2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Disneyland's Space Mountain
Published: January 29, 2010 at 7:01 PM
Okay, I can hear some of you asking, "Wait a minute; Space Mountain is a roller coaster. What is it doing in the themed ride bracket, and not the roller coaster bracket?"
This was one of those judgment calls I had to make when deciding which bracket to seed several hybrid attractions. Think about Space Mountain for a moment. As a roller coaster, Space Mountain is absurdly simple: a basic wild mouse coaster in the dark. So why is it so highly rated and beloved?
Because the roller coaster provides just one element within the overall attraction here: the walk through the spaceport, the blast-off into space, the on-ride music, the ride through the star field. And the Disneyland installation has featured multiple themes in recent years, including the recent "Ghost Galaxy" overlay at Halloween. Let's face it, the reason that Space Mountain has the average reader rating it does is for its value as a themed ride, not as a roller coaster.
So that's why Space Mountain is in this bracket. (Two other rides listed as roller coasters here on Theme Park Insider also will be joining Space Mountain in the Best Themed Ride bracket, if anyone would like to speculate on which ones they will be....)
This nomination is for the Disneyland installation of the Space Mountain, which this past fall saw a major refurbishment for its Walt Disney World version. You'll also find Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland and a Jules Verne-inspired "reboot" of the ride at Disneyland Paris.
This wraps up the lower half of the draw for the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament. Starting Monday, we'll be shining the daily spotlight on the rides and shows in the upper half of each bracket. As a result, we'll start to see specific first-round match-ups, as we approach the start of tournament voting in March.
Let's hear your thoughts about Space Mountain, in the comments.