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At Disneyland, Rocket Rods' Pit Stop Becomes Permanent

April 28, 2001|E. Scott Reckard

Disneyland's misfiring Rocket Rods, a ride that was the brash new star of Tomorrowland when that aging fun zone got a $100-million face lift three years ago, was closed permanently Friday.

The ride's demise was expected. Despite efforts by designers and mechanics, the Rocket Rods had suffered increasingly serious breakdowns. Announcing a lengthy rehabilitation in September, Disney posted a sign saying the ride would reopen come spring. But the sign was removed recently.

Rocket Rods burst forth May 22, 1998, its dragster-style vehicles popping wheelies and taking just three minutes to scream around a track built for the stodgy old People Mover, a 16-minute ride. But it was plagued with problems.

"The high-speed attraction was never able to perform to its designed show standards," Disneyland President Cynthia Harriss said in a statement Friday. The problem, she said, was a budget-conscious decision to run the high-speed Rods on the People Mover's unbanked track.

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