Space Mountain Disneyland

Alright I have a few questions here about Space Mountain. I was checking RCDB and saw that Vekoma had their hand in the new Space Mountain. If this is true, this is the smoothest Vekoma I have ever been on and I wish them the best of luck with the future. Upon looking at the track it seems nowhere near a Vekoma design.

I was just on a recent trip to Disneyland and we rode the new Space Mountain for the first time (I've ridden the old one). We waited in line for about half hour before getting on the ride. We rolled around the first two turns and got up the top of the second lift before the lights came on and the ride broke down. We were stuck for about ten minutes so it gave me lots of time to look at the track. The new track is a box spine design (similar to B&M but the box is always face up) but the lift hills are a very old style V shape style. We had to be evacuated from the ride so we got to walk down the tunnels. The track in the first part of the ride looks like the old track, even looks very worn like the old track. My second question is, does anyone know for sure if the lift and pre-lift track was removed?

-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
Jeff's avatar
Vekoma did Everest at Animal Kingdom too, and it's quite smooth. Even their stock launch coaster at the studio park is pretty smooth.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

It could be a hint that Vekoma has improved or Disney is just really good at TLC work. It may very well be both as well.
TLC by Disney and also that Imagineering will only take the best... They say that Imagineering rejected a few track pieces for Rock n Roller Coaster as they were already bad before installation! Also, they didn't burn the trains out during high speed testing before opening. Instead, they got a normal train (the red fiberglass shell present on newer Boomerang) to do the testing.

What I had heard regarding the Disneyland Space Mountain is that the whole track was replaced.

This is a picture of the current third lift. In case you're wondering, the anti rollbacks are yellow things in the middle of track. They're spring loaded and so will let the fins of the train go up, but won't allow it to slide back down. Those were invented and first used for the 1995 DLP Space Mountain, so I doubt the lift is still from the original 1977 ride.

First of all Vekoma had nothing to do with Space Mountain at Disneyland, but Vekoma did design and manufacture the track for Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland. The track for Disneyland's Space Mountain was designed and manufactured by AMEC Design Structures. The track from the back of the station to the top of Lift C is the original track. It was reused because it wasn't worn out like the rest of the track. Also it is cheaper than getting new track and reusing the proprietary lift chains, dog chains, anti-rollbacks system and odd that piston systems that move the Rocket Trains through the station.
janfrederick's avatar
Didn't know that. RCDB says they are the builder. It doesn't mention who built the track. From the AMEC Design Structures Web site, it sounds like they design and assemble stuff, but I didn't see anything about manufacturing.

In any case, I'm pretty sure Vekoma was involved with Thunder Mountain though....and seems they have a thing for building similar coasters in Europe.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Almost again, AMEC did design and manufacture the track, you can see the exact same track that is used on Space Mountain in there booth at the IAAPA trade shows and on their web site. The only Big Thunder Mountain Railroad that Vekoma was involved with is the one at Disneyland Paris, all the other were built by WDI.
I haven't been on Space Mountain at HKDL yet, but I would not be surprised if Vekoma didn't provide the new trains for TDL and DL Space Mountain. They look very similar based on pictures.

TDL got a rehab last year that brought new trains and new effects. The track wasn't touched, so it shuffles around the turns and doesn't have on board audio.

Check out this link to RCDB

Click on "Custom Other" under the Model. It comes up with Vekoma Custom Other, listing Space Mountain: Mission 2, Everest, and Space Mountain at DL

-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
janfrederick's avatar
^That's what I thought!

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
I was under the impression that DL's Space Mountain was a brand-new Vekoma coaster. Thanks for clearing that up.
SONiC Senshi,
Do you have any other basis for your statement that Vekoma wasn't involved other than AMEC's IAAPA booth?
My understanding was that the timing of DL's total rebuild of Space Mountain was due to the fact that they received cost savings by ordering a second coaster from the manufacturer who was producing the HKDL Space Mountain (Vekoma).

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
janfrederick's avatar
Yah, if you go to the AMEC site, it looks like they are all about engineering and project management. It would make sense that they would manage and engineer the project.

Question is, why even involve them? Wouldn't they have the project management staff at Disney and isn't Vekoma capable of the engineering? Sure I've been told that they use paper templates when bending track...perhaps quality was an issue?

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
This is pure speculation, but the DL rebuild would have been a much bigger engineering challenge than the 'build from scratch' done in Hong Kong. Perhaps AMEC helped manage the engineering challenges presented by ripping out the existing coaster structure and replacing it without damaging the superstructure of the building? I know if I were Disney I'd have wanted an outside company on the hook for that.

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
That's a good point. It's one thing to build a coaster and then a building around it. It's another issue to rebuild major portions of a coaster already enclosed in a building that can't be removed.

Something tells me Disney has a lot of faith in Vekoma's engineering abilities. DLP's Space Mountain, Rock 'N' Roller Coaster, Everest...

Don't for get about DLP: BTMRR, Casey Jr; HKD: Space Mountain; TDL: Gadget's Go Coaster; WDW: Barnstormer. As well as the other Rock 'N' Roller Coasters that are out there.

-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
matt.'s avatar
Whatever whoever did in there, the outcome is phenomenal. Wondefully smooth, fast (feeling), intense experience, I loved every second of it.
rollergator's avatar
^^^Disney probably SHOULD have a lot of faith in Vekoma's engineering abilities, given their prior projects together and their overwhelming successes. "Multi-coaster contracts" will always come up in discussion...but a bunch of mutually-beneficial deals where everybody's happy in the likely to result in MORE Disney business for Vekoma.

Then again, how many Vekoma INVERTS does Disney have? ;)

^^ Agreed with Matt. DL's space Mt. is a top 10 steel ride for me. WDW's and TDL's are more like in the 80's or 90s :)

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
^It amazed me that Vekoma built RR and EE.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

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