Retro Space Mountain

Written by Werner Weiss. Posted in Disney, Disney History, Disney Parks, Werner Weiss

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wwbrownmountain

Published on February 01, 2013 at 12:51 am with 18 Comments

Space Mountain lets you travel through space inside a structure that futurists H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Leonardo da Vinci might have imagined. This giant copper kettle with a green patina represents an ingenious relic from a much earlier era.

Read the full YESTERLAND article HERE: Retro Space Mountain.

 

When you are done reading, please leave your comments below.

About Werner Weiss

Werner is the curator of Yesterland.com, the ultimate collection of Disney theme park past attractions. You'll find his handiwork featured here every Friday.

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18 Comments

Comments for Retro Space Mountain are now closed.

  1. Great Article Werner

    I never liked Space Mountain in the Bronze colour. I didn’t look retro enough to pass of as being what Jules Verne must have imagined. However, it it great that Space Mountain is back to its gleaming white. It also makes it look good at night.

    Thanks Again Werner. Thses articles really are the highlight of my Friday. Keep ‘em coming.

    Trumpet

  2. Thanks for the interesting article.

    I didn’t realize that the Space Mountain building was part of the 1967 Tomorrowland plan. Why did it take until 1977 to actually open the ride? Was the technology to build the actual coaster not available until the 1970s or did it just take them several years to figure out what they wanted the ride to be?

    • WDI was still trying to flesh-out Space Mountain in 1967 (called back then as “the space ride”). Originally the exterior was going to have the rockets fly in/out of the building on the track, but thankfully they chose an all enclosed roller coaster as we see it today. It’s debatable as to what park was going to receive park first, but WDI and the Disney company chose the Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World, because the Carousel of Progress was going back to WDW and because the frame-work of the Wedway Peoplemover went around these two attractions and others in Tomorrowland, (it was also to see if was going to be popular or not). But popular the attraction became, when Space Mountain opened in 1975 in WDW, along with the Carousel of Progress and the Wedway Peoplemover. Disneyland followed suit, and their version opened in 1977, (hence the nickname, “space station 77″).

      Timekeeper

  3. The 1990′s makeovers of both U.S. Tomorrowlands somehow managed to look both over the top and half-assed at the same time.

  4. I like the idea of the steam-punk inspired discoveryland in Europe. However for this concept to work I think you need to start with it from start NOT simply repaint exterior of buildings from the late 1960′s /early 1970′s futuristic concepts. And the concept (story & design) needs to flow seamlessly inside and outside of the buildings, and throughout the entire land.

    And if you have that seamless concept throughout the land, I’m not sure how you fit Buzz Lightyear or Star Tours in properly?

  5. The original Space Mountain and 1967 Tomorrowland looked so much better. At least they repainted it white. The Paris one is even worse–beyond horrible! And these are the guys entrusted with Disneyland’s future. Can anybody say “Tarzan’s Treehouse on steroids?”

  6. With the introduction of Indiana Jones, the entire Adventureland was given a re-theme to match a certain year and location. This is the same type of treatment we see in the other lands. Tomorrowland, however, has no such time and place theming. If it was a Biosphere II, Moonbase Alpha, or something more specific, you would have a true theming of the land. This is also the one part of the park where you could double decker to increase square footage; a vibrant moon base underneath, and an alien landscape/outpost above! C’mon Disney, you can do it!

    • As long as they theme the entire Biosphere area after the movie “Bio-dome.” But MGM owns the rights to it. Pity. Such a pity.

  7. The logo for that Honey I Shrunk the Kids travesty makes these photos even more gut wrenching.

    Hopefully we can skip theming it after a dead foreigner and instead infuse it with living Disney visionaries from California like Lucas and Kosinski.

    I’m sure WDW drew money away needed for SM in ’68-’69. Then we got a less ambitious version years later (I’m sure $$ needed for WDW was partially responsible for that along with the dramatic decline of new ride openings/quality in the 70′s).

  8. I hate to be the dissenting opinion, but I actually liked the earth toned Tomorrowland. I really liked the paint job on Space Mountain. My only complaint was that whatever paint brand they used seemed to fade or rub off so after a while it started looking cheap.

    The current color scheme has just always sort of struck me as dated and retro in it’s own way, a way I’m just not that thrilled with.

  9. The contrast between 2004 white Space Mountain with brown Tomorrowland and 2013 white Space Mountain with white and silver Tomorrowland is striking. The mountain looks small and insignificant in the first photo but more “mountainous” in the second photo. One of the first times Disney got it wrong then went back and got it right. That may be the start of all the great things we’ve been seeing the last year or so.

  10. They over did it with all the brown for TL’98. In the concept art it looked good and Space Mountain was green, red and an orangish gold. They should have gone with that instead of brown ,brown and more brown. Discoveryland looks cool but imo it works better in Europe because maybe their style of futuristic is different compare to how Americans view futuristic.

  11. I think the concept was nice, the execution was really bad…overall. The color schemes were just a lot more dull than they should have been, and really never “worked’ the way Discoveryland in Paris did.

  12. To me, the “retro” Space Mountain looked only half done. If they had installed panels on it similar to the one in Paris, it would have been much better.

  13. Disney needs to finally finish the re-coloring of Tomorrowland. Once you turn the corner around Space Mountain and Innoventions, it is pretty much the same as it was in 1998. The Magic Eye Theater, Tomorrowland Terrace, Autopia, and the train station reek of this brown and bronze scheme. And strangely, they just repainted Pizza Port to fit into this bronze palette. I don’t feel like they really know what they’re doing.

  14. I remember going to Tomorowland when it was still mostly brown, but space mountain was in it’s original white color. I’m glad they repainted most of Tomorowland to blue and white colors.

  15. i like that color it wasnt that bad at least in my book.