Space Mountain is a roller coaster-style ride located in several Disney theme parks around the world. The ride, which simulates a journey through outer space, first opened at Disneyland in California in 1977.
The idea for Space Mountain originated in the early 1970s, when Disney was looking for new and exciting attractions to add to their theme parks. Disney Imagineer John Hench came up with the concept of a roller coaster that would simulate a journey through outer space. Imagineers presented this idea Walt Disney and he immediately saw the potential for such an attraction.
Construction of the ride began in 1974 and it officially opened on May 27, 1977. Of course, original version of the ride featured a single track that was 3,127 feet long. Likewise, it reached speeds of up to 28 miles per hour. The ride was designed to be dark and enclosed, giving guests the feeling of traveling through outer space.
Over the years, several versions of Space Mountain were built in other Disney theme parks around the world. Some of these parks include Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland. These versions of the ride have varied in terms of design and technology. However, they all share the basic concept of a thrilling journey through outer space.
In 1994, the original version of the ride at Disneyland closed for a major renovation and re-opened as Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon). This version of the ride was based on Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel “From the Earth to the Moon.” It prominently features a new track layout and special effects.
In 2005, the ride closed for renovation and re-opened as Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy, which featured new special effects and a new storyline based on a haunted space station.
In 2017, the ride at Disneyland closed for a major renovation again and re-opened as Space Mountain: Hyperspace Mountain, which features new special effects and a new storyline based on the Star Wars franchise.
Space Mountain continues to be a popular attraction at Disney Parks around the world. With its thrilling roller coaster experience, cutting-edge technology, and imaginative storyline, it is no wonder that Space Mountain has been a beloved attraction for generations of Disney park-goers.
The ride’s design and experience varies from park to park. For instance, the one in Magic Kingdom is the most similar to the original one at Disneyland. Also, the ride at Disneyland Paris is the only one that has two tracks and runs in parallel. This, of course, provides a unique experience for riders.
Overall, Space Mountain is a testament to the power of imagination and innovation. It is one of the first roller coasters inside roller coasters. Likewise, it set the standard for many similar attractions that followed. Its popularity and enduring appeal demonstrate the timeless appeal of the concept of space travel and the thrill of roller coasters.