Your Favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain!

Splash Mountain's 52' Drop!

Splash Mountain’s 52′ Drop!

By Mike Ellis.

The other day on Facebook I submitted this picture of Splash Mountain, along with pictures of Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (see below), and asked the following question:

“What is your favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain? Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?”

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Attraction Series – Space Mountain!

Space Mountain Space Mountain is a unique attraction at Walt Disney World in that the attraction opened first at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, and then was installed at other Disney parks across the world!

Space Mountain opened on January 15, 1975 in Tomorrowland.  Did you know that Space Mountain is considered to be built “outside” the park in that it is on the other side of the Walt Disney World Railroad tracks that serve as the perimeter of the park?  Also, did you know that upon opening, the first sponsor of the attraction was RCA?  Card Walker, the CEO of Walt Disney Productions, convinced RCA chairman Robert Sarnoff to sponsor the attraction.  RCA had won the contract to provide the communications hardware for the resort, and their was a stipulation that if a big attraction was opened, RCA would contribute $10 Million dollars to sponsor it.

After Space Mountain opened and was a big success, it was opened in modified forms at Disneyland (May 27, 1977), Tokyo Disneyland (opening day, April 15, 1983), Disneyland Paris (June 1, 1995), and Hong Kong Disneyland (opening day, September 12, 2005).

One of the interesting things that I find fascinating about Space Mountain is the speed of the coaster.  According to Disney Wiki, here are the speeds of each of the five versions of Space Mountain:

So, in all of the versions, the one at the Magic Kingdom in WDW is the slowest.  I don’t know about you, but I would love to try out the Disneyland Paris version at 47 MPH!

I hope you have enjoyed this look at Space Mountain!  Until our trip last June, Space Mountain was one of those take it or leave it rides for me because Sophie doesn’t like it, and it seems so slow.  But last year I rode it twice during our visit, the first time I though it was insane, but the second time I thought it was even faster!  Thanks for stopping by!  In closing, here is a picture I played around with a little bit — imagine if Space Mountain looked like this!

Space Mountain Neon

 

Space Mountain — One of the sickest rides I’ve ever been on!

Space Mountain — that majestic flight to outer space that you can enjoy each and every day when you visit the Magic Kingdom.  That ride, where you are virtually in the dark the entire ride, as you and your spaceship navigate around and around in your journey through space!  That ride, which until I rode it during our trip to Disney World in June, I had never been on the left hand track!

Now, before you villify me, I must explain that I rode Space Mountain twice during our last vacation — and before that, it had been several years since I had ridden it before, and to my memory, I think I had ridden it only twice before in all the times I had been to Walt Disney World.  So I doubled my ride experiences during this trip!

The first time I rode Space Mountain was around 1:45 AM on Sunday evening (Monday morning.)  The extra magic hours were about to expire at 2:00 AM, so we needed to get over there if we were going to make it.  In line for this excursion were Stephanie, Shane, Kyle, Kerry, Cindy, and myself.  When we went through the line — which was dead, by the way — we were directed to the right side as we approached the loading area, and we were in positions 1-6.  Cindy was first, then Kerry, then me, then Kyle, Stephanie, and Shane (I think that was their order.)

This was Kerry’s first trip on Space Mountain, so she was understandably nervous!  As for me, I was excited.  As we started off, we got going for just a short while, and then we stopped for a moment.  It was at this moment that Kyle, who knew that Kerry had never been on before, decided to give out a blood-curdling scream!  As soon as he did that, we were off!

Kerry was screaming the whole way it seemed, but so was I, because that is what I do on roller coasters — I scream!  It was incredible, we had so much fun, and even though Kerry was scared to death, she still had fun!

Three days later, we were at it again.  We were in the Magic Kingdom that night because the girls had their outing at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and then we ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  That was the night that we saw the fireworks from inside the dining hall!

We had Fast Passes for something like 10:30 PM or so, and the Magic Kingdom closed at 11:00 PM that night, so after we experienced the Fireworks and left, we were able to head on over to Space Mountain to turn in our passes.  In the end, this ride was just Kerry, Monica, and myself.  Kerry was experiencing Space Mountain for the second time this trip, I was experiencing Space Mountain for the fourth time, and Monica, well this was Monica’s first trip on Space Mountain!

The difference this time was that we were directed to the left side of the loading area, and while Kerry and I didn’t think anything about the difference, when we started going, it was evident that this was a completely different ride — and the biggest difference was the speed!

I thought that this was the fastest trip on Space Mountain that I had ever been on — it was crazy it was so exciting.  In every turn, it felt like the speed just kept going up and up and up — and I almost thought that it was going to go so fast that we would rocket off the track at one point!  Hands down, this was the best single roller coaster ride that I have ever experienced!  It was so crazy, here was our ride photo that they took for us while we were riding!

So tell me, what was your favorite roller coaster experience?  Why not tell me about it in the comments?  Thanks!

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My first Disney trip

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This picture is from 2006, the next time that my Mom would visit the Magic Kingdom!

I was about 10 or 11 years old when I first went to Walt Disney World.  My Grandma and Grandpa had retired the previous year, and moved to Florida, so the following summer my Mom and sister and I went down to visit them.  In the course of that trip, Grandma and Grandpa took us on a trip to Walt Disney World.

I don’t have any pictures of the trip, but I do have memories.  I remember that at that time Disney World consisted of the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Resort, and the Grand Floridian resort.  We didn’t stay on property, and we had to decide which rides we wanted to enjoy because the park had tickets for the individual rides.  The more popular rides took more tickets than the less popular ones.

I remember that I wouldn’t ride Space Mountain.  Robin (my sister) tried really hard to get me to go, but I was chicken.

Remember when the Theater on Main Street showed silent Mickey Mouse cartoons?

So many things have changed at Walt Disney World, but regardless of that, so much of the Magic Kingdom has remained the same.

Despite the changes, the predominate things that make Walt Disney World special remain.  The Magic began for me with the moment we would get into the car to make the trip to Disney.  The closer we got to the park, the more the excitement would build, and when we saw the “Walt Disney World Sign”, I was about ready to bust with excitement.

The excitement continued to build as we passed the parking attendants, got out of the car, and memorized where we parked (we were usually in Grumpy or Happy).

Then, as you ride the tram to the the Transportation and Ticketing Center, reality continues to fade into the background as you are magically transported to the world of Walt Disney.

For us, as we rode on the Monorail to the park entrance, seeing the famous Magic Kingdom landmarks approach always started a discussion on what ride we would ride first.  The answers always varied, but for me, and that first visit, I didn’t care which ride I rode first.

For me, the experience of it all is what was really special to me.  I didn’t care which rides I rode, that first trip I was all about where it all begins — Main Street, U.S.A.  Seeing the train station, experiencing the buildings around the circle, and then taking in all of the shops, that is, in many ways, what it is all about.

Even now, after years of visiting Walt Disney World, to me, nothing is as special as the feeling I get when I enter Main Street, U.S.A. and take it all in.