Find out the unique backstory of one of the most popular thrill rides at Disneyland park with these three out of this world Space Mountain facts.
A Tomorrowland icon, Space Mountain reigns as one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland Park, largely because of its unique setup. An indoor roller coaster in the dark, there’s a thrill that accompanies not knowing when the twists, turns, and drops are going to occur on a ride.
As you soar along the track in your coaster, you feel as if you’re flying through outer space. Although its speed tops off at a seemingly mild 35 mph, the darkness gives you the impression you’re traveling even faster.
Space Mountain’s Origin Story
Disneyland’s Space Mountain was the second of its kind, opening on May 27, 1977. The ride actually debuted at Walt Disney World first, two years earlier, in 1975.
Space Mountain was the second roller coaster imagined at Disneyland, and was inspired by Walt Disney himself, after realizing the success of Matterhorn Bobsleds. Walt had a vision for a space themed coaster, originally conceptualized to be called “Space Voyage”.
Space Mountain is home to five other Disney Parks, each boasting their own unique version, with the exception of Shanghai Disneyland. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about this galactic attraction.
1. Space Mountain Celebrated Its Astronaut Connection
Did you know that on its opening day, six of the original Mercury Seven astronauts were present at Disneyland? The prestigious list included the first astronaut to orbit the Earth, John Glenn.
After a refurbishment that took over two years, Space Mountain reopened with a new ceremony in 2005. The guest speaker was none other than the first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
2. Space Mountain Occasionally Changes Its Theming
In 2009, Space Mountain transformed into Ghost Galaxy during Disneyland’s Halloween Time celebration. Complete with different audio, ghost projections, and special effects, this yearly tradition lasted until 2018.
In 2015, the coaster morphed into a Star Wars theme, changing its name to Hyperspace Mountain, and incorporating a new soundtrack and visuals. Its theming would switch back and forth multiple times in the years to come, until 2020, after the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.
3. Space Mountain Experiments With Different Musical Styles
For the first nineteen years of its existence, Space Mountain didn’t have a musical soundtrack accompanying the ride. In 1996, two different genres of music–sci-fi horror and surf–were combined to create a more engaging experience for guests as they traversed along the track.
Before Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain came along with their own unique musical scores, the original soundtrack underwent some changes. In 2006, a different beat was added to the ride, along with a new name, Rockin’ Space Mountain.
After initially being given a calmer sound, the coaster eventually debuted with a Red Hot Chili Peppers rendition of their song, “Higher Ground”. There were also some visual changes to the ride, including strobe lights and projections of dancers.
Space Mountain Facts
Although Space Mountain is one of the older rides at Disneyland, it’s certainly not outdated. Through the years, it continues to attract one of the longest lines in the park for a reason.
It’s unique, outer space vibes, combined with flawlessly synchronized music and dark ambiance, make it a thrill that keeps you coming back for more!
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