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.