Posts Tagged ‘Space Mountain’

Walt Disney World for Ride Chickens

by on December 18, 2013

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris for the first time. While I was excited to try new things, I still found myself very worried about the intensity of attractions. Was the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean a little dip like Walt Disney World or was it quite a drop like Disneyland in California? I’m what you might call a “ride chicken.” More specifically I really don’t like drops on rides. Before each of my first visits to new parks, I’ve spent hours hunting on the web trying to decide if I’d enjoy rides or if they might leave me queasy sitting on a bench somewhere. That gave me the idea to put together my guide to Walt Disney World attractions for all of us ride chickens out there! Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions… and opinions by definition can’t be right. Of course, your mileage may vary, and if anyone has had a different experience, I always value your comments! Also, I left out any attractions where you can see an issue from outside. (Example: It is pretty obvious that you’ll be spinning on Mad Tea Party!) Let’s get started.

Magic Kingdom

Big Thunder Mountain

The View on Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain: This is a not a terribly intense roller coaster. The worst part for me are a few bunny hops at the very end that make my tummy jump into my throat but it’s manageable and worth it to see all the theming. The track also isn’t very smooth and I’ve had friends complain about getting their brain rattled on this ride! Overall, this is a great coaster to start with before trying the others in the park.

Pirates of the Caribbean: I only mention this one because other versions around the world are more intense. The version at Magic Kingdom just has one little, tiny dip. It isn’t even worth mentioning. I’m the worst with drops, and it’s nothing!

Space Mountain: I wouldn’t ride this until just a few years ago. Honestly, it really isn’t that awful, but I can’t say I enjoy it. There is one drop that’s too much for me, but it’s over very quickly. The rest is just zipping around in the dark, which means if you don’t like roller coasters, you aren’t missing much here. The seats are also very low on this attraction, making it a little difficult to exit after you’ve been thrown around. I know many people will disagree with me, but I find Space Mountain very skippable if roller coasters aren’t your thing.

Splash Mountain: This ride is my arch nemesis. While I hate the drops, I still tell those who asks me that they should to absolutely ride it. The ride is beautiful and a real feat of Imagineering that everyone should see once. However, there are two sizable drops inside the attraction, as well as the huge one at the end to contend with. It’s easy to spot where they are on YouTube videos, so check those out in advance and be prepared. It really is worth it to see inside once!

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Observations at the Magic Kingdom: October 1

by on October 4, 2013

As October rolls into Central Florida, the Halloween season (because after all, it is a season here) is in full swing. And while there’s never a bad time to visit the Magic Kingdom, the changes taking place lately have made it particularly exciting. I started my evening at the Polynesian to take a few pictures and get a look at the new runDisney running path markers that are now in place at the Poly, Grand Floridian, Art of Animation, and Epcot Resorts. The signs give you route maps and distances, most helpful if you’re training for, say, the Tower of Terror 10-miler?

DSC_0290

With construction slated to begin soon on the newly announced Disney Vacation Club villas at the Poly, I wanted to get some photos around the resort just in case there were changes to my favorite sights. Depth testing has already begun out in the lagoon and construction walls are up near the beach at Sunset Pointe.

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Space Mountain Reopens but Disneyland Still Faces OSHA Issues

by on May 7, 2013

As we reported late last month, the Disneyland Resort recent shuttered some major E-Ticket attractions following inspections from California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). Most of the rides, including Soarin’ Over California and California Screamin’, swiftly returned to service, but the iconic Space Mountain remained off-limits to guests for the past 3 weeks.

Happily, Space Mountian returned to service on Friday night (May 3) and resumed normal operating hours as of Saturday, May 4. To clarify earlier coverage, Disney was fined $234,850 after a contract employee was injured in a fall last November while cleaning the exterior of Space Mountain, but the current closure was a voluntary action (not mandated by Cal/OSHA) intended to ameliorate related safety issues that had previously been “grandfathered” approval. Disneyland has not yet announced whether it will appeal the fines, or if further safety modifications to Disneyland attractions (or similar rides at Walt Disney World) will be made.

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Disneyland Alert: Space Mountain Closed by Cal/OSHA

by on April 20, 2013

Photo by Seth Kubersky

As you may have heard, the Disneyland Resort has been having serious issues with some of its headlining E-Tickets lately. On April 12, inspectors from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (following up on an incident from earlier this year in which a Space Mountain maintenance worker fell and was injured) issued a citation to Disneyland for safety violations in the Anaheim parks, with proposed penalties totaling nearly a quarter million dollars.

At one point earlier this week, Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Soarin’ Over California were all simultaneously shuttered, in addition to Big Thunder Mountain which is closed for an extensive refurb. Then, on Friday (April 19) California Screamin’ was added to the list of forbidden rides, following a review of emergency evacuation procedures. Note that these closures are not related to guest safety, but to fall protection and other safety measures for employees cleaning and servicing the attractions after hours.

At press time, the Matterhorn and Soarin’ Over California have both been reinspected and returned to service. California Screamin’ was also reopened late on Friday, and is expected to operate on Saturday. However, according to reports on MiceAge, Space Mountain may be out of service for the rest of April.

If you are visiting Disneyland in the immediate future and using our Lines app to optimize, your touring plan should automatically adjust to accommodate any closed attractions. Check back on our Refurbishment page for updates on what is operating at the resort on any given day.

 

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (9/2/2012 – 9/8/2012)

by on September 10, 2012

All photos copyright Disney

September has arrived, bringing with it cooler temperatures, smaller crowds, and lengthy rehabs for numerous attractions at Disneyland.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Sunday 9/2 was a 7 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 7.9 and Disneyland Park at 5.7.

Busiest Day: Tuesday 9/4 through Thursday 9/6 was a 1 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 1.1 and Disneyland Park at 1.1.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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This Month at Disneyland Resort: September 2012

by on September 1, 2012

All photos copyright Disney.

The summer tourists have gone home, and the local kids are back in school, making September a spectacular time to visit the Disneyland Resort if you desire short lines. Mid-week visitors can expect the smallest crowds seen since before the June relaunch of Disney California Adventure. Beware, however, that seasonal installations and long-delayed refurbishments will result in several favorite Disneyland attractions being declared off-limits over the next month. Be sure to check the refurbishment list when planning a visit to the parks, so that you aren’t unpleasantly surprised upon arrival.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Most Mondays through Thursdays this month sport wait times in the bottom third of the year. The day after Labor Day is traditionally dead quiet, with Tuesday 8/30 predicted at only 1.1 out of 10 at Disneyland, and 1.8 at DCA.

Busiest Day: Saturdays and Sundays will be moderately busy once the Halloween decor is in full effect. Saturday 9/22 should hit a predicted peak of 6.3 out of 10 in Disneyland, and 6.6 at DCA.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (8/19/2012 -8/25/2012)

by on August 27, 2012

All photos copyright Disney

The masses of annual Passholders that were anticipated to invade the Anaheim attractions after blackout dates were lifted last week didn't quite materialize. So if you've been avoiding Disneyland all summer, now is a great time to visit as preparations begin for the Halloween season.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Friday 8/17 was a 5 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 4.7 and Disneyland Park at only 3.1.

Busiest Day: Sunday 8/19 was an 8 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 8.9 and Disneyland Park at 5.7.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

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Magic Kingdom Reaches Capacity And Closes To Guests

by on April 7, 2009

The Magic Kingdom closed to guests today. Waits at Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain reached 120 minutes. FASTPASSes for Space were nearing running out around 1:20 pm.

Update: The park is open to resort guests and annual passholders as of 3:30 pm.  Thanks to Jeff T. for the details.

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How Space Mountain’s closure will affect Magic Kingdom touring plans

by on March 11, 2009

Many of you are wondering how next month’s closure of Tomorrowland’s popular Space Mountain will affect our Magic Kingdom touring plans. We’ve been testing many alternatives including everything from just skipping Space Mountain to moving almost all of Tomorrowland’s attractions to later in the day.

For most plans the most effect strategy seems to be simply to skip Space Mountain and continue with the rest of the plan as written. This is especially true if Buzz Lightyear is also visited within a couple of steps of Space Mountain in the plan. The problem with most alternative routes is that Buzz’s standby wait times can be very long during days with large crowds, and FASTPASSes can run out. Thus, it’s best to visit Buzz in the morning, regardless of whether Space Mountain is operating.

Many thanks to the Unofficial Guide research team who slogged through the parks testing every wacky idea we could think of for this change.

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Studios and Magic Kingdom touring plan updates coming soon

by on January 28, 2009

We’ll be updating the Studios touring plans over the next week to include the new American Idol Experience attraction. Our in-park testing indicates Idol will fit in best sometime in the late afternoon or evening, which will minimize backtracking. It also gives you a good chance at seeing the day’s final show, which includes winners from performances earlier in the day.

We’ve also been testing Magic Kingdom touring plans without Space Mountain, in preparation for that attraction’s April refurbishment. Two options we’ve been focusing on: (1) Simply skipping Space Mountain and continuing with the rest of the plan; (2) Re-arranging the plan to visit Tomorrowland later in the day, to get a jump start on the rest of the park.

Our early test results for those options shows that skipping Space Mountain in the existing plans results in lower overall waits throughout the day, especially when crowds are high. Those are preliminary results, and we’ll continue testing throughout the spring.

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