Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ride Review #1! Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom: Tomorrowland)

History of Space Montain: Space Mountain was originally inspired by the success of the Matterhorn which opened in Disneyland in 1959. Walt Disney wanted to create a similar style thrill ride for a tommorrowland makeover in 1967 and imagineers were commisined to design what would ultimately become Space Mountain in the mid-60's. Unfortnately Walt's death in 1966 and other circumstances of the time put the production of Space Mountain on hold. It wasn't until the early 70's that the design of the ride was continued. By this time Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom had opened and proved to be a perfect home for the new attraction since the addition of another Matterhorn ride was unfeasible. Space Mountain opened on January 15, 1975 under the sponsorship of RCA and went on to be a highly successful ride which has been repeated at all five "Magic Kingdom style parks" worldwide. Space Mountain has gone through a few renovations (most recently a major renovation in 2009) and changes in sponsors (RCA, then FedEx, and now sponsorless) through the years but it is for the most part still the same ride that has been a tomorrowland classic for over 35 years.

Space Mountain Review:
  1. Visual Themeing - Space Mountain is impressive to look at both inside and out. The pitch black interior of the ride exhibits the mystery and wonder of space while adding an extra thrill to a relatively tame roller coaster. The structure itself is an icon of tomorrowland and the entire Magic Kingdom Score : 9.5 out of 10
  2. Audio Themeing - The upbeat soundtrack fits perfectly with the space theme and thrilling nature of the attraction. It features over 100 sound effects which vary from ride-to ride on the starry-o-phonic speaker system. Score : 9 out of 10
  3. Story-Telling - Riders get the thrilling experience of blasting into space on board Space Mountain. The themeing of this attraction plays into the storyline very well and makes the ride what it is but the overall story of this ride is not as deep or detailed as other attraction Score: 7.5 out of 10
  4. Popularity - Space Mountain is one of the most popular rides in the Magic Kingdom. It regularly draws lines of over an hour even in light crowds which is extraordinary considering it is over 35 years old. Score: 9.5 out of 10
  5. Age Range - Space Mountain is relatively mild as far as modern roller coasters goes and therefore appeals to a wide range of people. Still it carries enough thrills to scare away some visitors Score: 7.5 out of 10
  6. Lasting Appeal - This is the oldest and perhaps the most popular of the Magic Kingdom's famed "mountain" attractions. It has still held a great appeal as it approaches its 40th birthday. It can certainly be considered a Disney classic Score: 9.75 out of 10
  7. Intangibles - Space Mountain stands out as the main attraction of tomorrowland. It shows how the Disney Magic can be effectively applied to thrill rides Score: 8.5 out of 10
Overall Score: 9 out of 10 - Inspired by original Disneyland attractions such as the Matterhorn, Space Mountain has its own magic and is one of the best Disney thrill rides of all time. It is a Magic Kingdom icon which has been popular for years in Disney parks around the world.

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