Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Celebrating 35 Years of Space Mountain at Disneyland Park

posted on May 27th, 2012 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Today marks the 35th anniversary of the landmark Tomorrowland attraction that became an instant classic when it opened on May 27, 1977.

Space Mountain

A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975. Construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland park began soon after.

Construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland Park in 1976

In this rare photo, construction continues on Space Mountain in 1976.

I remember riding Space Mountain the week it opened. That day, and in the years that followed, I was fascinated by the “com chat” in the queue. What’s your favorite memory from Space Mountain?

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

15 Comments

1

Steve on May 27th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

That was during my teen years. My friends and I memorized the sequence of turns “left, right, right, right, right, right…” and so on. I remember one time near the end of the ride one of us shouted “right”, but the car went left and we had a real good laugh over that one (as we stretched out our whip-lashed backs). we were always afraid to hold our hands up because it looked like we would touch the track above us.

2

Mitchell from IL on May 27th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I remember riding Space Mountain at WDW as a youth in the 70′s and 80′s. At the time I was fascinated with space travel and astronauts, and the radio talk in the background really got me psyched up for the ride. The fact that it was dark, and all you could see was brief glimpses of the other cars screaming by like comets was great.

3

Shannon on May 27th, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Making my best memory this summer when I take my 6 year old daughter on it for the first time!

4

Stephen from WA on May 27th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Space Mountain as the big event during our Grad Nite in 1977. We waited hours in a line that went to Main Street. We were so nervous for in those days Space Mountain seemed intense! Everyone we knew coming off it kept warning us, beware! We rode it and came off pale and wobbly legs! If the line wasn’t so long, we would’ve gone back!

5

Bill on May 28th, 2012 at 1:19 am

Was at the park on the 26th and got to ride it with the lights on then got a pass to ride it the next day.What a difference a day made.

6

Barbara from CA on May 28th, 2012 at 2:18 am

I always looked for the giant chocolate chip cookie-looking asteroid.

7

Sam on May 28th, 2012 at 4:58 am

Space mountain is the wonderful spot in Walt Disney World Resort. It has created a desire in me visit this place, it is very much enjoyable.

8

Danica on May 28th, 2012 at 9:02 am

My favorite memory is riding it with the lights on when I was training to work there in 2010… definitely something I will not forget.

9

Jon from TX on May 28th, 2012 at 9:43 am

I was lucky enough to have a best friend who’s father was an electronic tech at Disneyland. We were visiting on opening week of Space Mountain and he took us backstage and showed us there were two computers running the attraction. He explained that both computers had to agree on every decision involving operations. That was back in the day before everyone had a computer in their home. It was real DISNEY MAGIC. He also took us to the front of the line for our 1st run. The wait time was over 2 hours that opening week. I think of it every time I ride. And isn’t it amazing how many updates and changes have happened to this wonderful adventure in space? Keep it up, Imagineers!

10

Jim from OR on May 28th, 2012 at 11:42 am

I saw, and have photos of, the model of the track layout displayed at Disneyland and it’s fascinating to see what you can’t while you’re on the ride. I wish you had posted photos of that model as well as more construction photos. I do approve of the rehab that was done for the 50th, as the ride was even more spectacular due to the smooth new track sections, and the new lighting scheme. Hope it’s still as smooth and that they have finally fixed the light intrusion problem in Florida that I experienced in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 where you could see structure in a dark ride that you are not supposed to be able to see…but I digress. One of my favorites since it opened…

11

Terry from FL on May 29th, 2012 at 9:14 am

My favorite Space Mountain memory: Easter Sunday 1980, my barbershop quartet was invited to sing in the park on the Tomorrowland Stage in front of Space Mountain. After our set, we got in line for a ride on Space Mountain. When we finally get to the loading area and are the next party to board, the ride stops, the work lights come on and the soundtrack stops and it gets quiet. We are standing on the load platform and wait. Since we are still in our quartet costumes a cast member asks us to sing a song. We ended up putting on a 10 minute “show” for the captive “audience” surrounding us in the queue above. Everyone loved it and I doubt there are more than 3 others who can claim to have used the Space Mountain load platform as a performing stage!

12

William on May 29th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Great story/memory Terry from FL…thanks for sharing.

P.S. Did you ever get your ride on Space Mountain?

13

Kristan on May 30th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Awww! Such a great ride! I will always cherish my 1st try on it and instantly fell in L-O-V-E with this ride! i love my ride! Happy 35th to u the ride of my life!
THIS HEART IS FOR U SPACE MOUNTAIN!

14

Brendan on May 31st, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Loved the story Terry. I picture you guys on the ride screaming in harmony!

15

Danielle on May 31st, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Happy B’day, SM! I still kick myself for chickening out back in ’80. We were about to board, and after waiting a long line, I decided I just couldn’t ride. My parents were bummed out I’m sure! But I made up for it all these years later.

15 Comments