Space Mountain is a beloved attraction at Walt Disney World for so many guests. The attraction has been around for more than forty-five years and appears to be unwavering for guests in terms of popularity and their love and enjoyment for this roller coaster. It is a really unique and interesting attraction, too! Here are nine facts and secrets about Space Mountain:
9 – Attraction facts:
- Reaches speeds up to 28 miles per hour
- 44” height requirement
- Ride duration is 2 minutes and 38 seconds
- There are two different ride tracks
8 – World’s first indoor roller coaster.
This was the first roller coaster to be enclosed entirely indoors. That was an impressive feat for the time when this roller coaster was constructed. This created a new way to look at roller coasters, and now we see other indoor roller coasters around the world. Also, there are Space Mountain attractions at every Disney Park around the globe except Disneyland Shanghai.
7 – PhotoPass attraction.
The ride is a PhotoPass attraction, which means that photos are taken while on the ride. This is great for folks with Memory Maker since they get all ride photos added to their account with unlimited downloads at no extra charge. If you don’t have Memory Maker, you can still purchase the individual ride photos. Ride photos (and photos in general) are one of the best souvenirs that you can have, so it is terrific when you can capture a moment of Disney magic in time.
6 – Structural beams are outside instead of inside.
You will notice when you approach the massive building that contains Space Mountain that there are concrete structural beams on the outside of the building. This isn’t at all a usual practice in most construction plans because builders want to conceal the structural components within the inside of the design so that the outside is more appealing. So this made the design very unique. One of the main reasons for doing this when constructing Space Mountain was so that stars and lighting could be displayed on the ceilings and walls as part of your space-like transportation. You need smooth surfaces to really pull off the effect, and the supports would have taken up space on the inside and prevented a smooth surface.
5 – Intentional height of Space Mountain.
The height from the top peak of the building is 183 feet tall. It was built to this height so that it didn’t rival the height and level of impressiveness for Cinderella’s Castle since that was meant to be the most impressive focal point for the park. The building that contains the attraction is also 300 feet around, which is a huge and impressive building to contain this beloved attraction.
4 – First roller coaster to be controlled by computers.
The technology that was put into place for Space Mountain was new and completely cutting edge for its time. The computer systems put into place allowed the system to determine the weight within the vehicles and control the speed at which the ride vehicles moved through drops and different points within the ride. This is a common practice in place for almost every roller coaster that is constructed today, but that was unheard of during the time Space Mountain was built, making the attraction a real trendsetter and piece of roller-coaster history.
3 – Imagineers consulted astronauts when creating Space Mountain.
We know that Disney is known for the level of detail that the Imagineers go through to conduct research and create perfect experiences for guests with every detail considered. This is one of the reasons why the attractions are so immersive and beloved for years and years. When it came to building and constructing the Space Mountain experience, Gordon Cooper was consulted. He is a real astronaut that has gone out in space and provided a consultative role to help make the best experience possible. We can see that paid off with how popular the attraction continues to be after all of these years.
2 – The steepest slope of the drops within the attraction is 39 degrees.
I was shocked to learn this fact. When you are speeding through the dark into “space,” the drops definitely feel much steeper. I think this goes to show how much of an impact all of your senses play into enjoying an experience and the perception of the experience. It is so much more than just the drops and ride path alone.
1 – Parents tried to carry a baby on the ride in a duffel bag.
This is still one of the most appalling and sad stories that I have ever heard in regards to the crazy things that parents have been caught doing at a Disney park. There was a couple that were in line for Space Mountain with a duffel bag. They were questioned about the bag, and cast member noticed the bag moving. They were asked to open the bag and come to find out their young baby was inside the bag. The couple intended to get around the ride height requirements so they could both ride by smuggling the baby on in a duffel bag. They definitely won’t be winning any parent of the year awards and let us hope that this child is safe and sound today. It goes to show that there are reasons for every rule and reasons why cast members pay such close attention to guest actions, and thankfully they do.
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