Space Mountain

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    Space Mountain Ride at Disneyland California

    Space Mountain at Disneyland
    ©2012 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster with an outer space theme, built in 1977 and re-Imagineered in 2005. It retained the same track, entry line configuration and theme, but with new special effects, rocket vehicles and soundtrack. 

    This ride is almost completely dark except for small lights that simulate stars. It's like flying through outer space. Added Star Wars effects include an intergalactic battle, but the best part is the Star Wars theme music playing as the ride takes off. And it seems like it goes faster than it did before - but that could be my imagination.

    What You Need to Know About Space Mountain

    We polled 639 of our readers to find out what they think about Space Mountain. 88% of them said It's a must-do or ride it if you have time.

    • Location: Space Mountain is in Tomorrowland.
    • Rating: ★★★★★
    • Restrictions: 40 inches (102 cm). Regardless of height, children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.
    • Ride Time: 2 minutes, 45 seconds
    • Recommended for:  Families with teens, anyone who likes fast rides. And especially Star Wars fans.
    • Fun Factor: High. In fact, Space Mountain is one of the best rides at Disneyland.  Here's the rest of the list.
    • Wait Factor:  High. Learn how to use a Fastpass to shorten your time in line
    • Fear Factor: Medium, but it's more exciting than it is creepy scary
    • Herky-Jerky Factor: Space Mountain is fast, dark and goes around curves with lots of force. It's not for anyone a neck or back trouble, heart problems and is not recommended for expectant mothers.
    • Nausea Factor:  Prone to motion sickness? Take precautions.
    • Seating: Space Mountain is one of the few rides at Disneyland where body size may be an issue. They won't let you ride if the lap bar can’t lock. Riders as large as 6’4” and over 300 pounds have reported that they can fit in, although they say it's a little uncomfortable. Whether you can fit depends a lot on your body shape.
    • Accessibility:  Wheelchair users enter through the gate just inside the Space Mountain EXIT and go down the ramp to the boarding area. You will have to negotiate steps when boarding and getting out of the Space Mountain ride vehicle. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV
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    How to Have More Fun on Space Mountain

    Boarding Area at Space Mountain
    Norm Lanier/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0
    • When you suddenly stop near the end of the ride, put on your best smile. That's when they take the ride photo.
    • Put away your glasses and hat, or you may lose them.
    • Space Mountain may not look it from the outside, but it's actually a roller coaster that's inside a building. If you crave more thrills, you'll find them in this Guide to Disneyland Roller Coasters.

    Next Disneyland Ride: Star Tours

    More About Disneyland Rides

    You can see all the Disneyland rides at a glance on the Disneyland Ride Sheet. If you want to browse through them starting with the best-rated, start with the Haunted Mansion and follow the navigation.

    While you're thinking about rides, you should also download Our Recommended Disneyland Apps (they're all free!) and Get Some Proven Tips to Minimize Your Disneyland Wait Time.

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    Fun Facts About Space Mountain

    Disneyland's Space Mountain
    Matthew Simmons / Getty Images

    The original Space Mountain opened at Walt Disney World in 1975, after a decade of planning. It opened in California in 1977, with six U S. Mercury astronauts and the widow of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom in attendance.

    Space Mountain begins at Station 77, where riders board their "rocket." Space Mountain is 118 feet tall and 200 feet wide, and its foundation is buried two stories below ground to keep it in scale with the other Tomorrowland attractions.

    Is It Different than Space Mountain in Florida?

    Even if you enjoyed this ride in Florida, Space Mountain is worth another spin in California, where the boarding queue is much more entertaining. Once on the ride, you’ll find it darker and with more a feeling of flying through space. Seating is also different, with two people per row. It’s a configuration that I like better, allowing me to hear my pals screaming and to enjoy the jostling back and forth.

    During Halloween season, Space Mountain becomes Ghost Galaxy in California. A cadre of creepy ghosts show up at every turn and outside, another one tries to break out through the roof.

    Next Disneyland Ride: Star Tours