Let's take a space voyage beyond our galaxy! Space Mountain is one of the most well-known Disney rides. The roller coaster zooms through the darkness and past stars; it's considered one of Disney's thrill rides for these reasons and more! With this secret history of Space Mountain, you'll learn all about your favorite Disney space ride.
The Secret History of Space Mountain
Space Mountain was first opened to the public at Magic Kingdom Park on January 15, 1975. The idea of the space roller coaster evolved from Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds! According to DisneyParkHistory.com, because of Matterhorn's success, Walt Disney was believed that thrill rides did belong at his Disney parks. He originally thought the roller coaster to be the centerpiece of a renovated Tomorrowland in Disneyland that included a "Space Port" area. Before the name "Space Mountain" was found, Disney Imagineers referred to the ride as "Space Voyage."
After Walt Disney's death, the Space Mountain idea was set aside until imagineers noticed Magic Kingdom had a serious lack of thrill rides, and the park was majorly popular among teenagers and young adults. Via DisneyParkHistory.com, after more land and technology became available, Space Mountain was set in the books! The Magic Kingdom mountain was originally to be built on the south side of Tomorrowland, but was decided to be placed on the "park's perimeter berm."
To celebrate the space roller coaster's opening, a marching band performed upon the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover tracks. Colenol James Irwin, who was the pilot of the Lunar Module on Apollo XV, made an appearance at the ceremony as the guest of honor.
Of course, Space Mountain went on to becom one of the most well-known Disney attractions in history. Today, the iconic mountain stands at every single Disney park in the world.
Disneyland's Space Mountain opened two years later after Magic Kingdom's. Disneyland Paris opened its own innovative version of Space Mountain on June 1, 1995, after its grand opening the day before on May 31st; the roller coaster went through a major refurbishment in 2005 to be renamed Space Mountain: Mission 2! Let's hear some fun facts about the secret history of Space Mountain.
Space Mountain Fun Facts
- Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain closed for a major refurbishment in 2009; some of the changes included replacing some of the track, placing a ceiling above the loading area, interactive games and new space rockets (ride cars)! Starry-O-Phonic music was also added to the ride.
- During the 2009 refurbishment, the roller coaster's post show was also changed to feature a baggage claim, lost and found, and more.
- Speaking of lengthy refurbishments, the Disneyland Paris Space Mountain's renovation in 2005 included adding new special effects and a sound track.
- With Disneyland's new Season of the Force in 2015, Space Mountain was taken over by Star Wars and transformed into Hyperspace Mountain; the temporary change features an X-wing star fighter battle (and it's AWESOME).
- According to InsidetheMagic.net, Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain's logo "Star Port Seventy Five" is a clever nod to the year the attraction opened!
- Look for the robot dog in the post show at Magic Kingdom; since RCA first sponsored Space Mountain in the beginning, the dog was RCA's mascot. After RCA's sponsorship ended, the dog still remains!
- Via DisneylandParis-News.com, Famous astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, made an appearance at Space Mountain's grand opening at Disneyland Paris.
- Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain has a top speed of 30 mph! It doesn't seem fast, but since the roller coaster is completely in the dark, you feel like you're really zooming.
- Every Halloween since 2009 Disneyland's Space Mountain has an overlay featuring an angry space ghost trying to cause mayhem for riders. The overlay is called Ghost Galaxy!
Hope you learned some stellar facts in this secret history of Space Mountain! Hop here for Space Mountain wait times, ride details and more! Be sure to check out our other secret history posts: Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean.