May 3, 2001
Anaheim, CA -- The Disneyland Resort announced that the Rocket Rods, the centerpiece attraction of the new Tommorrowland is permanently closed. Closed since September 2000, the Rocket Rods to undergo a major rehab in preparation for a Spring 2001 reopening.
"Conceptually, this was a wonderful attraction," said Cynthia Harriss, Disneyland Resort President. "However, the complexities of operating Rocket Rods in a way that makes sense for the resort while providing our Guests with a memorable experience simply have not come together. Our best recourse is to close Rocket Rods and start over with something that will be more conducive to the space requirements and that will be more widely accepted by our Guests."
Harriss noted that the high-speed attraction was never able to perform to its designed show standards, mainly because it was retrofitted to an attraction track designed for a different type of ride. In addition, the attraction produced exceptionally long wait times for boarding.
"We look forward to putting our heads together with our Imagineering Partners to create and deliver an outstanding attraction to our guests at this location at some point in the future," Harris said.
The Rocket Rods debuted in May 1998 along with the opening of the new Tommorrowland. Only weeks after the debut the Rocket Rods were shut down due to maintenance problems and remained closed throughout the summer.
The attraction reopened in Fall 1998, but continued to be plagued with maintenance and performance problems that resulted in frequent closures. The problems with the ride often resulte in long lines often exceeding two hours. Many Disney fans predicted the Rocket Rodes demise from the beginning, citing unconfirmed design changes due to internal budget cuts.