16 June 2009

Station 77

It has been quite some time since we have visited Disneyland on the Main Street Gazette. This is partly due to the fact that I have refocused my efforts on Walt Disney World, the resort I know the most about, have the most experience with, and is the focal point of all my various projects. The other reason, and perhaps the more crucial rationale, is that I have not been to Disneyland since my honeymoon almost two years ago, which makes documentation very tricky.

I hope to get back out to the west coast soon, hopefully sooner rather than later, but until then, we are left looking to the future. Say, maybe Tomorrowland?

Space Mountain at Disneyland opened in May of 1977, nearly two years after its sibling rocket coaster launched in Walt Disney World. While the difference between these two coasters are vast, the share the same space-aged shape and the same thrill of a dark, indoor rollercoaster. Disneyland’s Space Mountain closed in April of 2003 for a refurbishment of the entire attraction in preparation of the park’s fiftieth anniversary. From queue to rockets and effects to sound systems, everything was plussed and primed for the relaunch in July of 2005. Perhaps the greatest of the additions was the inclusion of the rollover tunnel during the rocket’s launch sequence, originally designed by George McGinnis.

The dates for the launch and relaunch of Space Mountain can be seen throughout Space Mountain’s queue. The name of the station in which guest board their rockets is Space Station 77, occasionally referred to as SMS 77 (or Space Mountain Station 77) or Station 77. The shuttle docked in the loading bay is emblazoned with the designation DL 05, which not only signifies the new flights of Space Mountain but also celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Walt Disney’s first park.

What other history and perspectives await us in Disneyland? Only the future knows for sure.

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