Space Mountain Disneyland Vs. Disney World

Space Mountain from Walt Disney World Railroad

Welcome back. Today we are going to restart one of our old series of articles from way back at the launch of the site in March 2018, Disneyland Vs. Disney World. Now before you go looking for the old versions I am sorry to say they were lost in an upgrade to the site in late 2018, which is why we are starting again now.

But this time we're going to do it a little differently, focusing in on only one ride instead of a full land. So let's start with Space Mountain.

Now Space Mountain is an entirely different ride on both coasts of the United States. They both have the same dome and are both a roller coaster in the dark, but that's pretty much where the similarities end, so we're going to focus on the differences.


Both of the queues for this attraction follow the same basic idea, you enter a space ship and can see stars outside. Now, a year ago this would have been an easy win for the Magic Kingdom because most of Disneyland's queue line was outside in the sun, but this past year they got an upgrade to their queue. The second floor of the former Starcade became a new interior queue room for Space Mountain with a real retro-future kind of vibe. But Disney World's queue still has something Disneyland does not have: The Music. I am serious this may be one of the best queue soundtracks at any Disney park and it perfectly sets the mood of you going off on a voyage into space.

Winner: Disney World


Space Mountain Station Magic Kingdom

The station for these two rides could not be more different. The Magic Kingdom features a large room with glowing blue light. There are also the remnants of windows up above you that used to show you the glowing ride vehicles up above, but this effect has since been removed and it is now just stars.

Space Mountain Station Disneyland

At Disneyland, you enter a two-floor station above the track and walk around a model of a space ship on display in the center of the room. There are effects that show stars and planets outside as you wait to enter your space ship.

Winner: Disneyland

Actual Ride

Space Mountain Starport Sign Magic Kingdom

Now is the part where we discuss the actual coaster. But to begin we have to discuss a little bit of the history of the Magic Kingdom version. The track was based on that of the Matterhorn at Disneyland as were the ride vehicles and therefore it faces many of the same problems the Matterhorn faces today. It is rough and even hurts on some rides. That alone sadly lowers the Disney World version more than it should be. On top of the track issues, the Magic Kingdom version also does not feature ride music.

The Disneyland version faced many of the same problems but was greatly helped by a two-year renovation that replaced all of the track and many of the effects.

Both versions start with a similar blue warp tunnel. The Disney World version then enters a space ship for the lift hill where the PeopleMover passes by you when you enter the coaster. On the Disneyland version, you enter a second warp tunnel, this time a red one, and go through a wormhole before turning and going up another small lift hill and entering the rest of the coaster.

Now as for which coaster is better I tend to prefer Disneyland for several reasons. For one it is much smoother. Second I think the ride vehicles having side by side seating instead of the toboggan-style of the Magic Kingdom Space Mountain is better. Third, it is just a better coaster. It has more shocking drops and turns and they are all timed with a great musical track.

The seasonal overlays are also great, provided they don't overstay their welcome (*cough* Hyperspace Mountain *cough*)

Winner: Disneyland

Post Show

Now Disneyland does not have a post-show due to lack of space but I have to give the Magic Kingdom points for their post-show. It really does a great job of capturing many of the ideas of Tomorrowland, and also I'm a sucker for any Horizons references.

Overall Winner

Overall I'm going to have to say Disneyland wins it. They might not have as good of a queue or post-show, but the actual ride is just that much better, with its smooth track, onboard music, and updated effects. Now if the Magic Kingdom could just get a track replacement, they might be better than Disneyland, but the track seems to get rougher every year with no signs of a major refurbishment until at least after the Tron Coaster. Disneyland was built later, fixing many of the original's problems and it shows.

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