This week, the Disneyland Resort hosted a special visit to Disneyland park for retired Imagineer Bill Watkins, who was instrumental in engineering the Space Mountain attractions at both Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, as well as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Resort. As the ride engineer for these attractions, Bill designed their track layouts and vehicle chassis with a passion for physics and storytelling, helping to inspire the creation of these iconic attractions around the world.
Bill enjoyed a personal tour of Space Mountain and observed the operation, rode the attraction twice and met cast members. Now in his 80s, Bill contributed to a number of attractions at Disney Parks around the world and completed the first all-computer design of a Disney attraction with Space Mountain. He worked at Walt Disney Imagineering from 1966 to 1985, and oversaw mechanical design for the openings of Epcot and Tokyo Disneyland.
Bill had a fun morning and appreciated his visit to the attraction. He last visited during the 50th anniversary of Disneyland park in 2005, when Space Mountain officially re-launched with astronaut Neil Armstrong as the guest of honor. Since it opened, more than 250 million guests have ridden Space Mountain at Disneyland park.