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Space Mountain is one of the most popular rides in Disney World Magic Kingdom, one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. With magical rides and a unique theme park experience, Disney has something for everyone in the family.
For most people, the roller coaster ride vehicle is a magical experience. But with some tips and tricks, you can turn Space Mountain into an even more magical experience. Let’s discover all about Disney’s most popular ride Space Mountain. It’s an indoor roller coaster that is an exciting, adventure-filled ride.
Origin Of The Ride In Magic Kingdom (History)
When Space Mountain opened in Tomorrowland, it was only the second attraction specifically designed for Magic Kingdom on January 15, 1975. The other is Country Bear Jamboree. Space Mountain quickly became popular, with guests enjoying the thrill of the coaster in the dark.
Space Age began in 1957 with Sputnik. Adding a space-themed land to an amusement park became necessary after the space age to attract more teenagers. However, Disney needed something more than simply a space-themed land. The land also needed an out-of-this-world ride to complete the experience.
John Hench, the Imagineer, and legend behind the design of Space Mountain was inspired by the Golden Age of Rocket Travel to create an attraction that would celebrate the excitement around space travel.
Space Mountain was a big deal when it was first constructed. It received a lot of attention from original Mercury Seven astronauts Scott Carpenter and Gordon Cooper and Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin, who all attended the opening of the roller coaster.
Rising to a sloping, cone-shaped peak 183 feet above ground level, Space Mountain contains 4,508,500 cubic feet — capable of holding a small skyscraper in its interior. The adventure has a base diameter of 300 feet and took two years to build. In basic structure, the mountain is composed of great ribbed slopes — 72 massive pre-stressed concrete beams forming a gigantic sealed cone.
Each of the 74-ton concrete beams was cast near the Space Mountain site and then hoisted into place by mammoth cranes to complete the cone. Each shaft is 117 feet long and is 13 feet wide at the bottom, and 4 feet wide at the top. Guests are amazed that the maximum speed of this thrilling ride is 28 mph, and the attraction delivers high-speed thrills.
When the attraction was finally given the green light, Mercury 9 and Gemini 5 astronaut Gordon Cooper joined the Space Mountain creative team as a consultant. There’s no denying that Space Mountain is a timeless favorite for guests of all ages and remains one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World.
The Space Mountain ride trains have two rocket-shaped cars. Each car has three rows of seats, meaning there is space for six riders per train. From 1975 to 1989, train cars only had two rows instead of three. Each row had two seats, similar to the Matterhorn Bobsleds, where one passenger sat before the other. The capacity for each train was eight riders.
While the original plan was to have four separate tracks, two separate tracks were laid out due to the limited technology at the time and space limitations in Disneyland. In 1989, the trains received a cosmetic makeover to align with the original design. However, some key features remained the same, like the two rocket cars that were joined together. The newer trains also introduced the use of lap bars for safety purposes.
This design evolved over time and eventually settled on a T-bar shape in 1998. The original color scheme for the trains was white, but they were given a new blue and gray paint job during the 2009 refurbishment.
Concept And Design
The concept for Space Mountain came from the first Disney “mountain” attraction, the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, which opened in 1959. The Matterhorn’s success showed Walt Disney that thrilling rides could be successful at his park. Space Voyage was the original name of the concept.
Walt first approached designer John Hench with his idea for a new attraction in 1964. This new attraction would be the focal point of a renovated Tomorrowland planned for 1967. Walt Disney’s death and the shift in focus to the Disney World project forced WED to put aside Space Mountain.
The Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971, and was a huge success. Its unexpected popularity with teens and young adults prompted WED to begin planning thrill rides that would go in the new park. WED partnered with Arrow Development Company to ultimately create Space Mountain.
The computing technology had improved significantly since the initial design phases, and the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland had the right amount of available land. Space Mountain Tomorrowland went through a large number of various design changes before the selection of the current state of this popular attraction.
Space Mountain Site
The Space Mountain attraction brought the feeling of outer space into the world at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Out of the eight roller coasters of Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom has four of them.
Space Mountain is the oldest operating roller coaster ride vehicle in Walt Disney World, and it now has new ‘off-board’ music and sound effects for a unique in-ride experience. Starry-O-Phonic Sound is an enhanced audio experience with thrilling sounds.
When designers saw Walt Disney World’s Space Mountain’s success, they returned to their original plan and built one for Disneyland. Two years and $20 million later, the complex opened on May 27, 1977. It included the roller coaster, the 1,100-seat Space Stage, the 670-seat Space Place (fast food restaurant), and the Starcade.
Space Mountain was also open to guests when Tokyo Disneyland opened on April 15, 1983. Until 2006, this version of Space Mountain was an exact clone of the Disneyland ride. However, it received a facelift to make it look more sci-fi and futuristic. The new spaceport features a spaceship hanging from the ceiling. As with the Walt Disney World version, the seats have no ride audio.
The version of Space Mountain Attraction at Disneyland Paris opened on June 1, 1995. It underwent modifications in 2005 and became Space Mountain: Mission 2. This journey was slightly different from the first as it took riders beyond the Moon to the very edge of the universe. In January 2015, the ride closed for another refurbishment and reopened in August 2015.
Hong Kong Disneyland
The Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland is similar to Disney’s refurbished Space Mountain at Disneyland, with a similar soundtrack and layout. However, the loading area for the attraction is relatively small compared to most Space Mountains. Additionally, there is no Space Port present. Instead, the queue for the attraction is decorated with dark ride colors, neon earth-tone planets, and star patterns. Lining the walls of the station are colored neon light bars that are used for lighting and decoration.
Relevance To Disney’s Movies
The authorities design Disney Parks concerning Disney’s movies, series, or even its early cartoon characters. The Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is one of those Disney Parks with four roller coaster ride vehicles. The Space Mountain building is featured as an Easter Egg in the Disney films Meet the Robinsons and Tomorrowland.
In both films, you can see the building in the background of several scenes. However, in Tomorrowland, the building is given a more prominent role. In one scene, you can see the building in the distance as the characters travel to the titular city. You can also see it in the opening sequence of Tomorrowland when Casey is looking at the world map.
Space Mountain Location In Walt Disney World
The famous Walt Disney World Attraction, presented by Federal Express, provides guests with high excitement and delights them with imaginative scenery from the world of space. Space Mountain is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World in the back of Tomorrowland. The roller coaster takes you through a space flight, and you can see the stars and planets whizzing by when your rocket ship goes through the star tunnel. There’s also a drop at the end, which makes it even more fun.
Space Mountain Requirements In Disney World
Disney World has certain regulations to prevent any inconvenience for getting on any of the ride vehicles. A cast member is present at each ride to ensure the guests follow all the rules. The Space Mountain ride is a thrilling roller coaster experience, and because of that, you cannot take any service animals with you in the queue area.
Space Mountain Height In Disney World
The height requirement for Space Mountain at Walt Disney World is 44 inches, and riders must be at least 44 inches tall to ride the attraction. Space Mountain is a high-speed, indoor roller coaster that takes riders through the dark depths of space. The attraction is one of the most popular at Walt Disney World, and riders must be tall enough to experience all the thrill and excitement.
Space Mountain Time In Disney World
These roller coasters have high wait times as they are popular enough in theme parks. To avoid these wait times, finalize your touring plans in off-peak times. Another way to minimize the wait time is to reach the first hour when the park opens and proceed to the main street of Tomorrowland. This ride is accessible via a standby line or as an individual Lightning Lane selection for an additional fee if you have a budget for these extra expenses.
Space Mountain Accessibility In Disney World
For guests who are using ECVs, they will need to transfer to a standard wheelchair first and then to the ride vehicles. Guests must be able to step into and out of the ride vehicles. Disney officials specially design ride vehicles for guests with disabilities. It also has a seatbelt and lap bar to accommodate guests of all sizes.
Rider Switch & Single Rider
Rider Switch is available for guests with small children who want to ride Space Mountain. With this system, one adult can wait with the child while the other rides, and then they can switch. Or you can come to the ride while your children play games at other attractions.
A Single Rider Line, meaning you would ride alone and enter this queue instead of the Standby Line, is unavailable for Space Mountain. Federal Express presents this dark ride for guests to get the most out of the outer space experience.
Roller Coaster Queue
Waiting in Queues is the worst part of any ride. Luckily the lightning lane option of Disney helps you save time and experience more rides in a day. The Space Mountain Queue has two tracks on its main street. The queue splits into two different tracks. One is the Omega track, and the other is the Alpha track. They are identical to one another, but Alpha’s track has an additional 10 feet of track for layout purposes.
Skip Space Mountain Lines With Genie+ In Disney World
You can use options like Lightning lane or Genie+ to skip lines at any ride in the Walt Disney World. To use a Lightning Lane entrance, Guests must select an arrival window through the mobile app before embarking on the attraction or experience. Lightning lane has proven useful to about 80% of guests when taking a vacation at the peak time of the year.
To stay safe on this thrilling adventure, it’s important to be in good health. You should also be free from any medical conditions that could be aggravated by physical activity or the environment. This includes high blood pressure, heart or back problems, motion sickness, etc. Please make sure you consult with your doctor before undertaking this adventurous ride and listen to their advice about whether or not it’s right for you.
Seating Arrangement In Ride Vehicles
When using the lightning lane option, make sure you are either by yourself or with an adult. The Space Mountain attraction’s dark ride is a thrilling experience and can be difficult to enjoy with your little ones.
Keep in mind that each vehicle has two cars that can fit a total of six guests each. You’ll be sitting in front of, between, or behind other guests, so if you have small children, you won’t be able to sit directly next to them. However, everyone gets their own lap bar for safety.
Space Mountain provides you with an amazing ride experience. By skipping the lines with the lightning lane option, you can easily get ahead of anyone to get this experience first. Guests must go through the star corridor tunnel to get to the ride. The ride vehicle will seat them, and they will explore the extraterrestrial beauty there.
As you prepare to blast off on your galactic adventure, you’ll ascend the 180-foot high mountain, passing the Mission Control booth along the way. Once at the top of Space Mountain, you’ll fly through the darkness as your rocket propels through deep space. While on the ride, a camera clicks your photos will and share them with your Disney experience account, where you can access them afterward.
Kids-Friendly Or For Adults
Space Mountain is a thrilling ride, but it isn’t for everyone. Some people find it scary because it is completely in the dark, and there are a lot of twists and turns. If you have a child who is afraid of the dark or doesn’t like roller coasters, they probably should avoid Space Mountain and stick to more kid-friendly coasters.
This ride is fast, comparable to other rides, and has some really scary turns, which isn’t advisable for children. Make sure your child is bold enough to ride the Space Mountain if you bring one along.
Space Mountain Post-Show IN DISNEY WORLD
The pre-show of Space Mountain is the only option where you can use the lightning lane. After getting off the ride, passengers walk back to Tomorrowland. The original post-show was RCA’s “Home Of Future Living,” which showcased how consumer electronics would shape our lives in a “typical” home of the future.
It also received major changes and upgrades along with the rest of the ride in 2009. Many of the rooms received renovations to appear more futuristic by current-day standards, as many previous renditions could’ve been considered outdated.
Interesting Facts On Space Mountain In Disney World
It is Disney’s first Space Mountain attraction operating since 1975.
Gordon Cooper, a NASA astronaut, helped Disney design this ride.
Astronauts from Mercury 9 and Gemini 5 took part as consultants to reflect the true nature of the ride.
It is Disney’s most successful project in all its locations, Tokyo, Hong Kong, California, and Paris.
It is one of the largest mountain attractions exceeding over 180 feet high and over 300 feet in diameter!
A live-action movie starring George Clooney is the inspiration behind the ride. The movie Tomorrowland is about a little girl discovering an unseen universe within Earth.
Use Genie+ during busier times of the year and lightning lane during slower times to purchase your ticket.