Sean: In 2020 the name “Space Mountain” is pretty much a household name in regions with Disney resorts. The fascination with lifting off into space and riding a thrilling coaster has been what makes Disney’s Space Mountain roller coasters so appealing. Today, let’s rank all 5 of Disney’s Space Mountains!
– In the past, many of our images have been posted, featured, and shared on forums, social media platforms and websites around the web. We work hard to provide the coverage that we do, and we encourage our audience to share our content and use our images, BUT ONLY IF proper credit is given to thecoasterkings.com. Thank you! –
Being the big Disney fans that we are, we experienced all variations of Space Mountain. Not all are created equal. Though the premise for all are the same: traveling to space, the story is told differently at each resort. We’ll start with our least favorite:
5. Walt Disney World Resort (Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA)
The original Space Mountain can be found at Magic Kingdom within the Walt Disney World Resort. The ride opened in 1975 with dual tracks and is much like Matterhorn at Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, but in the dark. The ride’s top speed of 27 mph creates for some fun and intense moments, but really the ride is much of a time capsule taking guests back to the 70s. Space Mountain has gotten rough, and without on-board audio, lacks a modern touch. The ride vehicles are uneasy to board and though the coaster has two stations, the capacity is hardly enough for the high attendance at the Florida theme park. Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom remains to be a fun ride, but could use a little upgrade.
4. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (Lantau Island, Hong Kong)
Next up is Hong Kong Disneyland’s Hyperspace Mountain! Hong Kong’s Space Mountain variation opened along with the park in 2005 as the headline coaster for the resort. Much like Tokyo’s and Anaheim’s, the layout is a bit more exciting than Magic Kingdom’s, and the comfort of the ride is definitely superior. Currently Hong Kong Disneyland has a Star Wars themed overlay on the ride, which is similar to the one Anaheim’s presents for a few months a year. This Space Mountain feels the newest, with a simplified queue, and polished station. However, it lacks the build up a massive approach and kind of just sits on the midway. It’s a close call, but Hong Kong’s comes in 4th!
3. Tokyo Disney Resort (Arayasu, Chiba, Japan)
The middle child is Tokyo Disneyland’s Space Mountain. The coaster has the same layout as Hong Kong’s but is a shocking 22 years older. Its weaknesses? The ride has not yet been updated with new vehicles that feature on-board audio, or gotten any new effects throughout the ride. Its redeeming qualities? Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland features classic theming, light-up trains that can be seen flying through “space” from the queue and on the ride, as well as some of the best cast member costumes!
2. Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, California, USA)
Coming in at number 2 is Space Mountain at the original Disneyland. Sitting in the back corner of Tomorrowland, Space Mountain is still one of the (if not THE) most popular ride(s) on property. When Space Mountain opened in 1977 it was much like what Tokyo Disney’s is right now. However, in 2003 the original Disneyland Space Mountain was gutted and new track, trains, and themed elements were welcomed for the ride’s relaunch in 2005. The result: a classic Space Mountain with special effects, on-board audio, great rolling stock and an awesome queue. Disneyland Resort’s Space Mountain brings us classic thrills while always renewing itself with seasonal overlays and our favorite soundtracks. There’s a special place in our hearts for Space Mountain in Anaheim.
1. Disneyland Paris Resort (Chessy, France)
At last we find ourselves in Europe at Disneyland Paris Resort. This Disney resort is definitely the best Disney resort for coasters, but the one to rule them all is the fantastic Hyperspace Mountain (current name). The project was originally named Discovery Mountain, themed to Jules Verne’s story “From the Earth to the Moon”, in which a giant cannon shoots a rocket-like train to the moon. Disney finally had their chance to build a Space Mountain themed coaster that would actually launch riders into “space”. It required great technological development, but Disney and Vekoma Rides created one of the world’s best coasters. Using a fly-wheel launch riders are catapulted to the top of the large dome, to then enter an epic journey through space featuring several inversions.
The first version was called: Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune, to the famous Jules Verne story. The ride was then relaunched for its 10th anniversary as Space Mountain: Mission 2, bringing new audio, queue, story telling and projection mapping. For the park’s 25th anniversary the resort relaunched the ride with a third mission: a Rebel Mission. Currently just called Hyperspace Mountain, the coaster now features new Vekoma MK1212 trains with vest restraints, making the ride ultra-smooth and extra immersive. This is not only Disney’s most thrilling attraction in the world, but it also happens to be one of their very best.
Thank you for checking out this new article! We recently launched a new podcast episode talking some more about Disneyland Paris’ Hyperspace Mountain! Find that here!