first experience with ATIS was at age three.
I have defiantly been scarred in some weird way from
ATIS. Maybe this website is sort of therapy for me to get at the
ATIS out of my system! For some odd reason Adventure Thru Inner
Space has stuck with me even long since they closed the ride down
in 1985. When I was little I really thought it was REAL! My first
memories of ATIS were of a dramatic (and later fun) experience as
a child that I have never forgotten. I'm sure there are other people
that have had the same similar episode that I had when they were
a child and seeing the Mighty Microscope for the very first time.
I remember being about three years old and my parents
took me to ATIS in Tomorrowland at Disneyland California. I remember
sinking the feeling I got when I first ran (ahead of my parents)
inside the attraction and saw this weird lab experiment going on.
I saw people in chairs going into a strange laser type machine that
was positioned toward a large bubble hanging from the ceiling. I
quickly glanced up to the tapered end of the clear tube. I saw that
people were being shrunk down smaller than the size of one of my
12'' GI Joe action figures. The little people were headed to the
small end of the laser that pointed to what looked like snow in
a clear glass bubble dish. I realized that the people were being
shrunk to nothingness and put into this bubble with snow in it!
I needed to get out of there!
As panic struck my chest my heart began to pump.
I quickly turned around and ran strait for the exit as my parents
were coming in. My Dad caught me by my arm and held me tight as
I tried to run. I screamed "No! Let go! I don't want to shrink!"
as I reached for the entrance stall and held on pulling away for
dear life! My Mom and Dad kept assuring me that everything would
be okay and that you don't really shrink. I didn't believe her since
the evidence is right there in front of me. How can she be right?
I am seeing it with my own eyes. I kept screaming and crying "No!
I don't want to go! I don't want to shrink! I don't want to shrink!!!"
My Dad pulled me hard off the turn stall where I lost my grip. My
strength at three years old is no match for my father. He pushed
me from behind as my body went stiff and my feet went sliding along
the floor. I tried to escape again but my Dad held my shoulders
from any movement but forward. The entire time we walked down the
path to the evil machine my Mother assured me that nothing would
happen and we wouldn't be hurt. I couldn't understand why people
would willingly walk to this machine and get in one of these blue
chairs to be shrunk to nothing. As I walked closer I noticed that
people that were boarding the ride were not scared at all and some
of them were even smiling. I remember that this really confused
me as a child.
We were now waiting in line and I stared at the little
people moving along the clear tube in the shrinking machine. The
people had no movement and they all looked frozen as they looked
forward as if they could see something ahead. They seemed to be
not in any pain. Just then I noticed I could hear over the loud
speaker with some announcers or scientists that were talking about
the riders that have been shrunk. They were talking about the tiny
atomobiles and that they are somewhere in the snow bubble dish with
the snowflakes. I remember that somewhere during the audio one of
the scientists says that one of the atomobiles is missing and that
they are unable to find them. "I don't want to get lost in
that snow bubble!" Panic hit me again but now it was too late.
We were now boarding and there was no way I was getting out of going
inside this thing.
As we entered the darkness I kept looking around
for the clear tube so I could see out to the entrance of the ride
but I could see nothing but pitch black darkness. I figured that
when you shrink inside this machine you can't see out from inside.
I saw some snowflakes rotate slowly by. My chair turned and I could
see larger ones spin past my chair. I remember thinking "This
isn't so bad. It doesn't hurt to shrink." We then see giant
snowflakes with smaller ones slowly rotating inside another one.
I thought we were really small now. Then we entered darkness again.
I was able to see small floating glowing spheres that looked like
the Mickey Mouse silhouette logo. They seemed to be going on forever.
Then our chair spins around and I could see larger ones with moving
black and white lines in them. We then enter an area where hundreds
of red, white and yellow electrons were dashing about really quickly
in front of us. They made whipping noises as if a small stick was
being whipped around cutting the wind. After more rooms of molecules
went by we finally reached the center of the atom itself. It blinked
like a heart beat and emitted a bright red light. I started to get
a little panicked again as we approached it since it looked so powerful.
Luckily we pass right by it with nothing to worry about except one
We move by a large tube that has a large eye looking
down at you. Yikes! A giant eye! I froze in my seat. I wanted to
know who was looking at us while we were so small. Maybe it was
one of those scientists that were talking at the entrance of the
ride? After we exited the ride I was so happy to have made it out
alive and at normal size again. The big blue chair moved around
a large oil lamp with a twisted string around it with little oil
dripping down each string to the base of the structure. I thought
it looked cool. After exiting the ride I begged my parents to take
me on it again. We did and I loved every minute of it!
As years went by I made it a point to make
sure we rode what was now called "The molecule ride" until
I was old enough to read and it became "The Adventure Thru
Inner Space" ride. I was in 10th grade in High School when
the ride closed in 1985. I was sad to see it leave as many others
were. It was always talked about whenever we made trips to Disneyland.