Space Mountain is a classic Disney attraction. It was first built in Magic Kingdom, but it has made its way into five other Disney theme parks worldwide. This space-themed rollercoaster is a direct outgrowth of the success of Matterhorn Bobsleds. This thrill attraction was actually created by Walt and his team of Imagineers, and it showed Walt that thrill rides can be successful in a family-friendly theme park.
Let’s test your knowledge of Space Mountain as originally presented by the Disney Park’s Blog.
SPOILER ALERT: questions are answered and explained below.
How tall is Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park?
Correct Answer: 180 feet
Space Mountain is 180 feet tall, which is three feet shorter than Cinderella Castle. Aviation laws require a building taller than 200 feet to have lights on top to warn low-flying aircraft, so Disney has generally avoided creating structures taller than 200 feet.
Which astronaut joined the creative team when developing Space Mountain?
Correct Answer: Gordon Cooper
Development of Space Mountain started before Disney World was even conceived. However, the initial four-track concept wouldn’t fit in the space that Disneyland had available. Plus, the technology wasn’t available to make Walt’s idea happen yet. The idea was tabled until they realized that Magic Kingdom needed some thrill rides for teens and young adults.
Matterhorn Bobsleds didn’t fit the theme, so the Space Mountain idea was resurrected. Since it has a space theme, it’s only right that a former astronaut be on the creative team. Leroy Gordon “Gordo” Cooper Jr., an American aerospace engineer, was one of the seven original astronauts for the first manned space flight, Project Mercury. He was the first American to sleep in space and the last American to take a solo orbit.
Gordo helped add authenticity to the attraction! In addition to his work on Space Mountain, he also served as the Vice President of R&D for Epcot.
What’s the maximum speed of Space Mountain?
Correct Answer: 27 mph
Space Mountain is an indoor rollercoaster. Riders board space shuttles three at a time. After the seatbelt check, you’re launched into “space” in darkness with just stars to light your way. There are no inversions, and the coaster doesn’t go faster than 27 miles per hour at it’s fastest. That isn’t too fast, but it feels much faster when you’re soaring around with sudden dips and hills in total darkness.
What area of Magic Kingdom Park can you find Space Mountain?
Correct Answer: Tomorrowland
Space Mountain is located in Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It was first conceived for Disneyland but later tabled when Imagineers realized there wasn’t enough space available for their design. The ride eventually did make its way to Disneyland, however, but with a different design.
When did Space Mountain open at Magic Kingdom Park?
Correct Answer: 1975
Space Mountain opened on January 15th, 1975, nearly four years after Magic Kingdom opened. Tomorrowland was basically empty when it opened, and Disney needed to add a thrill ride. When they decided to consider Space Mountain for the park, they realized that it fit well in size and theme in Tomorrowland.
Since then, Space Mountain has opened four more versions putting it in five other Disney parks worldwide: Disneyland debuted their version in 1977. Tokyo Disneyland opened Space Mountain in 1983. Hong Kong Disneyland opened theirs in 2015, and more than 40 years after the first attraction opened, Disneyland Paris opened a Space Mountain in 2017.
Space Mountain Trivia: Do you know how tall the mountain is?