The Ride

By Jean-Marc Toussaint

[...] Once inside the station you board one of the trains (6 cars, 4 seats per car) themed like sci-fi vehicles designed in the 1900s, featuring over-the-shoulders restraints. After a long turnaround inside a tube, you reach a sudden drop that leads you to the bottom of the cannon. A hook attaches itself under the train and you are pulled into the enormous Columbiad Cannon.

A very loud detonation is heard, smoke fills the cannon and the train is catapulted into the circuit. A short drop is followed by a long downward helix in complete darkness. You dodge some little asteroids and then you plunge into the looping. Leaving the first inversion, the train rushes through a huge "space mining" machine and a series of trim-brakes which lead you into the core of a melting asteroid. Then comes another sudden drop into the corkscrew. After a 360 degree inversion, the train "hangs" briefly at a 90 degree angle before a fast section of track to the second lift. The train climbs the hill very quickly - a 'road sign' says "to the Moon: 50,000 km" - and you reach the Moon, which looks like the one in George Melies' 1902 film.

The train drops suddenly as you leave the satellite orbit and rushes through some other meteorites. The train negotiates a "horseshoe" (a flat standing upward turn) and gains speed as it reaches another downward helix with dark light effects simulating re-entry into the atmosphere. The train hits the brakes through a shower of sparks inside the "Electro de Velocitor" machine, and then goes back gently back to the station.

By Alan Taff

[...] Just after our train passed over the points, they tumbled round joining onto the other track.

We made a long turn-around inside a tunnel, and then suddenly we accelerated and plunged down a steep drop, into the barrel of the cannon.

We then stopped, suspended at an angle of 32 degrees, looking directly up the shaft of the cannon. The music was getting more exciting, and suddenly we climbed further into the cannon, grinding to a dead halt. We waited and waited. In front of us was a long, tube like, tunnel of glass. We waited in suspense.

And then, BOOM, we accelerated from 0-50mph in 1.8 seconds, hurtling out of the cannon, plunging through a ring of smoke, and through the glass tunnel, with stroboscopic lights flashing all around us.

My head was pressed back hard in the seat, and I was going "Wooahh" because the speed was overwhelmingly fast. We then entered the mountain.

We waited for a brief second at the top, hanging down at a steep angle, with blackness surounding us. Then, we were released and we dropped downwards, banking to the left. We zoomed through complete pitch blackness, at a very high speed, with air whizzing past us.

We then whizzed past huge, black-lit meteorites.

The music was being pumped through us, by 6 powerful speakers in each seat.

We then flew down a drop and we plunged into the (very tall) 360 degrees Sidewinder loop.

It was like a normal 360 degrees loop, except at the top the track changed direction, turning 90 degrees to the left, and bringing you down again. I couldn't really tell I was upside down.

I just remember being flung up into the air, and I suddenly found myself looking down at my feet. I remember, being pressed back hard in my seat, and seeing the front of our glowing train curved straight upwards in front of me.

Anyway, we dived down, out of the loop, and we zoomed through a black-lit "Blue Moon" mining machine. We then whizzed around again in complete darkness. We then slowed down, in front of a large red asteroid. We then dropped down through it, with smoke and flashing lights all around us.

We set off at high speed again, through the darkness, and then we whizzed through the corkscrew.

This time you could feel you were upside down. You could feel yourself hanging upside down.

But it was amazing.

The track sort of twisted, completely upside down, so you were hanging, and then it sent you diving down in a steep spiral.

We whizzed out of that and we latched on to the second chain lift, and we were pulled up, quite quickly, towards the moon, accompanied by the main Space Mountain theme (Da da da, da der Da da - kind of like the Jurassic Park theme)

A road sign in front of us read "to the Moon: 50,000km. " As we got closer and closer to the moon, we could see a man's grinning face in it. But before we got too close, we dropped down, banking to the right, with the music suddenly changing to a more suspenseful/action packed tone.

We then went through the 180 degrees Tongue Inversion, but I do not remember being upside down. I remember being on my side, but not upside down. Hmmmm. So what happened to the 3rd inversion?

Anyway, we whizzed out of that and re-entered the earth's atmosphere, with black-light effects. We roared through the "Electro De Velocitor" (some weird, black-lit, monster machine) with flashing lights all around us, and then we slowed down and gently pulled back into the station.

The train came to a stop with a "Da da Daaa Bob a BOM". The restraints were released, and I exited. And I knew one thing, I definitely had to do it again; and I did. I went on Space Mountain 10 times during the course of our 3 night holiday, and it got better and better, each time I went on it. Although, the track was 0.62 miles long, which is 3300 feet, the ride only lasted 2 and a half minutes. [...]

By Ian Grey

If there is only one platform open (when it is quiet) you hold for much, much longer at the base of the launch ramp. So much so, that the "DER derr" music loop and loops!

I rode it once where we stopped for about 10 seconds half way up the lift hill inside (the chain lift where you are heading towards the moon face) and the music petered out, but it resumed again as soon as we had cleared the chain and headed into the corkscrew.

I was disappointed that it hadn't broken down -- I would have loved to see the lights on and be led down the spiral staircase inside. I did see inside for about 10 seconds (from the viewing area) with the lights on, then they went and fixed it!

By Miro Gronau (15. Jun 1999)

It's sad that the catapult was throttled before the opening. Originally it should go over the peak so fast that one takes off a little! I don't want to know how fast the ride then was in the mountain. It's already quite fast for some curve inclination ...