5 Facts About Space Mountain

by | May 20, 2018 | Disney History, Disney Parks and Resorts, Lists and Trivia

Space Mountain. The name alone evokes a sense of adventure and excitement. One of Disney’s most iconic Attractions, it has thrilled and delighted Guests for 43 years. It looks like nothing else in the world: a white, towering peak with radial lines and jagged spires that dominate the skyscape of Tomorrowland. Fans of the Attraction have an almost cultish devotion to the roller coaster. We at Celebrations share this passionate love and want to spread it far and wide. With that in mind, here are a few facts about the one and only Space Mountain.

1. Space Port
Though initially reluctant to include thrill rides in his parks, Walt Disney became more receptive to the idea after the success of Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds. The initial vision presented for the roller coaster that would become Space Mountain featured four tracks, but limitations relating to space and existing technology forced Disney to shelve the project.

2. The Magic Kingdom
Space Mountain debuted at the Magic Kingdom in 1975 and was immediately notable for being the first roller coaster completely controlled by computer. Disney hosted a major event for the opening of the ride, with NASA astronauts in attendance along with Mickey and friends decked out in astronaut gear. A 2000 member marching band performed at the event. A dedication plaque was placed at the base of the Attraction which read:

“ONE GIANT STEP… Dedicated to the men and women whose skills, sacrifice, courage and teamwork opened the door to the exploration of man’s exciting new frontier…outer space. Because they dared to reach for the stars and the planets, man’s knowledge of his universe, earth and himself has been greatly enriched. Presented by missile, space and range pioneers. January 15, 1975.”

As Guests entered the ride, they could hear the song “Here’s To the Future and You,” while viewing a variety of static images and short animated vignettes.

3. The Wild Mouse
Despite the futuristic exterior and the theming elements throughout the coaster, Space Mountain functions similar to the “Wild Mouse” roller coasters common to midways and amusement parks like Coney Island. Designed to maximize ride experience in limited space, these coasters rely more on flat turns and switchbacks than the drops found on larger coasters. The largest hill on Space Mountain is only a 39 degree angle and drops only 26 feet.

4. Speed
If you take away the flashing lights and the darkness, it might surprise you to find that Space Mountain moves relatively slowly. The coaster maxes out at 28 miles per hour in the Magic Kingdom version. Goofy’s Barnstormer is just a hair slower at 25 miles per hour. The sense of speed is enhanced by the near total darkness Guests ride in, combined with the occasional streaks of light and intense music.

5. The Home of Future Living
From 1975-1985, Space Mountain ended with RCA’s “The Home of Future Living.” A moving sidewalk guided Guests through the tour. It provided a glimpse into the “home of tomorrow.” Among the sights to see were: a young baby playing in a plexiglass crib while being photographed by robotic clown, a teenager enjoying the immersive “SelectaVision” simulator which gave him the experience of snow skiing, a mother shopping for dishes through an interactive screen, and several children watching a wall sized television set.

As Guests left the Attraction,they were again treated to a lyrical version of “Here’s To The Future and You.”
“Here’s to the future, here’s to the future, here’s to the future and you.
It’s a world full of color, of perfect harmony, a world full of music, a living melody.
The dreams of tomorrow are beginning today, it’s a world of discovery, the world of RCA.”