Space Mountain Disneyland

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 11:50 PM

Peabody said:
^^ 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 :)

Good to see I'm not alone in the that thinking. Space Mtn. at DL is within top 10 for me just because it is so fun - the music, the darkness (much darker than WDW), the general layout and theme - it all makes it so much fun. Maybe it helped I didn't go in with any expectations at all, but still I came off thinking it is what more coasters need to focus on - not height or loops but the fun factor.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 8:52 AM
Same for me... top 10 easily for DL Space Mountain. Amazing ride and just an unbelievable design.

The capacity is insane! People get off, you sit, they move your train forward twice, check your bars and then you're sent in the ride. That's it. They run 12 trains at once...

Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:39 AM
And DL's Space Mountain only has one track, right?
Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:31 AM
Yes. One track.

The 12 trains are 2 cars, 6 people per car in 3 rows of 2. Vekoma installed some comfy lap bars and the seats aren't too bad.

The Layout is VERY twisted.

Spoilers! Track layout.

After dispatch, you turn to the right and engage a small lift. A right turn bring you into a lighted, themed tunnel followed by another right turn brings you into the second lift, which is the largest. All kinds of light effects around as you crest the top... The music which was all relaxing turns dramatic as you truly "enter" Space. You see rockets going all around you as you turn to the left and you engage the short third lift. In the Hong Kong version, you got the projection of an exploding supernova at the top of the mountain.

What follows after is what may be the most twisted and compact coaster ever. Off the lift, you got two left turns as the music becomes catchy (same composer as the Incredibles movie!) and then, its all tight right turns until the end! The Hong Kong version again got an added effect: the "hypergate". You drop through a serie of lighted portals... Very cool looking on video. As the ride goes, the turns get tighter, the rocket faster and then... after all those right turns (32 I read somewhere!), you got one sharp left turn to bring you to the reentry tunnel. Cool effect as you have those stars slowing down all around you.

Imagineering uses a rather strange way to move the trains in the final brakes, pre station brakes, station and "lap bar check" positions. The rocket will go over those inverted V, which will allow the brake fin through, but won't allow it to go back the other way. Those V's are mounted on pneumatic cylinders and those V's will push the trains VERY fast to the next position. It is needed, as the timing on the ride is very tight.

They can basically have 3 trains behind the station... if a train is forced to stop in the reentry tunnel, the ride shuts down. Yes, litterally. So, to keep perfect timing, the DL version weights the train at the last position before the first lift. If the train is too heavy, the track switches and it goes to the left... which is the transfer track. A cast member will free the people and bring them back to the station, splitting them up to keep the weight down.

Now, remember that tight timing? How about disabled guests? They found the perfect solution for that. . Look at this picture, notice the train at the top? Its parked at the wheelchair boarding platform. Once everyone is seated... they'll send an empty rocket, stop it on the transfer table, slide the other train on the main track and proceed to cycle it. What's brilliant is that they don't even need to reslide the transfer table until the rocket filled with the disabled guests come back. They'll let it through the main station, park it on the transfer track, slide it over and then send the empty train back to the transfer track, bring it back (the trains happen to return to the main track behind the station!) and then fill it up. Minimal loss of capacity, no rush for the disabled guests and no disruption to the main waiting line. *** Edited 3/27/2008 3:32:12 PM UTC by Absimilliard***

Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:36 AM

Absimilliard said:
Now, remember that tight timing? How about disabled guests? They found the perfect solution for that. ...

I saw that in person and have to say that is an amazing setup they have. It worked so well and those needing longer time could take all the time in the world without slowing down normal operations.

*** Edited 3/27/2008 9:16:35 PM UTC by Andrew***

Thursday, March 27, 2008 12:54 PM
Disney deserves a lot of credit for showing how to increase rider capacity on their coasters. Expedition Everest was great but the thing that blew me away was how efficient the lines were. Never an empty seat. Loan riders hardly had to wait at all. Typical lines at Great Adventure in the summer are hours long with far fewer people then what Disney contends with on a daily basis. Sure, it costs more to have extra staff and to run so many trains, but Disney understands they can't afford to allow lines getting clogged up for hours on end. With Six Flags debt stacking up it just seems like their lines are getting longer, not shorter. I just don't see how they can afford to turn so many frustrated customers away. Parks should pay closer attention to what makes Disney parks so successful.
Thursday, March 27, 2008 2:30 PM
Hmmm...for some reason I remember the last turn being a right turn as well. But I've abused my noodle over the years, so go figure. The starfield brakes makes for the best coaster DCLR-8-shun in all of coasterdom.
Thursday, March 27, 2008 4:37 PM
Between the intensity of SM, the pure all-out nostalgic joy of Matterhorn, and the highly-themed thrills of BTMRR....that park is still the crown jewel of U.S. Disney parks...IMO.

Anyhow, I was WAY surprised at the intensity of SM....and look forward to more laps sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later....

Thursday, March 27, 2008 5:12 PM
You left off Indy and what I think to be the better of the two Splashes.

(I'm a sucker for the Rabbit's Lament section before the main lift, which is missing from Florida's version, even though Florida's storyline is arguably more clear.)

Friday, March 28, 2008 1:07 PM
I agree Brian... that section on DL Splash Mountain is amazing and I guess that since WDW needs to make everything "kid friendly", that dark section was removed....
Friday, March 28, 2008 1:55 PM

rollergator said:
that park is still the crown jewel of U.S. Disney parks...IMO.

For me it's the crown jewel of U.S. parks, period.

Also, don't forget DL's Pirates pwn the Florida version. And Fantasmic seemed a lot better at DL then it did at MGM to me, even though I still think a lot of it's kinda lame.

Monday, March 31, 2008 10:14 AM
The Disneyland versionof Pirates definitely beats the crap out of the WDW version. For all the hype that the Haunted Mansion gets for being one of the best darkrides in the country, I think there is none better (at a theme park) than DL's Pirates. It's in a class all by itself.
Monday, March 31, 2008 12:17 PM
I was just at DL with a diehard WDW fan but DL first-timer and after our first go at Pirates he said "Wow...Florida's is kinda the Cliff Notes version, huh."
Monday, March 31, 2008 12:33 PM
The entrance is even better.
Monday, March 31, 2008 12:34 PM
There just isn't any comparison.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:58 AM
One of the best things is the way the loading area is adjacent to the Blue Bayou restaurant. That adds so much to the atmosphere of both attractions.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 10:07 AM
Yep. WDW's copy of that setup in Epcot's Mexico pavillion is cute, but not nearly so immersive.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 10:48 AM
You know, I never really thought about the two rides having the same concept until I started reading about the upgrades made to the ride at the Mexico pavilion. You're right, it doesn't work nearly as well for some reason. I think the restaurant is too big and the ceiling too high, and the sense of intimacy present in Pirates/Blue Bayou is lost.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 12:23 PM
I can't figure out why it doesn't work as well either. But, it doesn't. It's neat, and a very pleasant experience, but it's just missing that little something.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 1:04 PM
I love the Blue Bayou. Monte Cristco ftw!

But I do have to say, Splash is better at MK than DL...


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