Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Space Mountain Construction

Today's post wouldn't be possible without the kindness of Daveland reader Bill H. He sent a treasure trove of construction photos for Disneyland's Space Mountain. The first few are from December 1975.

Just three months later, he captured this one, showing the closing-in of the mountain.

This March 1976 image is from my collection:

By May 1976, it was beginning to take shape and look like the iconic Tomorrowland attraction that so many guests just can't get enough of:

June 1976:

July 1976:

September 1976

November 1976

Flash forward to today (or thereabouts):

Pretty amazing that a 35-year-old thrill ride still draws 'em in. It may not be the most death-defying attraction, but few (including myself) can ever forget their first ride in the dark on this rush-inducing coaster as it whips around in a spiral.

Thanks, Bill—I know that you made the day of more than a few people today!

See more vintage and current Disneyland Space Mountain photos on my Space Mountain web page.


Shawn said...

I love Space Mountain. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

K. Martinez said...

I remember the constuction of Space Mountain well. So much anticipation seeing the structure rise behind the consruction wall in Tomorrowland.

Thank you Bill H. for sharing and thanks for posting Dave.

Dan said...

Hi Dave, this photo is more recent, but here's a look at the 2004 construction when they replaced the track. The Imagineers described it as building a ship in a bottle because they had to build the track inside the existing building: http://www.dadlogic.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/26726_1301244206295_4506949_n.jpg

Major Pepperidge said...

Very neat, I am surprised that plywood was used instead of sheet metal. I love any construction shots!

Rich T. said...

I agree with the Major -- I'm always startled to be reminded that there's plywood under that futuristic-looking surface!

The post-refurb Space Mountain is one of the best rides on Earth. The new music, the great effects and the increased darkness doubled the ride's appeal for me.

Daveland said...

Hi Dan - Thanks for sharing! What a great photo! And yes Major - plywood and Space Mountain just don't seem to belong together!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bill H. and Dave for sharing this.

Space Mountain is a real favorite of mine since the very beginning. I remember riding it for the first time with my Dad, on what turned out to be his last visit to Disneyland. So it's very special to me.

Fun to see the heavy construction right in the middle of the Happiest Place on Earth.


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, these brought back memories. I remember the both construction and the anticipation. I also remember that little showcase in front of the construction wall that housed the model of the Space Mountain complex. Speaking of the SM complex, I still miss the Speedramp out at the front of the attraction and I still cringe every time I see the enclosed space that used to be the outdoor amphitheater. I love Space Mountain - the ride, but unfortunately the design of the original Space Mountain complex has been destroyed over the years.

outsidetheberm said...

Great shots. I remember the wait during opening week... ugh.

Thanks for the look.

Connie Moreno said...

WOW, this is so darn awesome!!!