas-powered cars on a scenic track around the park. Now, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times, after nearly 70 years of existence, the gas cars are on their way out.

Electrification is coming to cars large and small. And that may be extending even to kids' rides at amusement parks.

“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,” Jessica Good, a Disneyland Resort spokesperson, said in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

Autopia is the only existing Tomorrowland attraction dating back to Disneyland Park’s opening day in 1955. That was the year before President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which authorized the building of highways throughout the country. After that, America's fascination with highway travel grew, and the Autopia attraction played into that. The exterior design of the cars used in the attraction has changed over the years as automobiles evolved. But, the one thing that remained constant was that they always used gasoline engines. Now, as the automobile industry evolves, it stands to reason that Autopia will evolve with it.

For many kids, Autopia is their first chance to experience what it is like to be behind the wheel of a car. By the time a youngster who is driving an Autopia car today gets to the age that they can drive real cars, new, gas-powered vehicles may be few and far between.

At this time, there is no timeline as to when the gas-powered Autopia cars will be phased out. It is also not clear what will replace them. The new attraction cars could be hybrids, fully electric vehicles, or perhaps some third thing beyond our imagination. One thing we do know is that the new cars will have cleaner emissions. They are also going to be quieter. Disneyland currently describes the Autopia attraction as loud. When the new generation of cars takes the track, loud will no longer be an accurate adjective.

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