5 Incredible Space Mountain Facts
Space Mountain, an outer space themed roller coaster located in the Tomorrowland section of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom first opened it’s doors January 15, 1975. This iconic ride is Florida’s oldest operating roller coaster and has a design that is somewhat an offspring of the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in California. So what makes this ride so special? Check out these 5 interesting facts:
1. There are two versions of the ride.
Yep, that’s right. When you get near the front of the line you can either go left or go right, depending on the direction you choose you will either be riding the Alpha or Omega Spaceship track. It [almost] doesn’t matter which side you choose as they are practically identical in every way. However the one difference is the Alpha side of the ride is 10 feet longer than Omega. The Alpha track measures 3,196 feet while the Omega track comes in at 3,186 feet. Truly not that big of a difference, but try to notice it the next time you ride.
2. It almost didn’t exist.
Walt Disney wasn’t fully convinced that fast “thrill” rides belonged in his theme parks. However that was until the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland proved to be a huge success. Once Walt witnessed the success the bobsled had he decided “thrill” rides were good.
3. It was the first computer controlled coaster.
Computers were used to create the path of each track. In fact the ride was actually conceived almost 10 years before it was built, Imagineers were just waiting for technology to catch up. Space Mountain was not only built using computers, but is controlled by computers as well.
4. It’s the slowest thrill ride at Magic Kingdom.
If you find that hard to believe, you’re not alone. Nonetheless it is true. Space Mountain clocks in at a max speed of 28 mph, while Thunder Mountain maxes out at 30 mph and Splash Mountain can get up to 40 mph! The only ride or coaster that is slower is the Barnstormer clocking in at 25 mph. The fact that this ride is completely in the dark makes it seem faster than it is.
5. Real astronauts worked on the ride.
Disney brought in Mercury 9 and Gemini 5 astronaut Gordon Cooper to be a consultant on the project. Thanks to his input Space Mountain remains one of Disney’s most popular rides at all of their theme parks. Therefore you will probably want to get a FastPass+ to ride this ride.