The Original Space Mountain
This space-themed roller coaster, and fan favorite, can be found in all five of Disney's Magic Kingdom-style Parks. All five versions of the attraction have different queues and tracks, but all of them share that famous domed exterior, a space age exterior facade reaching into the sky. After seeing the popularity of the Matterhorn in Disneyland, Walt Disney was convinced that thrill rides had a place in his park and had plans drawn plans drawn up for the Space Mountain attraction. However plans don't always come together the way we hope, and the original Space Mountain opened January 15, 1975 at the one and only Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
In 2009 Space Mountain underwent a refurbishment and in November of that year opened with refurbished trains, tunnels, lighting and story elements; and then in 2010 was upgraded once again with "Starry-O-Phonic Sound." This particular new soundtrack composition is exclusive to the attraction at Magic Kingdom Park and plays varying sound effects throughout all "flights".
Guests at WDW board the ride vehicles in the Space Port, which is enclosed within the giant hollow dome itself. In their single file rocket seats, they depart the Space Port, past the loading area, queue, and the Mission Control Booth they make a brief stop through the purple lit tunnel before climbing the lift hill. Next the vehicles wind down a small and enter a tunnel of circular and flashing blue lights, while a repetitive sound, meant to signify a building of energy, propels the trains along the track then the real ride can begin. A quick dip and you're sent plunging into many twists and speeding turns as you're sent racing through the dome in near-complete darkness.
Space Mountain originally opened with RCA as it's sponsor, and they presented Space Mountain as an actual exhibit, more so than the complete experience that it is billed as now. In 1994 FedEx took over, but didn't do much to enhance the attraction other than changing the sign and adding some video footage. FedEx dropped their sponsorship of the ride in 2004, and it has remained without a sponsoring corporation ever since. Though, we're pretty happy with how Disney has handled the refurbishments of this attraction all on their own.
Thanks so much to Joe Penniston and Peter Lee for the use of their great photography through Creative Commons. Space Mountain is a classic Disney attraction that's a draw for fans all over the world. It's the first stop on our FastPass list when we enter the Magic Kingdom and makes for a thrilling way to start out your day. Are you a fan of Space Mountain? What do you think of the latest enhancements that have been mad? Leave a comment and let us know!