So, one of the most popular attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort has gone into refurbishment for the better part of the year. This past Saturday was the last day to get a ride on Space Mountain, so we headed over to the park and got our FastPass.
Originally opened in January of 1975, is the original attraction that has now been replicated in all Disney’s parks around the globe. It also happens to be the oldest roller coaster ride in the state of Florida.
Although a direct descendant of the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland, the Imagineers felt that type of theming would not be fit in Florida’s version of Fantasyland. That is when they looked to the future and the Space Mountain concept.
It is one of the first signature E-Ticket attractions in Walt Disney World due to its unique characteristics; up until then, no one had tried to build a dark roller coaster ride.
Space Mountain is one of the most iconic in the Disney Range of mountains. Standing 183 feet tall it has a distinct architecture that can be attributed to John Hench (he also designed Cinderella Castle and became a Disney legend in 1990). Although the support structure would normally be placed inside the building, John insisted they be on the exterior so the inside roof would be smooth for projected imagery and created the forced perspective used so often in the parks design and increased the perceived height of the mountain.
That decision lead to the design of one of the most iconic structures in all of Disney’s parks. Second only to the castles themselves.
Some fun facts
- Top speed attained is 30 miles per hour
- Total ride duration is 2 minutes and 30 seconds (00:02:30;00)
- Track length is 2211.9 m
- Height requirements are 44 inches
- Original sponsor of the attraction was RCA
- The music now used in the attraction was composed by Michael Giacchino
Wrapping it up
Space Mountain is one of my all-time favorite attractions. There is a certain kind of rite-of-passage to go on it and I was happy to share that with my daughter, who loves it as much as I do. I look forward to the reopening of the ride and will be waiting in line to ride it that opening day.