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  • Space Station X-1

    I never saw this in person -- anyone remember it? I'm curious about what it was like. Did you walk through? Would love any recollections to fill me in.

  • #2
    Re: Space Station X-1

    I went on it every time we went to Disneyland back then. Think of a round room. You stand in the center area which is slowly turning. It was made to look like the inside of a circular Space Station (the most popular design back then, used in the Disneyland Tomorrowland shows and a lot of Science Fiction movies of the time as well). Around the outside was a huge painting of the Earth viewed from space. The lighting changed from day to night and back. The clouds moved over the surface and the walls of the space room were black with pinpoint stars (I can't remember if the stars were lights that twinkled or painted on). You entered and exited from ramps enclosed to look like tunnels.

    At one point on the surface you could see a huge forest fire with smoke. You could see storms and lots of detail on the painting. It was amazing and wonderful. Of course looking back now, the technology that existed back then was pretty primitive compared to what we have today. I can imagine that if the redid the attraction it would be very spectacular with lots of improvements over the original. But in 1956 it was very impressed to a 14 year old Science Fiction fan.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

    Thank You Poisonedapples

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    • #3
      Re: Space Station X-1

      If it was redone now it would be done with projections and video screens and no matter how good the cgi it would look like it was being projected and not as real an experience probably :P

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      • #4
        Re: Space Station X-1

        Thanks, Lost Boy, for the nice description. It sounds like one of those more quiet, yet wondrous-for-its-time charms!

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        • #5
          Re: Space Station X-1

          It was air conditioned, somewhat and I think they played some orchestral music in the background. It was supposed to be an observation room on the Space Station so it was made specifically for simply standing and watching the earth pass beneath you. They made it look as realistic as they could. But, and this is something only a curious kid would think of, if you walked right up to the viewing windows (large picture windows in sections about 3 to 4 feet long and a good 4 feet or more high so you got a complete 360 degree view. Only the floor moved, the windows did not.) and get right up and look down, you could see the supports and wooden base that the painting stood on. The painting was beautiful and done in that 3-D style that gives a flat painting depth. To me it looked like a background painting that was done by one of the Disney artists from the background department, only on a huge scale and on canvas instead of glass.
          Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

          Thank You Poisonedapples

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          • #6
            Re: Space Station X-1

            Music and sound effects from Space Station X-1 can be heard on the reissued 1956 album Walt Disney Takes You To Disneyland.





            http://disney.go.com/disneyrecords/s...utodisneyland/

            It's also available on iTunes for about $5. (Under "Children's Music")

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            • #7
              Re: Space Station X-1

              If it was redone now it would be done with projections and video screens and no matter how good the cgi it would look like it was being projected and not as real an experience probably :P
              You're right up until the very last bit--"not as real an experience probably." Unfortunately, neither a projected experience nor a painted one would be realistic enough for today's audiences, and the projected one would be better accepted. (Not trying to say it should be...but it would be.) In either case, today's audiences expect far more "exciting" entertainment--again, not necessarily the way it should be, but the way it is. This sort of attraction would need to be plussed a lot to be accepted nowadays.

              This actually might be possible in the Innoventions building. Gut Innoventions and pop a relatively small space station set in the middle of it, with plenty of distance between it and the walls. We enter the station via a tunnel from the outside to the center of the building. Inside, the windows are covered by blast shields and nothing but plates of metal are visible. Once everyone's in, the airlock shuts and the real tunnel outside folds up into the wall like the exits and entrances for Star Tours. A huge LCD panel, just like the dozens of other huge LCD panels lining the entire interior, slides over to cover the tunnel. The blast shields in the station open up, revealing a 360-degree view of the Earth, the moon, and starry space. A shuttle can be seen soaring away from us, with the tunnel we just entered the station through can be seen attached to its flank. (Although the real tunnel is, of course, twenty feet away, hidden behind one of the panels we're watching.)

              If the screens had high enough resolution, very fast framerate, believable brightness levels, and enough distance between us and them, I think the experience would be fairly believable. But then comes the matter of "plussing"...and I have no ideas for that. Me, I'd go experience an attraction like that. But a lot of people won't accept such placid entertainment, and my personal belief is that the Innoventions building takes up so much valuable real estate that anything new in there had better be an E-ticket.

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