5 Space Mountain Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know

Britta StephensBlog

space mountain facts

Did you know these Space Mountain Facts, or are you in the dark?

Of all the mountains in the Magic Kingdom, the one that elicits the most wonder, nostalgia and possibly even terror is Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. Fearless tykes can’t wait to reach the 44-inch height requirement for takeoff! Moms and dads everywhere attempt to enjoy the attraction whilst hoping their nugget either in front of or behind them doesn’t create “Tomorrowland confetti”.

Whether you enjoy this attraction or it makes your tummy flip and you’d rather just snuggle to the Star Tunnel music on the TTA (like yours truly), Disney aficionados everywhere can agree—there is something truly special about Space Mountain. From the conception to opening day, here are a few things you may not have known about one of Disney’s original and most beloved attractions. 

1. Space Mountain is Not as Fast as You Think…

While the near darkness, out of this world theming and a few unforeseen drops may have you feeling as though you’re traveling at the speed of light, Space Mountain is one of the slowest coasters in the Magic Kingdom. 

space mountain Cliff Wang Walt Disney World

The Entrance to Space Mountain. Photo By Cliff Wang

Each rocket ship reaches top speeds of 28 miles per hour; to put it in perspective, it’s sister mountain, Splash, reaches 40 miles per hour upon decent, while Barnstormer, a kiddie coaster, moves only slightly slower at 25 miles per hour. 

2. Astronauts had a Hand in Creating Space Mountain

During the conception of Space Mountain, Imagineers recruited the voice of experience to aide in this vision of the future: Astronaut Gordon Cooper. 

Space Mountain Wayne Wood

Space Mountain is an out-of-this-world thrill! Photo by Wayne Wood

Having been to space, Cooper was able to provide top-notch insight into the authenticity of this attraction. Given its continued popularity, that has proven to be a choice well made. 

3. Space Mountain Truly Was Ahead of its Time

While Space Mountain was not an opening day attraction, it has good reason not to be – the technology needed to create this coaster was over a decade ahead of its time. 

space mountain facts mike billick

Space Mountain looms in front of a lightning strike. Photo by Mike Billick

Conceptualized and initially designed in the 60s, the technology for the dips, twists and intergalactic space travel just wasn’t available until 1975, when the ride officially opened. 

4. Not Quite the Fairest in the Land

It may be your favorite attraction from the inside out, but Space Mountain was built at its seemingly-colossus height of ninety feet to ensure it didn’t overshadow Cinderella Castle, which towers over the Magic Kingdom at one hundred and eighty-three feet.

Space Mountain queue Leah Sikes

Destinations ahead in the Space Mountain queue. Photo by Leah Sikes

While Space Mountain is widely known as the focal point of Tomorrowland, Cinderella Castle is the icon for the entire park and can be seen from numerous lands. 

5. Ground-Breaking Science!

True to Tomorrowland style,  this innovative land created the world’s first computer-operated coaster. Computers were not only used to create the path tracks, but also to control the actual ride. In a time when technology like this was just starting to grow, those Imagineers really did think of everything!

Tomorrowland is a journey through the past and into the present with impressive attractions like Carousel of Progress and informative, relaxing ride-throughs like the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

But when I think of this innovative land of the future, Space Mountain is the first ride that comes to mind. Whether it’s the first ride you eagerly skip to during a visit to the Magic Kingdom, or the last ride on your bucket list, Space Mountain is a work of Imagineering genius and truly a vision of Disney past, present, and future. 

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About the Author

Britta Stephens

Britta Stephens is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine, Disney blogger, hairstylist, and dog mom x2. The first book she ever read was Hans Christan Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and she's been a fan of Disney endings ever since. When she’s not fostering kittens, she can be found reading literature from a dog’s perspective and singing the opening of The Lion King to her greenhouse plants.