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 a pioneer exhibitor back in the mid-century often with the technical assistance of Walt Disney’s Imagineers. Futarama was a ride at the New York World’s Fair in 1939 and was updated for the 1964 fair which offered its riders a glimpse into what life in the year 2024 would be like.

This promotional film by General Motors follows a young boy as he explores a lunar base of operation, an Antarctic weather forecasting center, undersea exploration and the typical positive 1960s 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 and the building which housed it was one of the largest buildings ever built for a World’s Fair.

Source Flickr   


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.

Find out more about Christopher

  • http://milliedeel.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    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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  • http://www.ultraswank.net Chris

    @Jennifer I totally agree with you.

  • http://www.SnokieStories.com/ buzz

    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!

  • http://curatedmatter.org/dreams-of-progress/ Christophe Bruchansky

    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

  • http://gregmaletic.wordpress.com Greg Maletic

    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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