Disneyland's Autopia. Copyright Disney.

Disney To Replace Gas Cars at Autopia

Disneyland’s Autopia is a theme park relic. While the opening-day attraction is still popular with some younger guests, most avoid it. I haven’t ridden Autopia (or Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland Speedway) in over a decade. I’m not a fan of 6.5 mph top speeds and the inevitable exhaust-induced headaches. Fortunately, Disney is doing something about those headaches. Well, not right away. But in a few years, Autopia will be ditching gas cars in favor of EVs or hybrid vehicles (it has to be EVs, right?). This news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Bob Gurr, the Imagineer who helped design Autopia in 1955, said it’s time for the change:

“Get rid of those God-awful gasoline fumes”.

Bob Gurr to the LA Times’ Sammy Roth

Gurr went further in his conversation with Roth. He not only wants the EV update but would also like to see Tomorrowland transformed into a “hub for stories about renewable energy, public transit, and other sustainable technologies that will help us create a better tomorrow.”

Bob Gurr is a Disney icon.

Today, Disneyland announced other initiatives the company is taking to meet its environmental goals outlined in 2020. It’s currently electrifying its entire fleet of over 400 vehicles, used both in the parks and backstage. They’ve converted 10% of the vehicles in the past year.

Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland
Mark Twain Riverboat runs on recycled biodiesel

Main Street vehicles, Jungle Cruise boats, the Sailing Ship Columbia, and Disneyland Trams all use compressed natural gas instead of diesel. The Disneyland Railroad and Mark Twain Riverboat are powered by biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil. 1,400 solar panels help power Radiator Springs Racers. Finally, the Monorail has been a zero-emission attraction since it opened in 1959.

Radiator Springs Racers
Radiator Springs Racers is powered in part by 1,400 solar panels

I love seeing these initiatives, but I want to see more concrete details about when Autopia will be getting rid of those gas cars. Whenever it happens, guests walking near that attraction won’t miss the putrid air.