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  • [Question] Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

    Is it possible for Space Mountain to have variable speeds through brake settings, variations in the cars, passenger weight, etc.? We ride a couple of times every trip and have sat in pretty much every spot several times, but our last ride this last weekend seemed exceptionally fast. We were sitting in the front (I've heard that the back seat in coasters generally is the "fastest" because you aren't waiting for the rest of the cars to crest hills, pulling the car over the tops with more force, making them seem faster") but have sat there before and didn't notice a significant difference in perceived speed (though it's definitely my favorite for the views). This ride seemed much faster and we found ourselves leaving our seats over every little bump in the track.

  • #2
    Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

    The higher and heavier you are the faster you are at the bottom of each break zone. Big people in back and bigger people in general make a different. Potential energy due to gravity changes to kintetic energy.
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    • #3
      Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

      On Space Mountain it's a little unique. The front feels faster than the back. You have the wind in your face which helps a lot. since Space mountain only has little dips the back isn't really getting pulled down them. However in the front you get air time because you have momentum going into the dip and the track pulls the car down leaving you out of the seat. So that combined with probably a faster train can make Space Mountain seem pretty quick if your used to the back seat.
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      • #4
        Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

        It also matters what time it is, all coasters speed up when they are warm from friction. It will usually be faster at night then in the morning.
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        • #5
          Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

          Back is better ONLY when there are steep falls after an incline (a la traditional rollers coasters). But generally, you'll have a faster feeling ride from the front of SM. But for SM, the true speed is dependent almost entirely on the combined weight of the passengers.
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          • #6
            Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

            Originally posted by Uncle Bob View Post
            It also matters what time it is, all coasters speed up when they are warm from friction. It will usually be faster at night then in the morning.
            Thanks, I've heard that they speed up during the day, but wasn't sure if it was true.
            It sure seemed that way when I've ridden the same coaster early and then again later.

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            • #7
              Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

              While heavier objects don't fall faster, they do have more momentum and will therefore slow due to wind and rolling friction slower. However, the attraction does keep the speed within limits with an automatic breaking system as most modern rollercoasters have.

              Given that all of the seats in a rollercoaster train are connected, everyone is moving the same speed at the same time. The difference is (excpecially on long trains) where you experience that speed.

              If you are sitting in the front, you will have the wind in your face, but you might be part way down the hill before the end of the train completely releases from the lift chain, so you go downhill slower, but are going faster after the hill. In the back, you have the front pulling you down so you actually drop faster instead of experiencing that speed on the flat after the hill. This gives you an "airtime" feeling because the train is being accelerated down while you are still trying to move forward.

              Through the same physics, the front will go up faster generally on hills that don't have a lift, but this is generally not as "fun" as going down because you get pushed into the seat instead of lifting off of it. Where being in the front is the best is when you go over the crest of a hill quickly. The seats under you get forced downward by the track but your body is still moving upward from before the crest. This will lift you off your seat a bit (or completely) and a well designed rollercoaster will keep you off your seat until you get most of the way down the hill.

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              • #8
                Re: Any variations in Space Mt speeds?

                I've always thought it felt like it was going faster based on some of the noises/sound effects. There's that one point where you're spinning and it sounds like you're getting spun out of the galaxy....that's one of the coolest feelings ever!!
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