Eight new ideas for Disneyland Space Mountain overlays
Why spend millions of dollars to build one theme park attraction when, with a little bit of extra planning and flexibility, you can build multiple attractions instead?
Theme parks can extend the value of their rides and shows with special overlays. Disney's been doing this for a generation, starting (perhaps?) with a special Christmas show for the Country Bear Jamboree. Over the years, Disney's added seasonal and themed overlays to many more attractions, including It's a Small World, the Haunted Mansion, and World of Color.
The king of overlays these days might be Space Mountain. In addition to the "regular" musical journey to the stars, the Disneyland Resort offers two themed overlays to its popular indoor roller coaster: the Halloween-themed "Ghost Galaxy," which is running now, and the Star Wars-themed "Hyperspace Mountain," which returns November 2.
But why stop there? With Disney able to program and swap the music and animation on the ride with relative ease, it has the capacity to offer other overlays on Space Mountain. Done right, that encourages additional visits from Disneyland's many local annual passholders, as well as giving fans of the featured Disney franchises a fresh reason to visit the park, too.
So which themes and franchises should Disney select for new overlays on Space Mountain? In my Orange County Register column this week, I play Imagineer and make up eight options for new Space Mountain overlays. Maybe this should have been the place where Disney brought the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Disneyland Resort? But if you want to know my favorite idea for a new Space Mountain overlay, I will leave you with this hint...
Read Robert's column:
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The problem with overlays is that people want to be able to be able to ride the classic version, not a temporary retheme. I'm suprised Hyperspace Mountain is returning, plenty of people want Space Mountain to return. Hopefully after Star Wars and Marvel are done, Tomorrowland will finally get a much needed makeover, what ever that may be. Space Mountain should be spared, but I wouldn't be surprised it gets a permenent new theme. In the mean time, hopefully the real Space Mountain returns in the near future.
I will likely pick Tron unless they intend to actually do a Tron outdoor roller coaster in a Tomorrowland makeover that includes removing the old People Mover tracks. I doubt it will be as popular as Hyperspace so it's likely they won't.
I'd like the old 1990 surf rock music to come back.
Temporary overlays are perfectly fine, but long term overlays or having too many of them can ruin the original ride. For example, Space Mountain has not operated as Space Mountain in over 12 months, and it is looking like it will be a minimum of 4 more before it does. That raises a question...is it still Space Mountain? Or is Space Mountain an overlay to Hyperspace Mountain now? If the base form of Space Mountain does not return following the theatrical run of Rogue One, I would argue that it has been officially replaced with Hyperspace Mountain and treat it as such.
Adventure Thru Inner Space Mountain:
Can someone explain what an "overlay" entails? I've only experienced regular space mountain. I assume it's just cosmetic changes & different music. The basic roller coaster ride is the same?
Personally I would Like a Princess and the Frog overlay of Splash Mountain.
A overlay is a change in the music, decoration and/or animation of a ride in order to change its theme or narration. On Space Mountain, it includes a change in on-board music and on-ride animation. The track and ride remain the same, as it does on pretty much all overlays.
Personally I'd prefer if the original Space Mountain stays until they can make the effects look better on the attraction. I haven't been impressed with Hyper Space or Ghost Galaxy as you can see every screen before the projection starts, and the giant projections light up the place too much. I prefer the darkness of the original we don't see the structure. This is different than Haunted Mansion as the brighter colors on the Holiday overlay don't reveal "secrets" or break the experience.
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