Space Mountain is a fan favorite among many of the guests who pass through the gates of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Located in Tomorrowland, the classic attraction is a dark coaster ride that features thrills from beginning to end.
It first opened in 1975 after really being years in consideration. Walt Disney himself envisioned a dark coaster ride a decade before for the expanding Tomorrowland section of Disneyland. His passing as well as the new emphasis on construction of Walt Disney World put the Space Mountain concept on the back burner.
But when the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World proved to be a success and teens and young adults were screaming for more excitement at the park, thoughts once again returned to the dark coaster concept. As such, plans were put in place for its initial construction to be included with the expansion of this Tomorrowland.
An iconic outer dome creates a 300-foot diameter structure which houses the ride. It includes two separate tracks that are almost identical with the exception of one being slightly longer to allow it to pass over the other.
Guests begin their Space Mountain journey in a long tunnel which passes under the Walt Disney World Railroad tracks actually taking them outside of the Magic Kingdom berm. Once in the closer queue area, guests are allowed to take part in an interactive game courtesy of a 2009 rehab that added the new feature.
The ride vehicles feature two cars connected together. Each car holds three people in individual seats lined one right in front of the other. After a slow lift up a hill, the vehicle is released for a quick 2-plus minute ride taking guests up and down the dark structure.
Space Mountain has had two sponsors since its introduction. First, RCA sponsored the ride from 1975-1993. In 1994, Fedex took-over sponsorship and the ride queues and signage were changed accordingly. Then in 2005, Disney continued the ride without a sponsor.
All five Magic Kingdom style parks around the world have added a Space Mountain ride since it was first introduced in Florida.
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Thanks to stecki who provided the video above. Note, the video was taken post 2009 rehab. Also, the ride itself is dark, so keep that in mind when watching the video.