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Space Mountain Ride to Close Through 2027, But the Entirely New Experience Will Be Worth the Wait

tokyo disney space mountain
Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

The upcoming closure of the Space Mountain attraction extends through 2027–more than three years from now–but the end result will be well worth the wait, as the ride’s complete overhaul will also extend to the Tomorrowland Plaza.

tokyo disneyland

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

In 2022, Disney Parks first announced the planned closure and reimagining of the Space Mountain attraction at one of Disney’s international parks.

Having opened in 1983 with the debut of Disney’s very first Japanese theme park resort, the Space Mountain coaster at Tokyo Disneyland has been a fan favorite for more than 40 years. In light of that, however, Disney has announced a complete redo of the guest-favorite experience–one that will begin in July 2024, will last well into 2027, and will encompass a new take on the Tomorrowland Plaza as well.

tokyo disney space mountain

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disneyland broke ground on the new Space Mountain earlier this year. The 41-year-old experience will reportedly be reimagined to offer “enhanced performance,” and the new experience will feature “immersive special effects.”

The overhaul will cost an estimated $408 million USD and will include a revamping of the Tomorrowland Plaza so that it incorporates a representation of a future “where humans are in harmony with nature.” The attraction will have a completely new look during the daytime, and after the sun goes down, the new area will transform into a “spectacular world of light and soundscapes.”

A Celebration of the Past as the Future Approaches

In early February 2024, Tokyo Disney Resort announced an exciting special event, created to celebrate the original version of the Space Mountain attraction, before guests bid farewell to the experience forever.

space mountain tokyo disney the final ignition

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

The event, Celebrating Space Mountain: The Final Ignition!, will be hosted by Tokyo Disney Resort from April 9 to July 31, 2024.

The 2027 Version Could Rival a Previously-Imagined Jules Verne-Inspired Attraction

Once completed, the new Space Mountain experience at Tokyo Disney Resort might even rival a once-planned Jules-Verne inspired attraction that would have served as the centerpiece of a brand-new land, also inspired by author Jules Verne.

According to researcher Kevin Perjurer, the centerpiece of the Jules Verne-inspired land centerpiece was to be a giant copper and steel pavilion that housed a replica of The Mysterious Island, the home port of Captain Nemo from Verne’s 1872 novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

20000 leagues under the sea

Credit: Disney/Canva

Per LithHub:

Docked in a giant pool would be Nemo’s golden submarine, the Nautilus, which was to be its own walk-through attraction and feature an underwater restaurant. There was going to be a giant free-fall ride, paying homage to Verne’s 1864 novel, “A Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and an ornate, Paris-Expo-esque matching train station to service the park’s perimetric railroad system. And there was to be a giant Space Mountain-inspired roller-coaster, designed after Verne’s 1865 novel “From the Earth to the Moon: A Direct Route in 97 Hours, 20 Minutes.”

jules verne-inspired attraction concept at disneyland paris

Credit: Disney Parks

But the area, as it was planned, was never built. EuroDisney, which opened in 1992, faced terrible financial troubles that halted the Jules Verne project. Eventually, construction was green-lit, but only for the creation of the From the Earth to the Moon-themed roller-coaster, which was to be a cousin of Disneyland and Disney World’s dark, indoor coaster Space Mountain.

Even with the design retraction and financial constraints, lead imagineer Tim Delaney oversaw the building of a masterpiece. Inside, and out, the ride was a sight to behold. The aesthetic of the whole area was beaux-arts steampunk, both ornate and mechanical: the exterior was shiny copper and steel, with glistening gears.

jules verne-inspired attraction at disneyland paris

Credit: Disney Parks

Can We Really Wait More Than Three Years?

Once the newly-reimagined Space Mountain attraction opens in 2027, it will be a completely rebuilt experience that keeps the original concept of an exciting indoor coaster and an experience that includes a journey through space at high speeds.

But according to Disney Parks Blog, the new attraction will include an enhanced performance and special effects that will serve to afford guests a more immersive journey that sees a greater connection between our universe and our planet.

tokyo disney space mountain

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

“I’m thrilled to introduce this attraction to guests,” said Walt Disney Imagineering producer Kathleen Davis. “It’s not only a whole new ride experience, but the story also has so much emotion. Through the queue and then on the ride, we see our connection to our planet and gain a new perspective for how special it is in all the universe. It’s a roller coaster with both thrill and heart.”

“With the overarching story of appreciating our home (Planet Earth), we are making this change to spread awareness of caring for our Earth and what she’s gifted us throughout time as we know it,” said Owen Yoshino, Senior Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering.

The year 2027 sounds really far away, but it looks like the all-new experience will be well worth the long wait.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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