Ford’s Magic Skyway, New York World’s Fair, 1964
A six-pack of people sit tight in the lipstick red vinyl interior of a cool blue metallic Falcon Futura following a Galaxie 500 into a Walt Disney Adventure Through Time and Space. “Ladies and Gentlemen please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all time-and remember, no smoking please!” I can hear it coming out of the car radio speaker as they pass through the fractured arched entrance. And how much are we lovin’ that smart little hat on that junior miss in the front seat!
The ultramod, multi-faceted time tunnel is framed by hundreds of yards of sheer fabric diffusing the hazy day sunbeams streaming through enormous wall of glass. I see at least one air condition duct in the time tunnel and that’s a good thing because no one wants to bake to death in their Ford motor car-time-machine-ride-vehicle on their way to experience Walt’s version of the dawn of life on land and far out future.
Barely visible in the distance outside the tunnel is the icon and centerpiece of the fair, the big globe officially called the Unisphere. Thankfully it stands to this day as a reminder of this two-year long worldwide corporate extravaganza of the absolute highest order. You can’t miss it while traveling between JFK and midtown Manhattan. SO-next time you’re in the neighborhood I HIGHLY recommend hoping out of your subway, bus, taxi, town car or limousine to experience it up close and in person. You won’t be sorry!
If the Unisphere isn’t Americana I don’ know what is! Once you get beyond the shock and awe of standing before this timeless sculpture step into the original 1939 New York Pavilion now called the Queen’s Museum, where memorabilia from both the 1939 and the 1964 New York Worlds Fairs are displayed-not to mention New York’s most underappreciated tourist attraction-an absolutely GIGANTIC scale model of Manhattan that was created for, and remains in place, from the 1964 worlds fair! You will never see Manhattan the same way again!
Now, as to the whereabouts of the remains of the Magic Skyway Through Time and Space. Only the dinosaurs survived. We’ve been enjoying them at Disneyland since 1966 every time we ride the train around the park. Yes, those dinosaurs. Who knew they were leftovers from the world fairs. Disney recycles too. Who knows what happened to the far out future?
Here’s to Ford, Disney, the Unisphere, leftover dinosaurs and YOU!