A Tomorrowland favorite, Space Mountain always has Guests racing toward it like the pull of gravity. Whether it’s the futuristic music, the beaming stars, or the turns and drops, many Guests look forward to this Magic Kingdom classic roller coaster that rockets them through space.
This attraction achieved a lot of firsts! Here are five facts you probably didn’t know about Walt Disney World’s Space Mountain!
Space Mountain Was the First Indoor Roller Coaster
Opened in Magic Kingdom in 1975, Space Mountain was the first dark ride roller coaster completely enclosed! This accomplishment set the bar for many roller coasters in the future. Now, 5 out of 6 Disney resorts showcase their own Space Mountain attraction (What’s the deal, Shanghai?) Would we experience the electrifying thrills of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster today if this hadn’t happened?
Space Mountain Was the First to Completely Rely on Computer Technology
This accomplishment was impressive for the 60s and 70s! With computer technology, the system can detect the weight of each vehicle and control the speed at which they move on the track. Track sensors ensure that each vehicle is at least one brake away from each other; if they’re not, the computer systems will slow down the vehicle. (Ever notice this happen when you’re in the middle of riding an attraction? Cast Members call this “cascading.”) This technology not only prevents collisions and keeps Guests safe, but also increases the efficiency of onloading and offloading. Good thing this procedure is commonplace today!
Spaceships Used to Be Glow in the Dark
Many adults swear that Space Mountain had glow-in-the-dark vehicles in the 80s, 90, and through the 2000s. That’s because it was true! While there isn’t much research to suggest what made the spaceships glow in the dark (most guess blacklight), Guests could glow on their trip through outer space. Unfortunately, in 2009, the decal was faded out with its scheduled refurbishment. But many Guests agree that they prefer almost complete darkness, as it feels more like they’re in outer space.
Astronauts Were Consulted During Construction
Imagineers at Walt Disney World have a reputation to completely immerse themselves in research and theming in order to create authentic, accurate attractions. For Space Mountain, Imagineers reached out to Gordon Cooper, a real-life astronaut who was the first American to spend 24 hours in space, in order to understand how it felt to travel through space and replicate that feeling. Cooper was welcomed back, along with his other fellow Mercury astronauts, when Space Mountain opened in Disneyland.
The Top Speed Is Only 28 mph
Seriously? It feels like we’re going so much faster! This speaks to how much our mind builds up situations when our senses are distorted. The dark aura and the constant jerks left and right make us feel like we’re going a lot faster than we actually are. (Would you believe that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’s top speed is actually higher at 36 mph?)
Did you know Space Mountain is only 28 mph? Will that convince you to go on now? Let us know in the comments if Space Mountain at Walt Disney World is one of your favorites!