Space Mountain: A Coaster Legend?

When you think about it, Space Mountain is probably one of, if not THE most famous coasters on the planet. Say the words ‘Space Mountain’ to anybody – even a non coaster enthusiast, and the likelihood is that they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. Hell, it’s so famous that there’s even a joke about it in Friends! (Remember, Ross eats some dodgy tacos on the way to Disneyland and has a ‘little accident’ whilst riding). And it’s kind of funny that Space Mountain is so famous because the coaster known as Space Mountain doesn’t actually exist – and by that I mean one actual ride that we’re all referring to when we talk about it. It’s kind of like the James Bond of the coaster world – everybody thinks of a different version when it’s mentioned. For me it’s always the Disneyland Paris model that pops into my mind first, and that’s not even the first one I rode! But damn, the DLP model has such a PRESENCE about it. Remember those TERRIFYING adverts for it back in the nineties. You know the one I mean, the one with the ominous voice describing the adventure that lays ahead accompanied with terrifying visuals of a desolate moon. I genuinely thought this thing was going to fling me into the atmosphere and I remember that feeling following me all the way to taking my first seat on board, hands trembling slightly as the restraint closed. And I’m sure you all have your own personal memories and feelings about the ride(s). Chances are you’ve ridden it in some incarnation or another, and whilst they’re all pretty unique in their own right (yes, even the ones that are the same) I’d be more inclined to say that Space Mountain is less about the physical ride itself and more about the premise of the attraction and what it represents: adventure, the thrill of the unknown, discovering far off planets, near misses with asteroids, NEON LIGHTING. I could go on and on, but despite their differences there’s definitely as ‘essence’ of Space Mountain that links them all together. I think for me it largely goes back to something I spoke about in my previous article: the nostalgia factor. Although they originally intended for Tomorrowland to be a fantastical glimpse into the distant future what Disney actually managed to create in a strange roundabout way was a time capsule of an era based on what they thought the future would look like. Hence how the futuristic galactic adventure that is Space Mountain is so timeless. And that is the reason why Space Mountain truly is a coaster legend. Not the specific coaster itself and its physical attributes but rather the way an idea and the sense of adventure and space travel not only embodies everything we love about Disney theme park rides but also how it transcends generation after generation and even different countries yet still manages to maintain its narrative essence at its core. So whether to you Space Mountain is a retro white space station or a steam punk blast to the moon, I’m sure you’ll agree that it is a marvel of storytelling in how it is so well-known by all and how it manages to simultaneously embody a fantastical adventure through the stars and also a nostalgic journey into some of our fondest memories.

Talk later xoxo,


  1. Simon Peachey07/03/2017, 11:52

    First ever upside down ride I went on! I then went back on it 6 times in a row!

    1. It's a good first inversion coaster because you have no idea it's coming, so pretty much have no choice in the matter haha!