When Walt Disney first envisioned Tomorrowland, he saw a futuristic paradise…in 1986. Unfortunately, 1986 has come and gone, and we still don’t have commercial space travel or interactive houses, but we still do have the “futuristic” Tomorrowland, circa 1986. Here at CCK, we have many ideas on how to update Tomorrowland, but it all has to start with an updated version of the area’s centerpiece, Space Mountain. When Space Mountain opened in Anaheim, it was a one of a kind experience, but now, with all new coaster technology, the ride itself has gotten for lack of a better term, lousy. This is not the case, however, for its equivalent in Paris.
Space Mountain: Mission 2 opened as Space Mountain De la Terre à la Lune in 1995. It was based off of Jules Vern’s novel “From Earth to the Moon”, and was supposed to portray a futuristic way of space travel. Riders would enter the dome and step onto an open walkway, where they could actually see the coaster and track. Riders then would board trains and would be placed into a giant cannon and launched into a dangerous asteroid field. After narrowly dodging asteroids and space age mining technology, riders would finally reach the moon (with smiling face as seen in the 1902 Melies film “A Trip to the Moon”), and see Jules Vern safely landed their as well, before returning to earth. The was the first Space Mountain to feature synchronized on board audio track (SOBAT).
In 2005, the ride received a futuristic make over, and became Space Mountain: Mission 2. This is what we’d like an updated Space Mountain to be like. The ride now goes beyond the moon, but even further to a Supernova at the edge of the universe. The track remained the same, but the theming got a futuristic update, and new sequences were added.
The original smiling moon was changed to a large supernova, the cannon launch went from the bottom of the cannon, instead of the top, and a new SOBAT soundtrack was added. The queue was also updated, by replacing the original open walkway with a hallway featuring pictures of cosmic phenomena such as comets and asteroid fields. The original Victorian soundtrack that was played in the queue was replaced by space like radio messages. A new ending was added to the ride, where riders enter a red worm hole known as the Hypergate, before slowing down and heading to the station. The custom Vekoma track begins with a 0 to 40 mph launch, followed by a few twists and turns around asteroids before hitting the first inversion, a sidewinder, which begins like a traditional loop, but then twists out at the top and continues on. The ride then hits its second launch, a few more twists and turns around space, and then goes through a corkscrew. The ride then heads to the top of the dome, where riders see the supernova, and then drop into the final inversion, a Tongue, an inversion that only Space Mountain: Mission 2 contains, before going through the Hypergate, and heading back to the station.
Here at CCK, we like aspects of both the original and updated Space Mountain in Paris. For the line, we love the open walkway, in which patrons can view the track and coaster. We also love the track layout, and because it is Vekoma, believe that there could be modified version to fit into our Space Mountain structure, to lessen the cost. This ride would definitely up the anty for thrill seekers to come ride at Disneyland.
Comment your thoughts, agreements, ideas, etc. below! Let’s see how Disney could go about upgrading ‘Tomorrowland’ to actually become ‘Tomorrow’!