Space Mountain / Memories

Space Mountain

Sunlight through the clouds illuminates Space Mountain and the nearby Video Arcade in the Tomorrowland Light and Power Company building at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida.

Although this looked pretty good in color, I really liked the look that the black-and-white processing gave this shot. It’s something you don’t quite see every day.

Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Photo location: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida
A three-exposure (-2, 0, +2) HDR tonemapped in Photomatix, edited in GIMP

Space Mountain Memories

I’m not sure how, but even before we went to Walt Disney World that very first time, I had heard about Space Mountain. After its opening in 1975 at Walt Disney World (and in 1977 at Disneyland), Space Mountain had quickly become a pop culture icon. I’m sure that partly had to do with the unique-looking building, but mainly it was just because of the thrill of riding a roller coaster in the dark.

We did ride Space Mountain on that first trip - how could you not? And then the next year when we went with my grandparents for the first time, my grandmother rode it, too, which we thought was pretty cool.

And then we would always ride Space Mountain on trips after that. We usually tried to go during one of the two showings of the Main Street Electrical Parade to try to avoid the crowds. And it usually worked, too. We rarely had to wait more than 20 minutes or so, and that was way before the FastPass days.

It was always thrilling to go hurtling quickly through the dark, without really being able to see where you were going, except for the occasional glimpse of the track right in front of you if you were sitting in the front of the rocket. So after riding Space Mountain for a few years, I was a little surprised to learn that we were only going around 30 miles per hour. We had driven a lot faster than that to get there, as it turns out. But something about the quick turns, the wind in your face, and the darkness still made it exciting, even at those “slow” speeds.

They have made some changes in Space Mountain from time to time, but nothing that really affects the ride experience, fortunately. I am looking forward to riding it on our next trip, as they have added speakers playing music along the way. When Disneyland’s Space Mountain added music from speakers actually in the rockets several years ago, it was really neat, and to me it added something to the ride. Something good, of course. And hopefully the WDW version will be good, too.

Either way, I’ll keep on riding Space Mountain. After all, it is much safer than driving around quickly at night with your headlights off.

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.