View Poll Results: What did you think about WDW's Space Mountain REDO

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  • I though it was amazing!

    3 6.00%
  • I was pleasantly surprised.

    11 22.00%
  • I couldn't tell a difference

    8 16.00%
  • It was a HUGE disappointment. Major failure.

    28 56.00%
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  1. #1

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    What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    I recently had the chance to experience the newly refurbished Space Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I will admit that after being spoiled with the redo of Disneyland's Space Mountain, which took two and a half years, my expectations were pretty high. Still I was hoping, despite all that I knew of WDW management and the shorter timetable, that there would be a noticeable improvement in the aged attraction. Unfortunately there is little that was improved.

    Approaching the attraction the first noticeable change is the blue/green color scheme. It works and gives the show building a fresh look. Entering the building, however we are still on a platform above a pit of silver, rubber balls that appear not to have been touched during the refurb and the same tired backlit wall sign with an updated display. No video screen rotating images to set up story, just the same tired, static, lighted fixture.

    Entering the long tunnel leading to the loading station we, again, see the same old displays of optical effects of stars and planets. Again, no real change. Would it have killed them to perhaps update these headache inducing windows with some more, up-to-date effects? Suggestions I could offer would be perhaps a pepper's ghost nebula effects that would constantly be in motion or other spacecraft shooting in and out of wormholes in space.

    We then approach the newly installed queue games. Simple as they are they are actually very well done and have the desired effect of making the wait more entertaining. My only complaint regarding the games are the painful, hard plastic controls visitors are asked to hit repeatedly . OUCH!



    Visitors load from the same area too except that the once open area above the queue has now been enclosed and digital projections create a window out into "space". Nice.


    The experience turns sour once on the ride. The seats may have been refurbished but the same old track creates the same painful experience. After dipping down into the blue strobe tunnel and being stunned by the flash of a newly installed on-ride photo system, we trudge up the same old clunky lift hill. Completely breaking the sense of wonder the chain lift clanks noisily and pulls you passed virtually untouched "futuristic" scenes. Dusted mannequins perched on archaic space age sets sit lifeless as cars clank by. The 70's technology that was once amazing, now sits as a museum piece for all the world to see. Pretty sad.

    Cresting the hill the ride feels unchanged as the sharp turns churn away at riders. They really cheaped out here. There is NO onboard sound system like there is in Disneyland. That would have required them to focus more on a new track that could support the added weight. Instead, it's the same old track with the same old pain and the same old sound of screams from riders in the dome on the ride. The only true improvement is the enclosure of the queue that ends up making the ride in the dome darker.

    After the same, tired sonic boom tunnel effect we are then deposited into what can only be described as a foyer at a convention center. The same, tired unload area with no story attachment and little theme aside from the color scheme. it is here that you can get a glimpse of your on-ride photo before getting on the moving sidewalk that takes you back to the front of the attraction past the nearly untouched scenes of the future.



    On my visit, (i rode it twice on different days) the new green screen effect was down.


    THIS is how the WDW management updates a signature attraction nowadays? They did such a wonderful job on the Haunted Mansion. Mansion went from a usual 5 minute wait to an average 20 minute wait because of it's amazing refurbishment. Space Mountain's refurb, by contrast, is an embarrassment. Why did they cheap out when they knew that quality brings the crowds. Nobody cares to repeat something that is so painfully familiar. They could have had a world class attraction on their hands and, instead, they have an old grey mayer gussied up to make it just a few more years.


    Enough of me, what did YOU think about the refurb?
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  2. #2

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    What could of been done would of probably costed a very pretty penny. Considering the economy, it wasn't shocking it was declined.

    I surprisingly loved the enclosed queue. I also noticed the 70's space windows seemed updated and it gave a very cool effect like the old times. The games looked fun, but I only saw from the FP queue. The coaster seemed bumpy, but less bumpy and I enjoyed it a lot. I'm really anxious about the green screen! I still prefer it way over DL.

    Overall: A-
    (solid B if you start to think about what could've been done lol)

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  3. #3

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Very disappointed that not much was really done to update this classic attraction. Especially with the amount of time it was down. It is my all time favorite attraction and I am glad they kept the classic feel to it, but was hoping for more updating and plussing in the effects department. A new ceiling over the load station while it is nice is just not significant enough. The actual ride quality didn't improve and is still too jerky, and it seems though no effort was put into making the ride darker. The games in the queue were okay but not at all what I consider an great improvement mainly because all guests won't get to experience. It should be noted that the games are activated only if motion sensors detect the line is moving slow enough or is stopped, they are pretty basic quick games not the huge highlight it has been made out to be. I got to ride it twice last month and first time we breezed right past the games. Then the second time the line stopped once while I was infront of it for about 30 seconds of play time. The lime green accent color added outside and upon the exit of the ride were just hideous. I'd have also liked to see some LED spotlights added to the outside of the mountain that could wash the white exterior with color at night.

  4. #4

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    The reason why they didn't put SM through a massive overhaul was because they wanted to limit the amount of time that it would be closed. It's an E-ticket ride and when Disneyland refurbished its SM it was closed for an extended time. It was not as much of an issue for Disneyland because much of the attendance is comprised of in-state guests, people who visit much more often than the visitors to WDW. There are a lot more people who go to WDW sporadically and they wanted to limit the number of people who would miss out on this attraction. That is the reason.
    Frankly, I think they did a very good job. What else would you have liked them to have done?

  5. #5

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by kramden88 View Post
    The reason why they didn't put SM through a massive overhaul was because they wanted to limit the amount of time that it would be closed. It's an E-ticket ride and when Disneyland refurbished its SM it was closed for an extended time. It was not as much of an issue for Disneyland because much of the attendance is comprised of in-state guests, people who visit much more often than the visitors to WDW. There are a lot more people who go to WDW sporadically and they wanted to limit the number of people who would miss out on this attraction. That is the reason.
    Frankly, I think they did a very good job. What else would you have liked them to have done?
    Have you even been on the one at Disneyland? The difference between that and the one at MK is night and day. Ride it and then you'll see what WDW could have done.

    I'm glad WDW is concerned about guests being unhappy about an extended refurb. All this time, I thought it was about saving money. What was I thinking?

  6. #6

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    The improvements they made were a drop in the bucket compared to Disneyland's. But compared to what we HAD, I enjoyed the ride a little bit more.


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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Imagineer Scott View Post
    What could of been done would of probably costed a very pretty penny. Considering the economy, it wasn't shocking it was declined.
    Even if the economy wasn't in the toilet, this is the version WDW would have given us. That's just how pathetic WDW's management is. They always cheapen out in the end.

  8. #8

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by kramden88 View Post
    The reason why they didn't put SM through a massive overhaul was because they wanted to limit the amount of time that it would be closed.
    That is called "Spin." The REAL reason they opened Space in a virtually unchanged and perhaps even more painful state is because they cheeped out.

    I was sore after riding the "New" Space Mountain at WDW. Although it has a few pretty new window dressings, it sure wasn't any better.

    Shame on Disney for not actually improving the ride experience. This ride is a piece of CRAP! I was furious after riding. Disney rides shouldn't hurt you!!!!! Leave the pain to less family friendly parks like Six Flags.

    Great review Fishy.
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  9. #9

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by kramden88 View Post
    The reason why they didn't put SM through a massive overhaul was because they wanted to limit the amount of time that it would be closed. It's an E-ticket ride and when Disneyland refurbished its SM it was closed for an extended time. It was not as much of an issue for Disneyland because much of the attendance is comprised of in-state guests, people who visit much more often than the visitors to WDW. There are a lot more people who go to WDW sporadically and they wanted to limit the number of people who would miss out on this attraction. That is the reason.
    Frankly, I think they did a very good job. What else would you have liked them to have done?
    I think this is a poor excuse, given the amount of different parks and things to do at the MK, an extended refurb "should" happen to aging attractions. Throwing a bandaid on an open wound is not going to stop the bleeding.

    Regarding my experience, I did notice a difference, it was smoother (but still jerky) and I enjoyed the queue games very much. I've been on the DL version, there's just no comparison and given this is supposed to be the flagship resort, they need to do better.

    I would also like to note that I wish they'd open up the space for the people mover so we can see the attraction instead of a wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeland View Post
    The improvements they made were a drop in the bucket compared to Disneyland's. But compared to what we HAD, I enjoyed the ride a little bit more.
    This one. ^ I agree with this completely. I do enjoy the ride a little bit more but its so sad compared to what it could have been.

  10. #10

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    I'm a tall guy and I only fit in the front seat of the Space Mountain car. Unfortunately this means that my shins rest right up against the metal lip on the front of the car, where they get slammed every time there is a fresh turn or twist. I have no problem with the ride staying the same (in my opinion having the MK and the DL being so different is a good thing), but how much would it have cost them to put a layer of padding on the front of the car to protect my legs. I can't be the only one who dreads the Space Mountain bruising. Disney needs to hire some tall engineers to engage in a test ride or two. Then pony up for a layer of cheap space foam.

  11. #11

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Do you still disembark in that empty, carpeted room with the roller coaster track randomly running through it?

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    I've heard a lot of people say that onboard audio would've required a new track or extensive strengthening of the current track because of all the added weight. Really? In the age of iPods, GPS tech, and cell phones that can blare MP3s, onboard audio would have to be so heavy that they'd need a new track? If that's really true, I'd be scared to ride along with any overweight park guests.

  13. #13

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Having never been to DL, I was pleasantly suprised by WDW Space Mountain upgrade. I guess my lack of dissappointment was do to the fact that I have nothing to pit it against. Based on what is was, I see an improvement.
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  14. #14

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by clockworkmonkey View Post
    I've heard a lot of people say that onboard audio would've required a new track or extensive strengthening of the current track because of all the added weight. Really? In the age of iPods, GPS tech, and cell phones that can blare MP3s, onboard audio would have to be so heavy that they'd need a new track? If that's really true, I'd be scared to ride along with any overweight park guests.

    i have to agree with you there.

  15. #15

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    Re: What did you think about the new Space Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by clockworkmonkey View Post
    I've heard a lot of people say that onboard audio would've required a new track or extensive strengthening of the current track because of all the added weight. Really? In the age of iPods, GPS tech, and cell phones that can blare MP3s, onboard audio would have to be so heavy that they'd need a new track? If that's really true, I'd be scared to ride along with any overweight park guests.
    That's the whole point - they WERE supposed to get a whole new track (but with the same layout) which would be stronger and smoother and allow the ride to operate for many years to come. However, all they ended up doing is welding and replacing the worn out sections. It feels bumpier than ever and totally painful.
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