Saturday, October 6, 2012
The Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy Experiment
The Halloween seasonal overlay for the Disneyland Space Mountain attraction called Ghost Galaxy has been taking place for a few years now. Space Mountain is one of those Disneyland attractions that you either love it or hate it. There is no middle ground. Those that love it make a special point to go on it again and again and eagerly await the semi-spooky Halloween elements that are added to the ride. Those that hate Space Mountain, well, something like Ghost Galaxy isn't going to convince them to get on the thing. They wouldn't go near Space Mountain unless someone is forcing them at gun point. You can put Mrs. DisneylandTraveler in that category. When I rode Ghost Galaxy, I rode alone.
For most Space Mountain fans, Ghost Galaxy is either a nice addition or a bit of a disappointment depending on how you look at it. Since Space Mountain by design is a wild mouse type roller coaster that runs in the dark, adding the additional lighting and sound effects of Ghost Galaxy don't change the essence of the ride. It's the same but different. I think the disappointment comes when Space Mountain veterans know that Disney is fully capable of doing a whole lot more with Ghost Galaxy. If they wanted to, they could probably make a ride that would scare the bejeezes out of someone. Since Disney wants to work on a family entertainment level, they take the safe route with Ghost Galaxy.
There's that and the fact that it only take Disney 3 days to install the Ghost Galaxy overlay and only 1 day to remove it. They popular attraction has minimal downtime. Compare that to the Haunted Mansion Holidays overlay which takes close to 3 weeks to install and about the same length of time to remove it.
Maybe the best part of Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is what they do with the enhanced lighting and sound effects with the exterior of the building. Seeing the stately building set aglow with special light and sound displays may be more of seasonal interest than what goes on inside on the ride itself.
Here is a Disney produced video of the ride itself along with another video that shows the dramatic building exterior.