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O'Hare underground walkway - Space Mountain?

O'Hare underground walkway - Space Mountain?

 
Old Nov 10, 2004, 1:12 pm
  #1  
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O'Hare underground walkway - Space Mountain?

Anybody else feel like the undergound walkway between United's B and C terminals has sort of a Space Mountain feel to it?

I kind of like it (it makes me want to go to Disney World), but maybe it's time for an update. Is United responsible for the decoration of this area?

Maybe they could use some input from their frequent flyers...
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by illa bells
Anybody else feel like the undergound walkway between United's B and C terminals has sort of a Space Mountain feel to it?

I kind of like it (it makes me want to go to Disney World), but maybe it's time for an update. Is United responsible for the decoration of this area?

Maybe they could use some input from their frequent flyers...
What's up with that quasi United theme music?
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by mshafrir
What's up with that quasi United theme music?
Er, I like United and ORD but hate this music in the tunnel - the harmony doesn't progress (unlike the original rapsody in blue), which is very frustrating. Last Saturday, I had to hear it many times since I was alone for 3 hours and had nothing to do other than walking around the terminals.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 1:42 pm
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The F/As generally call it the "disco tunnel", so it has different memories for different users, apparently
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 2:09 pm
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After oodles of trips through ORD (my "home" airport), all the tunnel means to me is:

"Sir, your flight leaves out of gate C##." (Internal translation: "Oh cool, I get to go through the tunnel.")

Overheard on Channel 9: "United ### requests taxi to gate Charlie ###" (Internal translation: Sh!t, have to go through that d*mn tunnel--I just wanna go home!!!)

Those wavy side walls could probably be filled with top-notch Vegas strippers and I wouldn't even notice since I quit taking in the scenery about 10 years ago!

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Old Nov 10, 2004, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Starman
The F/As generally call it the "disco tunnel", so it has different memories for different users, apparently

I like to call it the tunnel of "Stand right Walk Left" with some one who can not read in the middle tunnel
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 2:44 pm
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Sadly enough after all these years, I don't even think about it. I do agree the walkways need to be widened.... excuse me..... excuse me.... excuse me/....
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 2:46 pm
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Maybe I am off a little, but didn't United's new terminal at ORD open in 1989? If so that tunnel is 15 years old!!

Last edited by Triple7; Nov 10, 2004 at 2:47 pm Reason: wrong date
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 2:46 pm
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You've got good eyes at recognizing Disney design elements, illa bells. Because there is a connection between that tunnel and Disney.

This is from a previous post I made on the ORD tunnel:

United's O'Hare Terminal with the B to C tunnel is considered by most to be one of the greatest architectural accomplishments of our time, and it has been ranked as one of the 10 best works of American architecture completed since 1980, by the American Institute of Architects.

It was designed by Helmut Jahn, of the architectural firm of Murphy/Jahn.

And yes. They are "still around" and doing very well.

I love "The Tunnel" and I'm glad you and your child do too letiole. Most folks do although some repeat customers do often say it can become irritating after a while. Of course the intention was to add beauty and distraction to the otherwise boring and utilitarian nature of such a loooong underground passageway. In this I think it succeeds, but not as much as it might have. Why? Because I happen to know a bit about how this little project was originally intended and designed.

You'll notice those lighted panels on both sides of the tunnel? Those are "Band-Aids" of a sort. They cover-up what was never completed. You see, at the time of it's design, United was in talks with Disney about becoming the new Corporate Alliance "Official Airline of Disneyland and Walt Disney World." United put Jahn in touch with Disney's Imagineering division and they jointly planned on creating some nice 3 dimensional "vignettes" of scenes of various cities that United flew to, in all these "windows" on the sides. Similar to what some might remember from the old "Delta's Dream Flight" attraction in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Part of this collaboration was the creation and design of the neon rainbow transition sculpture running the length of the corridor, by noted neon sculpture/artist Michael Hayden of California, who had worked on a similar rainbow piece for Disney...a popular curving rainbow tunnel...at the "Image Works" section of the Imagination Pavilion at Disney World's Epcot, that was sponsored by Kodak (colors=Kodak=natch).

Well, the Disney marketing partnership just didn't work out, and money got a little tight with cost overruns on other parts of the project, so snip, snip...cheap little plastic color backlit panels now cover what might have been. But Hayden's wonderful rainbow neon artwork remained (titled "The Sky's The Limit" if anyone cares), and an "otherworldly" original composition of Rhapsody In Blue was created by composer William Kraft, and synchronized by computer with the color changes of the neon, for the final effect, which both artists share credit for.

Something I, and most folks I take through, enjoy. I sometimes think the original concept with the scenes of the world, would have been "too much" anyway. Today it accomplishes most of what it set out to do: Provide some minor distraction for that long, long 2 minute transition between terminals. If you're thinking about it, like it or not...it's doing it's job!

The system was deliberately designed to be easily reprogrammed for different music and lighting effects. I guess if they get back into the black someday, they should consider dusting-off the control panel, commissioning some new music, and changing the lighting/synchronization on occasion...so it's not quite so "stagnant" an experience for repeat visitors.

And turbocharge one of the Speedway ramps in each direction to provide a more thrilling ride for those in a hurry or are a bit more game. "Please look down. The moving walkway is about to....Whoaaa!

http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildi...al-O_Hare.html
I just went through it this morning, and I still enjoy it (although several of the escalators leading to it are down for maintenance today).

Last edited by PremEx; Nov 10, 2004 at 2:58 pm
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 3:37 pm
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I like it (when I'm not in a tight connection), my kid loves it (all the lights + the big dinosaur!!), and since Puff Daddy made it the centerpiece of his first mega-video it has taken on a new hip vibe in my mind!

Premex's description of what could have been with those panels would have been great! Though they would require periodic updates, such as to remove Venice and Auckland pictures and replace them with more Chicago or SFO vignettes
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Triple7
Maybe I am off a little, but didn't United's new terminal at ORD open in 1989? If so that tunnel is 15 years old!!
October of 1987, I believe.
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 4:29 pm
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I've been told it's more fun to be drunk in the NW tunnel at DTW than UA's tunnel at ORD.

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Old Nov 10, 2004, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by PremEx
I just went through it this morning, and I still enjoy it (although several of the escalators leading to it are down for maintenance today).
Excuse me, but the City of Chicago would like you to know that the escalators are not down for mere "maintenance;" in fact, they're undergoing "modernization."
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by mshafrir
What's up with that quasi United theme music?
Music? There's music? All I ever hear is "The moving walkway is now ending. Please look down". Far more annoying, and not nearly as catchy as "mind the gap"!
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Old Nov 10, 2004, 7:34 pm
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Is it normal to take 5 or 6 months to "modernize" an elevator?

I've passed through at all various hours of the day and have yet to see a soul working around there.
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