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Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

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  • Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

    Please don't misunderstand me--I LOVE Space Mountain as it is. I rode it four times last time I was in the park. It's truly a great ride, and I hope it stays for a long time. BUT--one of the things that slightly diminishes the experience for me is how easy it is to deduce where structural elements are based on the way the stars move around you. Even though the ride is much darker now, you can still see the stars forming I-beams and projector enclosures and so on, disrupting the illusion of space.

    So, to further obfuscate our perceptions of Space Mountain's real-world scaffolding and ladders and tunnels, I'd like to suggest a very simple and cheap effect: add countless tiny lights at the ends of very thin, long, stiff, black sticks at random points throughout the ride. They can stick out of the walls, poke up from the floor, even attach to the track. The point is that they would be sprinkled randomly through 3D space, not adhering to surfaces. That way, guests feel like there are stars everywhere, not just showing up flatly on all the real-world surfaces inside the mountain.

    At the same time, the number of stars projected on everything else could be cut back a little. As a result of all this, I think the experience would be even more immersive, and it'd be even harder to notice the structures around you. As long as these new stars were all out of the reach of guests and they didn't get in cast members' ways, they could add a lot to the ride in terms of quality without costing Disney much at all.

    (Now, if they really wanted to go all-out, they could create colored 3D arrays of these points, forming images of galaxies and so forth that would actually look real and three-dimensional. But that'd be a lot harder.)

    What do you guys think?


  • #2
    Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

    Sounds like a great idea - In fact, sounds kind of like something I'd heard about from WDI during the makeover.
    See more of my horrible photos (and a few good ones) at my Flickr photostream

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    • #3
      Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

      Yeah, there have been various proposals to add in a bit of what Peter Pan has already.

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      • #4
        Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

        cool idea, not to jump on your thread but i also thought of a small way to improve the qeue?

        when your in the long hallway before going into the main chamber, there is nothing in this halways except painted plastic, my idea is to put windows in that halway that would be looking out into space. nothing special just a painted background, however this would give guest something to view while stuck in a backed up line
        sigpicDISNEYROYALTY

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        • #5
          Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

          Yeah, there have been various proposals to add in a bit of what Peter Pan has already.
          I'm sorry, but I'm an infidel who's never endured the wait for Peter Pan yet. Could you please describe this effect?

          when your in the long hallway before going into the main chamber, there is nothing in this halways except painted plastic, my idea is to put windows in that halway that would be looking out into space. nothing special just a painted background, however this would give guest something to view while stuck in a backed up line
          I dunno, I doubt the effect would look very good at all. Actually, I'm surprised WDI didn't do that, and I'm rather glad. Yes, the indoor queue could be better, but I don't think painted space vistas are the way to do it.

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          • #6
            Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

            Peter pan has fiber optic starfields suspended from the ceiling.

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            • #7
              Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

              Sounds interesting...

              Peter Pan on steroids.

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              • #8
                Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                hmmm... I always saw the stars projected on the various tracks and support beams as part of the three dimensions of space.
                Granted, if you ride it enough and look for them I guess you could get a pretty good idea what the internal structure looks like, but I think seeing the stars projected as they are adds to what the ride is, you are riding past stars, and you actually pass them.
                Not that adding some fiber optic effects isn't a good idea too. But I'd worry what a bunch of stationary stars would look like in context with the swirling vortex of stars we have now.
                St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

                "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert




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                • #9
                  Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                  They should use the starfield projection they use in the loading queue "Window to space" in the windows in the hallway. Granted, you hardly ever are in that hallway due to FP, but still.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                    hmmm... I always saw the stars projected on the various tracks and support beams as part of the three dimensions of space.
                    Granted, if you ride it enough and look for them I guess you could get a pretty good idea what the internal structure looks like, but I think seeing the stars projected as they are adds to what the ride is, you are riding past stars, and you actually pass them.
                    Not that adding some fiber optic effects isn't a good idea too. But I'd worry what a bunch of stationary stars would look like in context with the swirling vortex of stars we have now.
                    I get the same feeling while I'm riding. (Even though technically you'd never see the stars go past you like that in a real trip through outer space. ) All I'm saying is that I think the effect would be even cooler with the addition of other stars "floating" nearby. These would be closer to you than some of the surfaces that have stars projected on them, so you'd get even more sense of swooping past them. You wouldn't be able to tell that they weren't moving, because you'd be flying past them so quickly.

                    Basically, the idea here is to preserve and intensify the same sense of zooming through three-dimensional starfields. The current setup is very cool, but like I said, if you focus on the stars, your brain automatically figures out the shape of the surface they're projected onto. If there are also stars that do NOT adhere to any surface shape, the sense of actually being in a big building with a rollercoaster inside will be even further decreased.

                    BTW, turns out this thread already brought up the same idea. Nothing new under the sun, as they say. :P

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                    • #11
                      Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                      Actually, I dislike the projector system they have now because stars are flying off in different directions. That makes no sense.

                      In the Peter Pan system, it works a LOT better because all the stars are stationary and only YOU ARE MOVING past them, so all the stars are consistent with each other. In Space Mountain, they fly all about and so your brain KNOWS that the stars are moving, not just you moving past them... and that ruins the effect.

                      In real Space, only you seem to be moving, and all the stars maintain their relative position to each other. We should strive to emulate real space because it looks cooler. Peter Pan's system looks a LOT cooler than Space Mountain's as a result. If Space Mountain upgraded to that, it would be fantastic.

                      At the very least, the projection system used in Space Mountain should not have the stars themselves moving. They should be statically projected in one place. That would work a lot better.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                        Well Space Mountain is set to be closed on January 15 and 16 of 2008. Since there's no sign of the ride deteriorating and since there is little doubt that Rockin' Space Mountain might make a comeback, I assume it's to improve or even add new effects (a hyperspeed tunnel like Hong Kong SM has or the idea that is mentioned in this thread).

                        As mentioned, it would be cool if our Space Mountain was updated to have effects like those on Hong Kong Disneyland's Space Mountain. They have a supernova at the top of the third lift, some glow-in-the-dark planets at the end, and their asteroid actually works! A hyperspeed tunnel during the drop would be cool too.

                        So during those two days that my precious Space Mountain will be closed, I hope the Imagineers either brings Rockin' Space Mountian OR adds the effects Hong Kong Disneyland's Space Mountian has.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                          They wouldn't be able to evacuate the attraction safely with your idea although it is a good one....WDI wont use any idea that isn't their own! shhh

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                          • #14
                            Re: Practical idea for plussing Space Mountain

                            Actually, I dislike the projector system they have now because stars are flying off in different directions. That makes no sense.

                            In the Peter Pan system, it works a LOT better because all the stars are stationary and only YOU ARE MOVING past them, so all the stars are consistent with each other. In Space Mountain, they fly all about and so your brain KNOWS that the stars are moving, not just you moving past them... and that ruins the effect.

                            In real Space, only you seem to be moving, and all the stars maintain their relative position to each other. We should strive to emulate real space because it looks cooler. Peter Pan's system looks a LOT cooler than Space Mountain's as a result. If Space Mountain upgraded to that, it would be fantastic.

                            At the very least, the projection system used in Space Mountain should not have the stars themselves moving. They should be statically projected in one place. That would work a lot better.
                            I totally get what you're saying, and I agree with it to a certain extent, but I kind of like the star motion. Even though my brain knows they're just moving spots of light being projected onto walls, the motion does tend to momentarily trick my brain into thinking I'm going in a different direction than I am, which adds to the disorientation in a lovely way. So for now, I like the motion. But if "floating" stars are ever introduced, I hope the motion of the projected stars goes away. That'd just look weird to have some stars moving and others not.

                            Anyone else LOVE that weird drop about 2/3 of the way through the ride? It's accompanied by a cool pause in the music and it feels very bizarre. Actually, the very first drop/turn feels really weird, too. I can't figure out why...

                            EDIT:

                            They wouldn't be able to evacuate the attraction safely with your idea although it is a good one....
                            EDIT: I thought about that, but it's not true. The stars would just have to be strategically placed and/or be able easily rotated out of the way on hinges. In addition, Space is very rarely evacuated...when it goes 101, the rockets are usually just pushed through to the end. It's a gravity-based coaster, so all it needs is a shove. The only things I can think of that would prompt an actual evac are a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, a fire, or the like. Unless something serious is wrong, an evac usually isn't necessary.

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