Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain

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Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain
Previously known as Space Mountain – De La terre à la lune (1995–2005)
Space Mountain: Mission 2 (2005–2017)
Disneyland Park (Paris)
Park sectionDiscoveryland
Coordinates48°52′26.69″N 2°46′45.30″E / 48.8740806°N 2.7792500°E / 48.8740806; 2.7792500Coordinates: 48°52′26.69″N 2°46′45.30″E / 48.8740806°N 2.7792500°E / 48.8740806; 2.7792500
StatusOperating
Opening dateMay 7, 2017 (2017-05-07)
ReplacedSpace Mountain: Mission 2 (Indefinite)
General statistics
TypeSteel – Launched
ManufacturerVekoma
DesignerWalt Disney Imagineering
Werner Stengel
Lift/launch systemElectric Winch Launch / Booster wheels (second lift)
Height105 ft (32 m)
Length3,281 ft (1,000 m)
Speed44 mph (71 km/h)
Inversions3
Duration2:05
Height restriction47.2 in (120 cm)
Trains5 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Previous ThemeJules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon
Current ThemeStar Wars
MusicStar Wars theme by John Williams (2017-2018)
Mission 2 by Michael Giacchino (2005-2017, 2018-)
De La Terre à la Lune by Steven Bramson (1995–2005)
Single rider line available
Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair accessible
Must transfer from wheelchair
Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain at RCDB
Pictures of Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain at RCDB

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (formerly known as Space Mountain: Mission 2 and Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune) is an indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris. Originally themed around Jules Verne's classic 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, the attraction first opened on June 1, 1995, three years after the park's debut in an attempt to draw more guests to the financially-unstable European resort. Unlike other Space Mountain attractions at Disney theme parks, the installation at Disneyland Paris had a steampunk-detailed appearance with a Columbiad Cannon and a plate-and-rivet exterior under its previous theme. It was the only Space Mountain to feature inversions, a launch, a section of track that exits and re-enters the interior, and a synchronized on-Board audio track.

The original Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune closed in January 2005 and later reopened as Space Mountain: Mission 2 with a revamped non-Jules Verne theme and the same track layout. A refurbishment took place in 2015 to improve the special effects and overall presentation. The newest renovation to the ride implements a Star Wars theme to celebrate the resort's 25th Anniversary.

Original concept[edit]

Originally, Disneyland Paris wanted to make the Parisian and European Version of a replica of Space Mountain from Tokyo Disneyland. However, after the Parisian site had been chosen and work began on Discoveryland, a showcase attraction was planned. Discovery Mountain was initially designed to feature not only Space Mountain, but a variety of other attractions, exhibits, and restaurants. The building was originally going to be 100 metres in diameter but was later shrank to a diameter of 61 metres.

Inside, the following items were to feature:

Discovery Mountain's budget became so huge that cuts were inevitable. In addition, the resort had encountered a loss of millions of French francs in its first three years of operations. This was due to low hotel occupancy, low guest spending and lower attendance than projected, partly due to the colder winter weather—in sharp contrast to Tokyo Disneyland, which sees crowds year-round regardless of the weather. The Victorian-inspired design of Space Mountain (initially named Discovery Mountain before its name change), with its huge Columbiad cannon, and containing only the indoor roller coaster, was decided upon as the best choice for the financially unstable resort, as well as a nearby walkthrough recreation of the Nautilus, entitled Les Mystères du Nautilus.

However, in 2001, Tokyo DisneySea opened, featuring Mysterious Island, a recreation of Vulcania Island from the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This island features some elements from Discovery Mountain (for example the ride Journey to the Center of the Earth or the Nautilus ride). Michael Eisner, ex-CEO of The Walt Disney Company, credited Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune and its creator, Imagineer Tim Delaney, as the savior of Disneyland Paris.[1]

Attraction[edit]

De la Terre à la Lune/From the Earth to the Moon (1995–2005)[edit]

An extravagant version of Space Mountain had been planned since the inception of the Euro Disney Resort but was reserved for a revival of public interest. Located in Discoveryland, the park's alternative for Tomorrowland, this Space Mountain was originally designed as a view on space travel from a Jules Verne-era perspective, based on the 1865 Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon.

This was the tallest and the fastest version of any Space Mountain attraction and the only one to include inversions and to feature a portion of track outside the mountain itself (that being the station and the launch Cannon). The $89.7 million attraction features a 1.3G uphill catapult launch from 0 to 44 mph (71 km/h) in 1.8s, and three inversions (sidewinder, corkscrew and cutback). It was the first roller coaster to feature on-board music, known as a SOBAT (Synchronized On-Board Audio Track). SOBATs would later be added to Space Mountain at Disneyland, and Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland.

From 1995 to 2005, the ride was known as Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune. Space Mountain's first SOBAT was composed by Steven Bramson. It was inspired by John Williams's film scores and the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea score. A music loop was used to create the proper Victorian atmosphere which featured themes from movies such as Krull, The Rocketeer, Always or Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.

Guests entered the mountain and got ushered into the inside queue known as the Stellar Way, an open walkway where guests could have a look at the coaster itself and see trains during their journey in space. Then they reached the Victorian chambers of the Baltimore Gun Club (the Club which built the Cannon), and discovered the plans and drawings of the Columbiad and the journey to the Moon. They then boarded copper and bronze trains in a Victorian themed station.

The trains took them through a tunnel into the Columbiad Cannon. As the blast-off occurs, trains suddenly got launched out of the Columbiad to the top of the mountain. The space travel started with riders passing through a field of asteroids. The trains narrowly avoided being swallowed by Colonel Impey Barbicane's Bluemoon Mining Machine, an industrial space machine built by the President of the Gun Club to extract mineral resources from asteroids. After escaping the danger of this device, the trains passed through an opening in a large asteroid. The trains would climb a lift with a projection of the moon at the top. The Moon itself had a smiling face (as seen in Georges Méliès' 1902 movie adaptation of the novel). If riders looked to their right, they could see a figure of Jules Verne in a space suit landing on a nearby asteroid. The trains headed back to Earth while passing through another asteroid field. Riders would see bolts of light and light rays around the train as it heated up reentering Earth's atmosphere. The trains passed through the Electro-de-Velocitor, a machine that de-accelerated the trains to reduce their speed as they safely returned to the station.

In September 2004, Le Visionarium closed, leading to significant changes in Discoveryland. Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune was to be entirely refurbished for its tenth anniversary.

Mission 2 (2005-2017)[edit]

In 2005 Space Mountain underwent modifications and was officially renamed Space Mountain: Mission 2 having gotten a complete external repaint the year before. This journey took riders "beyond the Moon to the very edge of our universe." This required numerous aspects of the ride to be changed such as the effects during the ride. The smiling moon seen in the original was replaced with a supernova. The ending introduced curving neon lights to simulate a vortex.

Although the track remained unaltered, the trains were launched from the bottom of the cannon. Originally, they were launched at the top which was about halfway up the actual incline. The Victorian setting was changed as well and received modern futuristic elements. The trains received a simple repaint from copper and bronze to silver. A new futuristic soundtrack was written by Michael Giacchino (who was also responsible for the SOBATs in the versions at Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland) and the Victorian loop in the queue was replaced with radio messages.

Guests entered the mountain on its side and were ushered into a futuristic and dimly lit corridor featuring photos of several cosmic phenomenon that replaced the former Stellar Way. They then proceeded into the Victorian lounges of the Baltimore Gun Club which featured plans and drawings of the Columbiad Cannon and the journey to a supernova. Afterwards guests would enter the station and then board the trains.

The trains traveled through the tunnel leading them inside the cannon. A countdown was audible and the blast launched the trains beyond the moon. Space travellers encountered many outer space objects; such as a comet, planets, and several asteroids. Upon reaching the supernova, riders saw it explode and destroy its nearby surroundings. Riders began to return to Earth by passing through a field of melting asteroids. In order to reach Earth, the trains passed through a "hypergate", a red vortex-like wormhole which represented a shortcut through the universe. As in the previous version, the Electro-de-Velocitor slowed down the trains before returning to the station. From January–July 2015 the ride was refurbished which included adding a single rider queue and an overall enhancement of the effects. Space Mountain: Mission 2 will reopen in late 2018 and will retain the new trains used on Hyperspace Mountain.

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (2017)[edit]

Space Mountain: Mission 2 closed indefinitely for renovation on January 8, 2017 and reopened on May 7, 2017 with a new theme as Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain for the 25th Anniversary Celebration. Along with new Star Wars projections, permanent, blue, Victorian trains with lap bars and shoulder vests were added.[2] As a result of the new trains, the height requirement has since lowered down to 120 cm from the original 132 cm.

Trivia[edit]

  • The ride was originally named Discovery Mountain, but this name was changed shortly before the opening, for marketing reasons. This is why the letters "DM" still existed in the building for a very long period of time. (on the bridge over the Nautilus lake, on safety warnings panels or some devices). The majority of them were replaced by "SM" in the 2015 refurbishment.
  • The ceiling of the Baltimore Gun Club's main lounge is painted as a starry sky. Each star features a name of two letters followed by three figures. These are actually engineers' initials and birth dates (for example, "TD748" means "Tim Delaney, born July 1948").
  • In the original concept art, the cannon was slightly different from what it looks like now. It featured a trap door on its back which opened for trains to be loaded. Since this effect was too expensive, this door now stands on the side of the cannon, opening every time trains pass by.
  • Another concept art showed Space Mountain: Mission 2 featuring a retrofuturistic spaceship moored at the ceiling of the station, but this idea never came to pass either.
  • A shop, called Light Speed Photography, sells photos at the exit of the ride. This is currently the only part of the building which still displays French flags (all others were removed in 2005 when De la Terre à la Lune closed).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tim Delaney Interview". Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  2. ^ Anthony (2016-10-19). "Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary deconstructed: Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain". DLP Today. Retrieved 2016-10-23-. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]