Taking a ride on Space Mountain with the lights on

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/31/taking-a-ride-on-space-mountai.html


In my memory that ride is a lot faster.


The darkness is the entire point, especially for a tall person who’s slightly worried his head might be knocked off by a girder.


After watching a few more videos both with lights on and lights off the Disneyland version seems to be a much faster and better ride. Maybe that’s the one you took?


After watching it again and taking a few notes and observations, I’m extremely impressed with the track layout. The initial climb is about 30 seconds, preceded by a short effect tunnel (nice touch to break expectations) and followed by about 1:15 of riding at speed and a short slow coast back to the station for a station-to-station time of about 2 minutes. As you’d expect from something this compact, it turns one way a lot more than the other - in the main track segment there are 11 left turns and 6 right turns. A couple of tricks are used to maintain the feeling of balance. The ride starts with a long right-left-right combo, followed by 7 short, rapid-fire left turns at high speed. The speed then drops for 3 long right turns, only none of them are actually right turns - it’s a 180, a 270 and another 180, so it’s actually a stacked single left turn in disguise. 3 of the 4 remaining turns are also 180’s, so by keeping the majority of the fast left turns in one group and then faking right turns in their own, slower group, the ride feels balanced and “straight” when it’s anything but. Smooth!


Meanwhile it’s the only coaster I like specifically because it’s in the dark?

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Why do I remember Space Mountain as having a big dip? There isn’t one, is there. 30 years of a false memory, that stings a bit. I don’t think I’ll ride Space Mountain as an adult, I’d like to sort of preserve what little is left of the kid-self memory.

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Actually, it is faster in the dark, relative to the speed of light.


The Disneyland version is most definitely smoother, with a great soundtrack; the WDW version is still a lot of fun but a very jiggly and rough ride. Hard to say which one is actually faster but you’re probably right. It’s definitely my favorite of the two.

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I am intimately familiar with the Disneyland (Anaheim) version, and when I was in Paris last year I went to ride the Disneyland Paris version pretty much expecting the same thing. Boy was I wrong. That ride really threw me for a loop (or several, as it turns out).



I’ve ridden it with the lights on as well. Also sometime in the early 80’s. No idea why the lights were on but it’s a totally different ride that way.

I’ve ridden it with the lights on, too. Given that several people here have had that experience, I think we can safely say that Space Mountain’s lights are on at least 43% of the time.


Did they let you go though again with the lights turned off? They reboarded our whole group immediately after they flipped the switch.


Fallout 4 Nuka World Flashback

I remember riding it many years ago with my eyes dilated. Similar.


I LOVE that ride! I rode that one at WDW when I was 7 in the summer of 1977 and it was my first roller coaster and I was terrified. Then a few years later we went to DL on a quiet weekday and I rode it 10 times. I just couldn’t get enough! Then I took my daughter on it back in 2012 and she thought it was one of the coolest things in the park.

I dream I’m going to Disneyland and I always head straight to Space Mountain even though my dream version kind of sucks.

Here’s an interesting video. This is what happens when one of the trains fails to clear its block before the train behind it has reached its brake section. Basically all trains are stopped, and workers have to manually release each train.

Here’s the technical explanation of how Disney keeps multiple coaster trains running on the same track without safety incursions:


I seem to remember an urban legend that this had happened to some kid who stood up on Space Mountain. 99% sure it was not true, heh.

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I don’t remember doing that although I have ridden it with the lights off as intended

100% true! I definitely remember the cookie asteroids. Sad that they’re no longer there.

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In my mom’s home town the story was that a kid had his foot cut off when he stuck it out through the entry/exit opening of the train car of the ‘dark ride coaster’ in the town’s amusement park. A kid did get hurt, but the legend started because EMTs took the injured kids shoe and bloody sock off together, left it lying there, and people (jokers) wanted to claim there was still a foot in the shoe. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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