Discovery Mountain was originally planned to be built at Euro Disneyland (now Disneyland Paris) instead of a more conventional Space Mountain, like the ones seen at other Disney parks.
Acting more like a “mega pavilion” for Discoveryland, this amazing attraction would’ve not only featured a thrilling, Vernian take on the classic Space Mountain, but would’ve also included the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and a Journey to the Center of the Earth-themed launched freefall ride as well as, at various points in its planning phase, Star Tours, Cine Magique, and even a modified form of Horizons!
Unfortunately with the financial mess the Euro Disney Resort proved to be, these ambitious plans were deemed far too expensive, resulting in Discovery Mountain being greatly scaled back to simply include the launched coaster. Even the name “Discovery Mountain” would be dropped at the last minute in favor of the more familiar “Space Mountain” moniker. Space Mountain: From the Earth to the Moon would prove to be a smashing hit anyways, and is often credited for putting Disneyland Paris back on the map.
I have a question for you, dear internet. I tried researching this last night, but could only find the dimensions of the track, not the buildings themselves.
Oh right it helps if I actually say what I’m asking.
Does anybody know if Disney World’s Space Mountain building is larger than Disneyland’s? When I was at Disneyland earlier this year it definitely seemed smaller, but I’m not sure if that was because WDW’s is surrounded by trees whereas DLR’s is surrounded by… hotels and ihops and stuff.
Walt Disney World’s is definitely larger.
Taller, too. WDW’s Space Mountain came first. It was a hit, so it was decided to build one at Disneyland too. But since Orlando’s Space Mountain’s track layout was inspired by Disneyland’s Matterhorn, a new layout was designed for Disneyland’s.
So there’s one reason Disneyland’s is smaller. In Florida, the building actually houses two separate coasters which are mostly a mirror image of each other. In Disneyland, there’s only one track in the building.
Then there’s the fact that, if the building had been built at the same scale as the Magic Kingdom’s, it would dwarf Sleeping Beauty Castle. To prevent that, Disneyland’s Space Mountain actually lies 17 feet below ground level. When I worked at the park during the major refurbishment, when the track was replaced, I could walk up to the opening where a wall had been removed from the back of the building, and I’d be looking down at the floor of the building 17 feet below where I was standing.
Then again, Florida’s is 15 feet below ground level at its lowest point, so maybe there’s not that much difference there. But in Disneyland’s case, it keeps the building, at 75 feet tall (not including the spires), shorter than Sleeping Beauty Castle, which is 77 feet tall. Granted, the spires of Space Mountain reach up to 117 feet, but the building itself is still shorter than the castle. Barely.
At the magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle is 189 feet tall, and their Space Mountain is 183 feet tall (I can’t seem to find the height without spires — and I just spent about an hour looking).
WDW’s Space Mountain has a diameter of 300 feet with 4,508,500 cubic feet of interior space, while Disneyland’s is closer to 200 feet in diameter and only about 1,800,000 cubic feet inside.
And, finally, here’s a side-by-side comparison of them, courtesy of Google maps set to the same scale:
That’s WDW on the left, Disneyland on the right.
Anyone know how to edit the labels in Google Maps? It bugs me that Space Mountain at Disneyland is labelled as “Splash Mountain” in Google.
Ever wonder what the inside of Space Mountain looked like? Wonder no further!
We got stopped by some e-brakes for a little while, the lights popped on and a few minutes later a team of Cast Members came up to us and gave us a push sort of like a bobsled team would, then we coasted down the track to the loading area.
It was sooooo cool.