Turning the Lights On the Space Mountain Team at Disneyland Park

Hannah Torres

by , Internal Communications Professional Intern, Disneyland Resort

Some say a roller coaster is all about speed. Others say it’s all about the twists and turns that make your head spin. But on Space Mountain, the thrill ultimately comes from the pitch-black intergalactic ambiance.

“I love the ride because it really does feel like you’re immersed into space and it really does feel like you’re dodging asteroids,” says Lynelle Dizon, a fairy godmother’s apprentice at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

But the real question is: what happens when someone turns on the lights?

Last week, Disneyland Resort cast members had the rare opportunity to answer that out-of-this-world question. In honor of National Roller Coaster Day, 150 cast members were randomly selected to ride Space Mountain with the lights on as part of an exclusive Magic Backstage offer. Cast members celebrated the evening with backstage sneak peeks and photo opportunities.

The unique ridership opportunity gave cast the chance to appreciate the intricate mechanics that make Space Mountain the E-ticket attraction it once was and continues to be after more than 40 years.

Space Mountain cast members pose in front of the attraction
Space Mountain cast members celebrate National Roller Coaster Day as a team.

“Riding with the lights on is not an experience you get to have every day. It’s exclusive to our cast and I’m very happy they get to have fun with us and do something they don’t get to do very often,” says Space Mountain lead Sarah Moore.

Cast members pose in front of Space Mountain with a rocket photo prop
Members of the Space Mountain leadership team enjoy the late-night photo opportunity.  

Space Mountain outside machinist Mitch Veintimilla is one of the many third shift cast members who are considered the heroes behind the coaster. He shared the most gratifying part of his efforts on the Facilities team that help keep Space Mountain in tip-top shape. “When we work on the rides, a big part of it is safety. It’s really helpful to know that when my family comes on the ride, it’s safe,” he says.

Facilities cast members pose in front of Space Mountain with a Disneyland Ambassador
From left: Eddie Arreola, Mitch Veintimilla and Disney Ambassador Mark Everett King Jr.  

Eddie Arreola, a Space Mountain outside machinist who works alongside Mitch, had advice for those who may be looking to join the team. “You have to be interested in the mechanical aspect of things and really being passionate about working with your hands.”