By Cory Doctorow at 11:00 am Thu, May 3, 2012
The Disney Blog's John Frost captures one of my favorite sights: the interior of the Walt Disney World Space Mountain with the lights on, as seen from the silently retrofuturistic maglev safety of the Wedway Peoplecrusher.
Space Mountain – Lights On Via the Peoplemover
Yeah, I actually experienced this exact scenario a long time ago. It is a cool experience. Even better when you’re watching people on the ride stuck in an unmoving roller coaster looking around and waiting to be told what’s going on.
I am glad that disney have the lights off normally when you ride Space Mountain. Because the place look like old dilapidated Industrial warehouse in the ghetto in new york city.
No, it looks like a garage model train guy went to heaven
I once rode Space Mountain with the lights on as part of an educational trip to Disney World.
Good god, it was absolutely terrifying. In the dark, one cannot see all the scaffolding that one zooms through.
That’s actually most of my memory of it – little flashes of the structure zipping past, seemingly inches from my head, wondering how my dad was managing.
Is it true that someone once got decapitated by standing up on Space Mountain?
That’s urban legend as far as I can tell. The only deaths on Space Mountain (in either location) have been due to riders with underlying medical conditions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incidents_at_Walt_Disney_World_Resort#Magic_Kingdom and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incidents_at_Disneyland_Resort#Space_Mountain
No, someone did stand up on the Matterhorn and fell out of the car and his skull was crushed, though.
Last summer my daughter was on the ride when it malfunctioned. They had to stop and ended up having to de-board the ride and had to walk out! I was kinda jealous that she got to see it with the lights on and get to walk out the service exit.
Looks like the start of Half Life
Oh, and here’s a POV of a ride on the coaster itself with the lights on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXyTPdOjWlo
I rode it in the dark, and all these years I thought everything was painted black.
To be fair the People Mover isn’t a maglev, as it doesn’t float on a magnetic field and depends on wheels. It uses Magnetic Linear Synchronous motors for it’s movement, which is a bit of mouthful to say. So it’s push and pull on the crest of the magnets in the track, not levitation.
//but then again everyone still calls Haunted Mansion ghosts holograms.
I last rode The Mountain with the lights on circa 1997.
Lights OUT it’s still a pretty decent ride (with an added retrogeeky sensation these days). Lights ON it’s not much better than a pop-up-coaster-in-a-semitruck like you’ll find at a local carnival. You do have the additional (and delicious) WTF?! factor from the lights actually being on … but it’s not something you’ll want to wait in line an hour for.
Space Mt lovers know the best way to ride it is right after the fireworks. It stays open a bit later than some attractions and it’s a walk on at that point–even at peak park times like July. My niece and nephew road it about 8 times back to back at that time, it’s also a good time to position yourself in Tomorrow land to see Tinker Bell on the zip line that opens the firework show.
Looks suspiciously like Aperture Labs …
Disneyland in OC used to have “pass holder night” for people with yearly passes and they would let you ride Space Mountain with the lights on. Like others mentioned above, it is scary with the lights on. For one we can see how high you are. For 2 you can see how close to all the scaffolding you are. It’s easy to ride with your hands up with the lights are out but not when they are on
As a boy, I loved the People Mover, fascinating as it pops in and out of every building and you get to see what’s going on inside. There’s also the moving walkway to ease boarding without stopping the cars. If that was what the future had in store, then sign me up! Perversely, the only places today anywhere near this promise, seem to be Shanghai and Las Vegas.
Anyway, in a year or two I’ll take my kid to Disneyland, he’s still a bit young to really appreciate it, but by then a must-ride will be the People Mover, immediately before or after a space burger.
I once visited a friend who was working at WED (aka Imagineering) They had a large, scale-model of Space Mountain in the lobby. All the framing and structure ride in great detail. It was pretty fascinating to see it all at once like that. SM is an impressive bit of packaging, actually. Good ride, too.
Dim the lights a bit, add some smoke and gas jets, and you’ve got the opening scene of BladeRunner down, in sterilized miniature. Booming Vangelis wouldn’t hurt.
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