Welcome to the first installment of our ongoing series on traveling in the Orlando area, home to numerous theme parks and attractions. This series is intended to provide geek-focused recommendations for places to visits, events to see, and attractions to ride.
Space Mountain was introduced first at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in 1971. Like the Matterhorn Bobsled ride at Disneyland, it’s a steel-tube coaster but with a twist: it’s indoors and in the dark. Two separate tracks send cars and riders down a fast-paced course with sudden twists, turns, and drops that you can’t see coming. The best part? You’re riding through a starfield as if you were in a starfighter.
Over forty years later, it’s still one of the most popular attractions in all of the Disney parks.
The Geek Appeal
Space! Let’s say that again. SPACE! You’re flying through a projected star field in a car designed to look like a rocket with dramatic music blasting in the background. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re in the cockpit of an X-Wing and caught in the middle of a wild run through asteroids and obstacles, this is the ride for you.
Even the queue is full of geeky and spacy charm. The line leading towards the loading area is modeled like a space station corridor you’d expect to see in the likes of 2001. Additionally, the standby line features team-based mini video games that task you with stocking space freighters or blasting away dangerous asteroids. It’s a clever feature, and a life saver since Space Mountain will feature some of the longest lines in all of Disney. Which brings us to…
The easiest thing you can possibly do is grab a Fast Pass+, which you can book online with a MyMagic+ account or at the park the day of. If you can book online, do that, because the available slots can vanish in a hurry the day of and FP+ will allow you to book weeks in advance of your arrival. With FP+, you can expect to be blasting through the ride within 10-15 minutes of entering the line.
If you don’t want to use one of your available FP slots on Space Mountain, or if you’ve already used up your allotted amount for that day, plan on getting to the park as close to rope drop (opening) as you can and doing this ride first. Later in the day, you can try riding during one of the bigger night time events like the Electrical Light Parade or the Wishes fireworks show. Otherwise, you can expect to be in the standby line for anywhere from 60-90 minutes.
Is This Attraction For You?
Ask yourself a few quick questions. Are you okay going downhill really fast? Are you okay with quick turns and drops you can’t see coming? Are you okay being strapped into a car and doing all of that in the dark? If the answer is yes, go for it!