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  1. #1

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    Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    I know that SM is an awesome ride already...but that doesn't mean it can be better! I present to you my ideal Space Mountain; take it for what you will.

    The entrance will be completely moved to the opposite side of the Magic Eye Theater. Starcade will be demolished, but the floorplan will remain the same. Guests will enter through what used to be the Starcade entrance. The first floor will be switchbacks, in a room that looks like a spaceport (neon lights, posters...etc). The line then moves up the escalators (already present) to the second story. Here, the real experience begins.

    The guests are shuttled through a series of three preshows, with each preshow room taking the exact number of people able to fit on one train (24 people).

    Preshow 1: A stewardess welcomes you to the Intergalactic Spaceport. She notes that you have chosen to travel on a certain line that takes you through a "war zone" among two planets. She urges the guests to take precautionary measures.

    Preshow 2: The guests are funneled into a second room which shows advertisements for space flights. Suddenly, the lights go off and the room rumbles and shakes. Surround sound audio suddenly crackles to life. The stewardess comes online and yells that the spaceport and its inhabitants have been taken hostage by one of the belligerents. She then tells the guests that they are the spaceport's only hope of notifying the Intergalactic Federation to their plight. She notes that a cargo liner has not yet been commandeered by the belligerents.

    Preshow 3: The guests board an elevator which will take them down to the loading bay. The elevator rumbles down the shaft. The audio crackles to life again. This time, it is one of the belligerents. He warns that any attempt to escape will be suicidal.

    Suddenly, the shaft opens up into a vast hangar. The elevator shudders to a stop. The cargo liner cruises up to the loading dock. The 24 guests take their places.

    The train slowly moves forward. It takes a corner into an airlock. The doors behind the train shudder to a close. There is another pair of doors ahead of the train. It is also closed. Suddenly, shafts of light revolve on the walls. The guests feel air rushing into the vault as pressure equalizes. A mechanized voice proclaims that a space launch is imminent. It counts down. 5...4...3...2...1...

    The second set of doors burst open and the train launches to 50 miles per hour. Guests are immediately launched into a starfield with comets, planets, asteroids, and galaxies all visible in the distance. The train rockets towards the destination: the home planet of the Intergalactic Federation!

    Suddenly, the train shudders to a stop. Ahead are two cruisers that are bearing down on you. The cargo liner (the train) then launches backwards, with lasers flying left and right, above and below the cargo liner. All seems lost, when...

    Rescue! An interceptor belonging to the Galactic Federation has spotted your plight. It fires back on the attackers, disintegrating them. It then tells you to follow them back to the home planet. Your train launches forward, following the friendly interceptor. You maneuver back into sublight speeds as gamma rays spin around you, an effect of the sudden speed slowdown.

    You disembark at the Union Spaceport and take a speedramp back up to the surface.

    -----

    What do you think?

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  2. #2

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    This sounds ridiculously Star Tours-ish and I'm not exactly sure how 3 pre-shows would be effective for a ride of SM's popularity...it seems like they're cranking out trains hardcore and lines can get up to 90 minutes. Cute idea, though.

  3. #3

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    ^ The guest output really wouldn't be much different from what it is now...think about it. The number of people is the same whether they're standing in line or in the preshow.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    I really love this idea. It would add much more excitement to an already exciting ride!

  5. #5

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    I think it has a little too much for what it is. The cool thing about Disney parks is not every attraction has a spelled out story, some are more just experiences.

    Earlier I posted solutions for the ride's queue (too warm, wasted space on top, doesn't make sense to walk onto a space station.) I suggested turning the Magic Eye theatre into the first queing area. It is indoors and has AC. The room is themed to a launch command. Charts of space, blinking lights indicating other ships and stations. Everything is quiet and serene, much like inside the station. Guests then enter a preshow elevator that will transport them to the second story to the enterance of the mountain. The elevator would be themed to the much discussed technology of space elevators and takes us into Space Station 77.

    With the queue off the roof of the magic eye theatre, what do you do with that large wasted space? (it's still mostly wasted even with the queue) I would turn that area into the new Tommorowland Terrace. A speed ramp takes guests to the terrace, a restraunt takes place in the second story of innoventions, and you build a rising stage for bands to play on. You could even build a store or two up there against the base of the mountain, making it seem like a social gathering place of the future.
    Women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

  6. #6

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    Lots of interesting ideas here. However, I do agree that it's a little too similar to Star Tours, The Disneylander - and the scope of the changes would be pretty crazy. Perhaps this would be good for a new Disney park, one that doesn't have Star Tours.

    I'd like several things to happen to our Space Mountain.

    * The interior gets updated with the type of starfield effect used in Peter Pan (glowing dots held out from the walls and structural elements at varying distances by thin, black rods). This would make it even more difficult to discern where the boundaries of the space are and increase the cool factor of the effects.

    * Several miniature space ships and so forth would "fly" through the show building on simple loops, under and over the main track. Since these wouldn't be synchronized with the motion of the rockets, you'd never know where you'd see them. They'd just have a few small lights on them to avoid lighting up the whole room.

    * New audio would be added to the queue to help explain the context of the attraction for those who're interested. Imagine Space Mountain as a large space station that's currently docked on Earth. As we're in the queue, the whole "mountain" launches into orbit, with subwoofer rumbles, radio chatter, and announcements to make this clearer. Of course, this would be a challenge to pull off, considering the constant flow of guests through the queue - you never know what part of the audio loop they'll come into. But this could be managed by keeping the dialogue sufficiently ambiguous. There wouldn't be one single moment when you're supposed to be blasting off...if the line were long enough, guests would end up hearing it twice, and that'd be bad.

    I really, really like your idea, too, Professortango...it'd be awesome to see ours combined.


  7. #7

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    The only thing that kind of bothered me last time on Space Mountain were the "disco balls" being visible. At the top of the third lift if you looked towards the lower left you could see a few bright lights and the disco balls. Considering SM should be pitch black it was weird seeing the bright lights. I understand they need those to create the stars, but they should cover the top so you can't see if from above.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    ^ Yup, that always bothers me too.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    I think it'd be cool if they fit two track systems inside the "mountain" like in matterhorn. It would double capacity, but also double the size or shorten the ride length..

    add in glowing cars/trains so you can see other vehicles coming at you but not sure where they will really be going would be neato...

    I think at leas.t.

  10. #10

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    ^ The Space Mountain at WDW does that, I think.

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  11. #11

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    Yes, the original Space Mountain at WDW has two symmetrical tracks instead of one. However, the whole structure is significantly larger there - ours simply doesn't have enough room for two full-length tracks, sadly.


  12. #12

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    Space Tours Mountain??
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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanvalle View Post
    add in glowing cars/trains so you can see other vehicles coming at you but not sure where they will really be going would be neato...

    I think at leas.t.
    I don't know, that's one thing I didn't like about the original. I think it's way better now that you can't see the other cars. In my opinion, the more pitch black, the better.
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  14. #14

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    Cool Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    I don't like. The only way I would change it would be to turn off all of the lights and make it darker. Then add brighter lights to the exhaust port on the back of the rockets. That's it. Everything is okay. But Starcade should go anyway.

  15. #15

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: Space Mountain-New and Improved!

    That pre show plot sounds a lot like Terminator Salvation: the ride.
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