Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

1964 New York World’s Fair Futurama Ride

Written by Christopher • September 30th, 2009
1964 New York World’s Fair Futurama Ride

General Motors was (believe it or not) a pioneer exhibitor back in mid-century USA, often with the technical assistance of Walt Disney’s Imagineers.

Their Futarama attraction, was created for the New York World’s Fair in 1939, and it was brought back and updated for the 1964 World’s Fair which offered its riders a glimpse into what life in the year 2024 would be like.

Here we follow a young boy as he explores a lunar base of operation, an Antarctic weather forecasting center, undersea exploration, set to the typical, positive 1960s, happy-go-lucky thinking about the future of American design and living.

The ride itself was one of the most popular attractions at the fair with over 25 million passengers during the 6 months it was open. The building which housed it was one of the largest buildings ever built for a World’s Fair.

Source Flickr   
worlds-fair-1964-futurama-1

Christopher

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

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  • Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a time when both that kind of positive thinking and looking forward to the future were so abundant? There’s so much negativity and disappointment now.

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  • @Jennifer I totally agree with you.

  • I visited this exhibition when I went to the fair in 1965 (it ran two years instead of just one). This was one of my favorite exhibits — thanx for the video link!

  • Here is a video of GM's Futurama from 1940. It is quite interesting to see how their vision evolved in 20 years: http://curatedmatter.org/2009/07/19/dreams-of-p

  • Thanks for posting!

    One possible correction: I don’t think Disney had anything to do with this exhibit. GM did talk with Disney, but ultimately decided to build the exhibit on their own. Disney instead worked with Ford on their “Magic Skyway” pavilion.

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  • Disney Addict

    Thanks for placing this here! It brings back many memories. The young boy and I are about the same age. After seeing this I understand why I am so addicted to Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center.

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