Updates: Iconic Space Mountain Called To Cease Operations Amid Injury Reports

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Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom

Credit: Brittany DiCologero

We have updates on the. trending nature of Space Mountain, one of the most iconic rides inside of Walt Disney World Resort.

Designed by John Hench and Bill Watkins, this indoor roller coaster first opened its doors in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975. Known for its innovative design and exhilarating experience, Space Mountain has become a staple of Disney’s Tomorrowland, symbolizing the excitement and wonder of space exploration.

Cinderella Castle from Tomorrowland
Credit: Jeff Krause, Flickr

The ride’s design is a marvel in itself, featuring a unique indoor setting that allows riders to experience the sensation of hurtling through the cosmos. The attraction’s stark white, conical structure is a recognizable landmark, and its interior is filled with twists, turns, and drops that are intensified by the complete darkness in which the ride operates. This absence of visual cues enhances the feeling of unpredictability, making every ride a unique adventure.

The allure of Space Mountain extends beyond its physical thrills. The attraction is infused with a retro-futuristic charm that harkens back to the space race era, blending nostalgia with the timeless human fascination with space travel. This combination has helped Space Mountain maintain its status as a beloved fixture in Disney parks for nearly five decades.

Guests walking into the entrance to Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom
Credit: rickpilot_2000, Flickr

Despite its popularity, Space Mountain has recently been the subject of numerous guest complaints regarding its physical impact. An article from Inside the Magic covered a report from a Disney World guest who reportedly suffered a concussion while riding the attraction. The guest shared their experience:

“Hi, all! My partner and I just returned from a trip to the resort and, while we had a lot of fun, she suffered a concussion while riding Space Mountain which necessitated a trip to the emergency room. She is doing alright now, but in discussing the incident, we continually remark on the professionalism and thoughtfulness of the medical staff at Magic Kingdom and the two paramedics from RCFD who stabilized and transported my partner and me to the hospital. We’ve since sent our compliments to the First Aid cast members, but we were wondering if there is any way we may be able to find out the names of the paramedics who helped her, if only to send our heartfelt thanks for their assistance. We hope to never need their help again, but I’m confident that we’ll be in good hands if the situation ever again arises.”

Please keep in mind that this is based on a guest experience.

This incident highlights a growing concern among visitors about the ride’s comfort. Other guests have also shared their discomfort after riding Space Mountain. One guest remarked, “I went on it yesterday, it was fun and all, but I am a young guy with zero back problems and I came off that one clutching my ribs and back. Is it possible they’d make it smoother anytime soon?”

Space Mountain at sunset at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

These concerns have sparked a wider conversation among Disney fans, with many calling for a refurbishment of the ride to address its roughness while preserving its classic elements. One fan expressed, “I hope it’s not too classic for a refurb. It’s 15 years overdue.” Another echoed this sentiment, saying, “It’s too classic to be replaced. But it is in NEED of a refurb.”

Some fans have suggested specific improvements that could enhance the ride’s comfort without sacrificing its beloved features. One fan shared, “I’d be totally down for a refurb! Not necessarily in the theming cause I think the all dark and lights and stuff is awesome, but it’s such a bumpy/uncomfortable ride. Honestly, once I rode Cosmic Rewind, space mountain just doesn’t hit the same.”

This reference to Cosmic Rewind, the Guardians of the Galaxy-themed coaster at EPCOT, underscores the advancements in ride technology and design that have been made since Space Mountain’s debut. Fans see the potential for Space Mountain to be updated with smoother tracks and improved ride vehicles while retaining its classic ambiance and thrilling experience.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night with Spaceship Earth in the background at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Disney has a history of updating its attractions to improve guest experiences while maintaining their iconic status. Space Mountain at Disneyland Resort underwent a significant refurbishment in 2005, which included replacing the track and updating the ride’s technology. Disneyland Paris took a different approach by retheming its version of the ride to Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, integrating elements from the popular film franchise.

Given these precedents, it is feasible that a similar refurbishment could be implemented for Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. However, as of now, Disney has not issued any statements regarding potential changes to the ride. The company’s decision-making process likely involves careful consideration of both guest feedback and the logistical challenges of refurbishing such a prominent attraction.

Space Mountain remains a beloved cornerstone of Disney parks, celebrated for its innovative design and thrilling experience.

However, recent guest experiences have brought to light concerns about the ride’s comfort, prompting calls for refurbishment. While Disney has a track record of updating its attractions to meet modern standards, the future of Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom remains uncertain. As fans eagerly await any news, the conversation around this iconic ride continues to highlight the balance between preserving cherished memories and embracing improvements that some deem necessary.

Just recently, it was announced that Toyko Disneyland would be getting a completely refurbished Space Mountain, set to close for nearly three years.

space mountain gift shop
Credit: Inside the Magic

In the words of many fans, Space Mountain is indeed a classic, but even classics can benefit from a touch of modernization to ensure they remain enjoyable for future generations.

It’s also important to note that these are based on guest experiences and that no experience is exactly alike. For now, there is no plan for Space Mountain to close down, even if fans are clamoring for it to cease its normal operations and undergo an overhaul.

What do you want to see happen to Space Mountain? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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