Adventure Thru Inner Space,
presented by Monsanto Company, was
an attraction in Disneyland's Tomorrowland.
It was the first attraction to utilize Disney's Omnimover
Thru Inner Space opened on August
5,1967 as part of the New Tomorrowland, and
closed in 1985 to make way for Disney and George Lucas's new Star Tours attraction, which opened in early 1987.
attraction was narrated by Paul Frees
who also lent his voice to the Haunted
attraction, another Omnimover attraction which is still
open to this day.
The attraction was designed to simulate humans shrinking to a size
smaller than an atom (the "inner
"). As riders waited for their journey into the atom, they
were able to see other riders entering one end of the Monsanto
Mighty Microscope. The other end of the Monsanto Mighty Microscope
had a glass tube in which miniaturized riders could be seen moving
across. The microscope was aimed at a panel beyond which snow could
be seen falling.
Upon boarding their 'Atommobiles', riders were greeted by the voice
of an unseen scientist (Paul Frees
explained, "I am the first person to make this fabulous
journey. Suspended in the timelessness of inner space are
the thoughtwaves of my first impressions. They will be our
only source of contact once you have passed beyond the limits of
The Atommobile entered the Monsanto Mighty Microscope and began to
shake back and forth as the riders entered the darkness. As their
vision returned, the riders saw giant snowflakes all around them,
some still spinning as they fell. As they continued to shrink, the
narrator exclaimed, "I am passing beyond the magnification
limits of even the most powerful microscopes. These are
snowflakes — and yet they seem to grow larger and larger.
Or can I be shrinking — shrinking beyond the smallness of a
tiny snowflake crystal? Indeed, I am becoming smaller and
The snowflakes took on a crystalline form, eventually becoming
large enough to cover the entire field of the riders' vision.
Approaching the walls of ice crystals, the voice of the unseen
scientist marveled, "These tiny bits of snowflake crystal tower
above me — like an enormous wall of ice. Can I penetrate
this gigantic prism? And yet, this wall of ice only seems
smooth and solid. From this tiny viewpoint, I can see that
nothing is solid, no matter how it
appears." Indeed, it then became
obvious to the Atommobile riders that the ice crystals were not
solid, but a lattice-like structure that they pass
through. "And still I continue to
shrink! What compelling force draws me into this
mysterious darkness--can this be the threshold of inner
Next, we encountered a matrix of spheres appearing in columns and
rows of infinite length. "What are these strange spheres?"
asked the narrator. "Have I reached the universe of the
molecule? Yes, these are water molecules —
H2O. They vibrate in such an orderly pattern
because this is water frozen into the solid state of
As we continued to shrink, the molecules became larger, and took on
a peculiar Mickey Mouse shape. "These fuzzy spheres must be the
atoms that make up the molecule — two hydrogen atoms bonded to a
single oxygen atom. And I see that it's the orbiting
electrons that give the atom its fuzzy appearance. And
still I continue to shrink."
The scientist wondered, "Is it possible that I can enter the
As the atommobile entered the atom, a storm of
lights flashed past on all sides at impossible speeds.
"Electrons are dashing about me — like so many fiery
comets! Can I possibly survive?"
Suddenly the frenzy of the electrons passed, and the rider found
him or herself in a large, empty space, surrounded in the distance
by a sphere of slow-moving lights. "I have pierced the wall of
the Oxygen atom,"
says the Narrator. "I am so infinitely
small now that I can see millions of orbiting electrons.
They appear like the Milky Way of our own solar system.
This vast realm, THIS is the infinite universe within a tiny
speck of snowflake crystal."
A large pulsating red ball could then be seen inside the atom.
"And there is the nucleus of the atom! Do I dare
explore the vastness of ITS inner space? No, I dare not go
on. I must return to the realm of the molecule, before I
go on shrinking...forever!"
The riders then began the return journey to full size, but were
soon greeted with the sight of water molecules swirling rapidly. At
first the scientist was confused: "Ah, how strange!
The molecules are so active now! They have become
fluid — freed from their frozen state. That can only mean
that the snowflake is melting!"
Around us we saw molecules
moving faster as their temperature increased. The molecules were
depicted in green and yellow, with occasional star-shaped flashes
"Yes, the snowflake has melted,"
intoned a scientist's
voice (also (Paul Frees
)), "But there
is no cause for alarm. You are back on visual, and
returning to your normal size."
The riders could see evidence
of the scientist's monitoring as they passed under a large
microscope through which they can see his giant eye.
Having returned to normal size, the riders disembarked and passed
by displays of Monsanto's advances in material science before
exiting the attraction building.
Miracles from Molecules
of the WED attractions of the 1960s including "It's A Small World", the Carousel of
Progress and the Enchanted Tiki Room, Walt Disney assigned
his staff songwriters, the Sherman
Brothers, the task of writing an opening and closing song for
the "Adventure Thru Inner Space" attraction.
That song was
Miracles from Molecules
and bridged the ride message of
adventure with the Monsanto company's mission statement.
The idea of the attraction goes as far back as 1957, when Walt
Disney introduced a concept for an atomic-themed exhibit in
on the Disneyland
television show episode, Our Friend The Atom
. Plans for
the attraction were put on hold for the 1964 New York World's Fair
the success of the fair, the atomic-themed attraction was
green-lighted for the New Tomorrowland project. It would stand
where the "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Exhibit/Mosanto's Hall of
Chemisry" building stood.
When the ride opened, it was the first ride with an Omnimover
system. It was a free attraction unlike most ticket attractions and
was sponsored by Monsanto. Irene Kasmer, using Monsanto fabric,
designed the uniforms of the attendants. In 1977, Monsanto ended
their sponsorship for the attraction. All visual and audio
references were removed, (except for the end line, "This is
Monsanto") and the Monsanto Mighty Microscope's Monsanto logo was
replaced with a logo that says "The Mighty Microscope".
The Monsanto posters advertising their products were replaced with
Disneyland posters. All the items in the display area were taken
away and the gift shop took over all the area of the old post show
area. Finally, the Monsanto "Fountain of Fashion" that dripped oil
down strings tightened to it, was replaced with a series of
sculptures that looked like two plates put together with a
snowflake on them. However the shape of the old fountain/oil lamp
was reused in the new sculpture. The attraction was finally closed in 1985
to be replaced with Star
Tours in 1987.