Hello there. Recently I asked Tim Delaney (Vice President/Executive Designer, of WDI Show Design) a few questions about his latest creation, Space Mountain From the Earth to the Moon.
Alan: How come nearly everyone came off the ride crying? Is it because the ride is so fast?
Tim: The ride is fast (70 kph top speed) especially for those in the front car.
Alan: How come the cannon wasn't recoiling when I went on the ride?
Tim: The Cannon Barrel was not properly constructed and will be rebuilt in Febuary.
Alan: How come the doors on the cannon weren't rolling shut when I went on the ride?
Tim: The door is experiencing some electrical problems. I was in Paris during the week October 4-9 and it was running then.
Alan: Where was the train originally meant to launch from? Was it meant to launch right from the bottom of the cannon, because when I went on the ride, it only launched from about half way up.
Tim: The train was always meant to leave from the Cannon Muzzle as you rode it. If we do it again, we will launch down the track so the "Push" is a longer experience.
Alan: Are there meant to be sparks inside the attraction, as shown in the documentary? There weren't any when I went on it.
Tim: The SFX Sparkers have also experienced electrical problems. The complexity of all of the special effects is always a difficult problem.
Alan: I remember going upside down twice, through the sidewinder loop, and the corkscrew.But I don't remember going upside down a third time through the 180 degree tongue inversion. Can you describe what happens in the tongue inversion?
Tim: The third inversion element is in the "tongue" and it is very fast. It is definitely the part of the ride that disappoints the most. It should have been more defined or eliminated.
Alan: The music was excellent, and added immensely to the experience. But, where can I get hold of the music from? Can you buy it anywhere? Or is it just for the attraction?
Tim: I do not know if the music will ever be available. We have asked Disneyland Paris sell to sell a tape but they say there is not a big enough market. [...]
Alan: Will Space Mountain From the Earth to the Moon ever replace the old Space Mountains found in all the other Magic Kingdoms?
Tim: The other parks have looked and are investigating the possibility.
Alan: What other projects are you currently working on, or is that top secret?
Tim: Yes, top secret...if I tell you, you will have to be locked up for several years.
Alan: Can you offer me a job please?
Tim: Keep studying and learning. Do not forget the arts. The basis of all of our business is storytelling and the more knowledge you have in theatre and movies, in the great artists of the world, and in classic literature, the more rounded your knowledge and expertise will be.
It has been my experience that what makes people here at WDI good at what they do, is a combination of interests, hobbies, and education. Do everything that makes you a well rounded person, but focus on one, or possibly two, areas of expertise. Here at WDI we have over 1200 employees that comprise over 150 disciplines. It certainly makes my job easier to do knowing that when a team is to be assembled, you can call on the best people in the world; the best lighting designers, the best writers, the best special effects people, etc.
Alan: What other Disney attractions have you worked on?
Tim: Too numerous to list, but the highlights were Director/Producer for the Living Seas Pavilion, Epcot Center; Director/Producer for all of Discoveryland, Disneyland Paris.
Alan: Who decided to change the name Discovery Mountain to Space Mountain? Do they realise that they've screwed up all of the DM logos around the Space Mountain attraction?
Tim: The change to Space Mountain from Discovery Mountain was a difficult one for the design team. The original reason to call it Discovery Mountain was to clearly define it as a totally new attraction. The decision to continue the use of Space Mountain was strictly a marketing one. The idea being that we have an existing marketable name in Space Mountain.