Monday, November 3, 2014

Space Mountain Fun Facts

Welcome to those of you joining me from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the fourth stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I'll never forget the first day of my Disney College Program. We didn't know our assignments yet - all I knew at that point was that I was going to be working on an attraction. So when a Cast Member was signing me in and I saw it said "Tomorrowland" next to my name, I was both thrilled and nervous. "Please let it be Space Mountain" and "please don't let it be the Tomorrowland Speedway" were competing thoughts in my head. Luckily, I got my wish. I'd be working on one of my all time favorite attractions - Space Mountain!

Space Mountain is truly a classic roller coaster. It was the first totally enclosed coaster and it's the oldest operating roller coaster in Florida. Because of this, many generations have called Space Mountain their first coaster and have fond memories of the attraction. Yet very few are able to get an insiders look at at the attraction that I had. Therefore, I'm very glad to be able to share some fun, somewhat mind-blowing facts about "the mountain."

About Walt Disney World's Space Mountain

  • You must be 44 inches tall to ride. If you must know, telling "shorties" they weren't tall enough was most definitely the worst part of my job.
  • Space Mountain will celebrate its 40th anniversary this January. The attraction opened on January 15, 1975.
  • When you enter the queue and walk downstairs, you are literally crossing UNDER the Walt Disney World Railroad. And Space Mountain Cast Members must cross the railroad tracks to enter the building. 
  • There are two tracks that are mirror images of one another. Most guests swear that they went on a different ride when they go on the track to the left (Track A or the Alpha Track) or to the right (Track B or the Omega Track). They are sort of correct. The tracks are exactly the same except one makes left turns and one makes right turns. They are literal mirror images of one another. Track A at the very end is ten feet longer to cross over Track B, but that is the only difference.
  • Max speed is (believe it or not) 27 miles per hour. When scared guests approached me outside the attraction, I'd tell them, "Would you get scared in a convertible going 27mph?" They'd laugh - and then I'd say that's how fast this ride goes. While the dark makes it considerably more frightening, it still isn't going very fast! If you ever have the opportunity to ride with the lights on, you'll see its not very scary at all! 
  • If Space Mountain is broken down, take a ride on the TTA PeopleMover. When Space Mountain is down, the lights automatically turn on for the Cast Members to reset the ride. When you go through the Mountain on the PeopleMover, you'll get a great view of the track with the lights on.
  • Cast Members walk the entire track every single night for lost and found. If you have a severe fear of heights, Space Mountain is probably not the ride for you to work on. We found the usual items each night (cameras, hats, ears, glasses) as well as things you'd never believe, including false teeth, hairpieces, shoes, etc. All items are tagged and brought to Guest Relations right after park closing.
  • Each rocket ship must have at least five guests. When you see the cast members running around looking for a party of one or two, there's a reason for it. If the cars don't have enough weight or if they run with less than five guests, the control tower must put a delay on the next rocket ship so it doesn't catch up to the one in front of it.
These are just some of the fun facts I learned while working at Space Mountain. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section and I will answer them to the best of my ability. (It HAS been ten years since my College Program!) I hope you enjoyed this fun trivia!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Frontierland Station - Splash Mountain
2nd Stop ~ A Disney Mom's Thoughts - TTA PeopleMover
3rd Stop ~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse - The Haunted Mansion 
4th Stop ~ The Disney Point - Space Mountain (You are here!)
Final Stop ~ Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere - The Disney Magic


lori ketcherside said...

I remember taking my little sister on Space Mountain for her "first roller coaster" it was truly magical! I've always gotten jumpy riding this ride and pulled my hands in worried I'd hit something in the dark. What's the clearance like?

Rosanne Mottola said...

Lori - good question. I have to say, it seems a lot lower than you think when you ride with the lights on! However, we do tell everyone, Shaq rode with his hands up and he came off unscathed - so I assure you you should be fine!

Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse said...

Those lost & found items are funny! I did always wonder why they have to fill the rocket ships. Guess that's kind of common sense, huh?

Rosanne Mottola said...

Jodi, it's very important! We normally have a lot of problems when we get three parties of two. We will put the first two in the first two seats, the next two in the last two seats, but nobody wants to ride in the middle two seats because they think they are going to be separated! It holds a lot of people up and could possibly cause a breakdown.

Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse said...

I've seen people throw a fit over ride seating arrangements. They just don't think of the engineering behind it. Definitely don't want a malfunction!

Rosanne Mottola said...

Totally! I do understand a parent and a small child on his first coaster...we do everything we can to avoid that situation. However, when two adults can't be separated by six inches IN THE SAME ROCKET SHIP for two and a half minutes, then I have a problem!

Julie Bigboy said...

I've always loved Space Mountain, how interesting about the weight requirements!

Kimberly said...

I have seen them ask for parties of 1 or 2 many times on Space Mountain. Now I know why! Definitely wouldn't be good if the rockets catch up to each other!

Kimberly said...

I've wondered about that too. I usually don't put my hands up too high on Space Mountain. I'm sure there's plenty of room to do that, but it just seems like there isn't.

Rosanne Mottola said...

The good thing is, it would never actually happen. The ride system would simply stop all the rocketships at various zones on the track, so nobody would be in danger. However, it would break down the ride for about 15 minutes and that's no fun for anyone!

Kimberly said...

That's good! I figured there would be something in place to keep them from hitting each other. But yes, closing Space Mountain for 15 minutes is definitely no fun!

DisneyMomma said...

What a fun post to read! Thanks for the interesting information!

Beth C Green said...

I'm so jealous of you! I WISH I could go back and participate in the college program! Maybe in my retirement, I'll go back to college just to do the WDW College program! ;)

I love the lost and found items! I also had no idea track A was 10 feet longer! I knew they were mirror images though! GREAT post!

Capturing Magical Memories said...

I was with a work group that learned quickly that a dropped laynard could stop a ride.

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