One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind… those words would unite the global community, inspire decades of interest in the space program, and cement the intrigue with space travel in our collective psyche. While certainly not the feat of landing on the moon, WDW’s Space Mountain would set thrill rides on an entirely new course and define a new class of theme park attraction forever.
Space Mountain took Disney Imagineers on a journey full of challenges like they’d never encountered before, but the emerged triumphant with a classic attraction that is still as popular today as when it opened in 1975.
One of a handful of rides that debuted at WDW in Orlando instead of at Disneyland in Anaheim, Space Mountain was a long time in the making. Uncle Walt has a dream to build an outer space themed coaster but the technology just didn’t exist in the 1960’s. by 1975, computer technology had advanced to the point where his dream was finally possible, and Space Mountain became the world’s first roller coaster controlled by a computer!
The tubular steel coaster track (adapted from the design of the Matterhorn Bobsleds track, which was the first of it’s kind in the world) was assembled indoors – another first! The enclosed indoor coaster concept has since been copied many times the world over, but when you ride the Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain, you’re riding a piece of history!
As a front-runner in so many ways, it’s suiting that it is one of the first attractions to implement WDW’S new Memory Maker on-ride face recognition technology!
Read more about Space Mountain in our Coasters & Thrills issue WDW Magazine!