Well, if you are a Disneyland newbie or just a youngster, you may not have heard of this attraction. But if you have ridden Star Tours before, then you are halfway to experiencing Adventure Thru Inner Space. Star Tours actually replaced Inner Space in January 1987. Besides a facelift and change of theming, the queue area is almost the exact same. However, the attractions themselves are still very different.

Adventure Through Inner Space opened in 1967, almost exactly one year after Walt Disney’s death. Inner Space was an educational, yet fun ride. It taught riders about energy and frozen water. Riders were ‘shrunken down’ and taken through the Mighty Microscope. Inside, guests got to witness the journey of a snowflake. Those waiting in line could see those who just entered the microscope, but miniature versions! Guests weren’t actually made smaller in size though. This Mighty Microscope was technically a just very convincing illusion, but still exciting to say the least.

Sponsored by Monsanto

It was sponsored by Monsanto, which also sponsored the attraction it replaced called the Hall of Chemistry. Monsanto was a science-based company founded in 1901. Around this time, they were most known for their development of genetically engineered crops as well as Roundup–the weed-killer product. Monsanto desired to have the attraction explain one of their more complicated polymers. After some discussion though, Imagineers and Monsanto eventually agreed that explaining the process of frozen water was an easier concept for the average park guest to understand.

The Sherman Brothers wrote a song for the attraction called “Miracles from Molecules.”, which was even used as the slogan for Monsanto products at one point because the company loved the song so much.

Some Fun Facts

The Envelope of Protection

Sometimes guests would grab things within their reach on Adventure Through Inner Space. This obviously caused a few problems. This led to Imagineers creating what is now referred to as the “Envelope of Protection.” The envelope of protection is a specific distance required at which to keep the ride vehicles away from the show props so guests cannot tamper with them.


The omnimover vehicles on Adventure Through Inner Space were referred to as “atomobiles” (pronounced like “ATOM-mobile”).

Mighty Microscope

At the end of the Adventure Through Inner Space journey, the vehicles moved toward a giant eye that moved back and forth. This eye represented the person who was looking at guests through the Mighty Microscope.

Nods to Inner Space in Star Tours

Adventure Through Inner Space was housed in the building that now holds Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Pay attention while riding this ride today. In the queue, where guests see the star speeder, C3PO, and R2D2 is where the Mighty Microscope once sat.

Today, while escaping from the Death Star on Star Tours, the old Mighty Microscope can be seen on the right side of the screen. Blink and you might miss it!

Entrance to Adventure Thru Inner Space

Despite the major popularity of the attraction, it was still removed in 1985 to make room for the collaboration between Disney and Lucasfilm on the new motion ride. As would be expected, there was some backlash when this decision was made. However, the attraction has become somewhat forgotten in the last few decades, especially with the popularity of Star Tours and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. The Star Wars franchise only seems to grow at this point as well. So, despite the controversy and broken hearts of guests, it was probably the right decision.

Guests of today may look back and think Inner Space seemed boring or strange, but it was beloved among guests of its time. Because of that, Adventure Thru Inner Space will always be missed.