Todd DeFeo

Space Mountain delights Disney guests for 40 years

Space Mountain rises above the Tomorrowland Speedway on Feb. 7, 2010. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — One of Walt Disney World’s most-beloved attractions turned 40 years old this month.

Space Mountain opened at the Magic Kingdom on Jan. 15, 1975. Other versions have subsequently opened at Disney parks in California, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.

Space Mountain grew out of the Disney mountain attraction concept first used with the Matterhorn at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Other famous mountains include Splash and Big Thunder.

The ride was unique in that is debuted in Florida, rather than merely being a replication of a California Attraction. The opening of the indoor roller coaster also signaled an expansion of Tomorrowland.

In the Magic Kingdom, the coaster was situated outside the perimeter set by the Walt Disney World Railroad. Splash Mountain was later built outside the railroad, albeit across the park in Frontierland.

Despite reaching a maximum speed of 28 mph, Space Mountain is one of Disney’s most beloved attractions. Riders who may be unsure about whether to ride Space Mountain can take a sneak peek on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (formerly known as the WEDway Peoplemover), which passes through the attraction and occasionally gives guests a view of the roller coaster with the lights on.

About Todd DeFeo
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.