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Space Mountain Attraction Update

posted on November 13th, 2009 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Space Mountain
We have more details to share about the Space Mountain attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park as renovation work wraps up.

As you know, the classic Space Mountain experience still exists — it’s just being updated with new technology and 21st century gadgetry. Inside the attraction, there’s new lighting as well as special “darkening” effects. And you’ll see updated color schemes for rocket capsules, line and load areas. Imagineers worked with Walt Disney World Facilities Asset Management for even more enhancements, including new paint, carpet, seat fabric and other décor elements.
Space Mountain
But what caught my attention during a recent walkthrough were details about track upgrades. It’s the same track layout and overall look and feel but workers integrated new technology into the track while not changing the classic Space Mountain ride experience. “As technology evolves, it helps us enhance those elements without losing any essence of the attraction,” Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Show Designer Alex Wright says.

You should also know that a ride photo system will capture guests during their space flights on Space Mountain. It’ll utilize Disney’s Photopass, a ride photo system allowing you to access, share and purchase photos during and after a visit. (Update: we’ve recently learned that Disney’s Photopass is not being used.)

Alex says he thinks you’ll be “pleasantly surprised” with the enhancements. The attraction is scheduled to reopen on November 22. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Jose on November 13th, 2009 at 11:38 am

I’m super excited now! The more I hear about it the more I can’t wait to ride it when I go for Thanksgiving. Keeping the look and feel of the “original” is very important but adding all the new 21st century effects is awesome. Great work guys!

WDW News Today


Lee on November 13th, 2009 at 11:45 am

Couldn’t have said it better myself. “Plussing” what was all ready there seems to have been a huge success from all the photos I’ve been seeing. Can’t wait to experience everything!


Tim on November 13th, 2009 at 11:53 am

The PhotoPass integration will be immensely valuable. It is valuable for the guests’ time and I think Disney will find it valuable on the bottom line. Perhaps it will be so much so that prices will fall. Remember, dreams can come true!


Max on November 13th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Putting the word “classic” as much as possible in your post does two things to me. One, it makes me sad that you’re not “modernizing” it, and two, it kinda sounds a bit creepy.

With that said, all the updated areas do look fantastic from what I’ve seen.


Deborah from MD on November 13th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I cannot wait….we are going to be ther on Thnaksgiving day and I will definitely ride this….Loved it before….this should really be a great ride…..


Jennifer on November 13th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

I love that Disney is not getting rid of the “old”…..but instead, their keeping it and just doing “updates”. My heart would be broken if any of the classic rides were torn down and forgotten about. Space Mountain is a true Disney experience!! I can not wait to go back to WDW! Space Mountain was closed when we were there this past May. My family and I are planning our next trip sometime in July 2010. Space Mountain will be our first stop in the Magic Kingdom Park! =]


Chad from NY on November 13th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Very interesting extension of the narrative throughout the queue. I am curious, however, if Tomorrowland will continue to be a 50’s nostalgic look toward Tomorrow (The Tomorrow That Never Was) or the Tomorrow Yet To Come (more in line with Innoventions).

Regardless, I’ll be blasting off in January. :)


Jacob on November 13th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Where is the on board audio?


Douglas from MD on November 13th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Can’t wait to experience the enhancements!! We’ll be at Walt Disney World next week. Very excited by this blog post!!


Tiffany from FL on November 13th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I can’t wait to ride this – will go to MK if DAK (Kali River Rapids included in itinerary) is too cold for me.


MousDad from VA on November 13th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Thanks again for more info. Things coming out gradually really are looking positive. You forgot to mention the snazzy looking astronauts!

So Thomas, really glad to hear you are/were in O-town. Would it be at all possible to divulge if the Star Tunnel music will be returning?


Mike from FL on November 13th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I’m glad to hear the track did receive some love. Once I heard it wasn’t being totally replaced, I was afraid this refurb would leave it complete untouched and just update the window dressings.


Evan on November 13th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Wait…keeping the attraction classic? Isn’t that like using obsolete tech? Like Lights of Winter?


Evan on November 13th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Despite that, this should be nice. I hope that we have new effects and some new lighting on the exterior of the now cleaned mountain. Kudos for performing that Maint…It hadn’t looked so good.


Timothy on November 13th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Has the attraction been prepped with additional supports so that on board audio can be added in the future?


Nick on November 13th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I agree with Evan completely


Travis from NH on November 13th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I second Timothy, will there be a chance for an on board soundtrack to be added later on since there is now new supports? Also going to second Evan on the exterior lighting. I really hope we can see some new LED lighting on the exterior, similar to the other SM’s world-wide.

Overall, it’s better than when it closed, but in my opinion, it still could’ve been a lot better. (see DL’s refurb) Still cannot wait to ride it in a couple of weeks during my Thanksgiving Trip. Also curious what “new technologies” have been added into the track. I’m not a genius on ride systems, but I don’t think there is too much to change (other than upgrading ride controls).


Hunter on November 13th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I like the new changes but you have to realize when something is classic and shouldn’t be changed. I speaking about the classic music of Space Mountain. The Star Tunnel music is wonderful and is classic Space Mountain. Don’t change the music it’s one of the best things about WDW’s. Speaking of Tomorrowland, bring back the old TTA narration. The old narration gave the ride, and entire area, such a rich theme and great detail. Bring back the old spiel because it’s another definition of classic Disney.


Jonathan on November 13th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

While preserving the classic rollercoaster experience is welcomed in my opinion because this is the original Space Mountain, what about the windows along the corridor in the fastpass queue, have those all been spared but updated? I know the standby queue now has video games. Also, is the ambient area music within the queue still preserved?


Stephen on November 13th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

The new queue area looks really good, and it should be great now that the ride is darker. However, the lack of Photopass is a shame – a real wasted opportunity. I guess that means that none of the other rides (other than Test Track) will be converted over to Photopass either?


Tyler from MA on November 13th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

From the CM reports I am hearing,this sounds great!

Good Job!


Rozi on November 13th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Are the imagineers redoing the rockets?I remember on there were paint cans on the back used for a model and accidently put it on the real rocket. In a way, I hope they keep the paint cans on for a classic look and a cool fact.


Tsz from ON on November 13th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I am disappointed the “upgrade” did not include on board music or new track (like Disneyland had).


Roger from TX on November 13th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Are the ride rockets the same? Someone told me that they were going to be like the ones at Disneyland where the riders are side by side instead of in frontof each other. Is there any official word on this?


Linda on November 15th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Wondering if the background music is the same…judt love the Star Chamber theme song


Tim on November 16th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

The changes that they did make are very impressive. I just wish we had seen more changes to the ride itself. A few more months of downtime and a few more dollars could have meant on board audio and a modified re-entry tunnel.


David on November 17th, 2009 at 1:03 am

I heard the same rumor as Roger from TX. That the rockets have been changed where the riders are side by side instead of in front of each other. Is this true?


Dirk from FL on November 24th, 2009 at 11:54 am

youtube has answers. Unless they censor this post……..


Dirk from FL on November 24th, 2009 at 11:58 am

A Space Mountain Poem:

You may wish to know what things will be like
Or you may not want to know until you are there
Uthers will not care
To know what is in store
Unless you a fanboy
Be our guest
Every guest

So please please me and I’ll please You
In the Name of Love
New Moon on Monday
Gotta go
Leave me alone Mrs. Vanderbilt
East street toodle ooo
Free me
I want you to want me


Dirk from FL on November 24th, 2009 at 11:59 am

Thank you. No harm in that, right?