Analysing Potential Special Overlays That Could Be Coming To 'Space Mountain'

Space Mountain at Disneyland is now Ghost Galaxy through Halloween. After that, the “Star Wars”-themed Hyperspace Mountain overlay returns to Tomorrowland’s popular indoor roller coaster.

Clearly, the overlays on Space Mountain are very popular. So why stop with these two? What other themed overlays could Disney install to help keep its nearly 40-year-old roller coaster concept fresh? Let’s play Imagineer and dream up some ideas.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Marvel’s space franchise would seem the obvious choice for a new Space Mountain overlay ... except that Disney has already chose to use the Guardians on its upcoming new version of Tower of Terror over at Disney California Adventure. Flying through space with Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon seems a more natural fit for this franchise than bouncing up and down on elevators in Taneleer Tivan’s museum. And I’d bet that another Space Mountain overlay wouldn’t have created the fan revolt online that Disney got with its announcement that it was closing the Twilight Zone version of Tower of Terror.

The Twilight Zone: If Disney’s not going to use the classic Rod Serling anthology series on the Tower of Terror anymore, why not bring it across the esplanade to Tomorrowland? One of the big problems with storytelling on theme park rides is that you have to end the ride where it started – at the loading station. But that challenge becomes an opportunity for a Twilight Zone-themed space ride, given that the big twist in nearly every space-themed episode of the show was – SPOILER ALERT! – that the characters just ended up back on Earth anyway.

TRON: One of the big hits of Disney’s new Shanghai Disneyland has been its TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster. We’re talking overlays here, not rebuilds, so let’s set aside any talk of installing Shanghai’s lightcycle coaster trains in Anaheim. But Disney could recreate The Grid inside Space Mountain, allowing riders to experience a flight through TRON’s computer-generated game space. If you liked the old TRON speed tunnel on the long-gone PeopleMover, wouldn’t you love a real high-speed version on Space Mountain?

The Black Hole: Speaking of live-action Disney films from my childhood, how about this 1979 production, which starred Maximilian Schell and Anthony Perkins as scientists on two spaceships mired near a black hole. With a meteor storm and that black hole pulling ships apart, there are plenty of wonderful visuals here to make an exciting overlay for the ride. Plus, I've got some old “The Black Hole” toys stored away somewhere, and I need Disney to do something to boost their value on eBay.

Treasure Planet: OK, I will admit I had to go online to remind myself of the details from this 2002 Disney animated production, which featured a space-themed reboot of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” “The Black Hole” has a small cult following, but I don’t know anyone who’s a devoted fan to this apparently forgettable box office flop. But the retro-futuristic look of the film could give Space Mountain a stylish new look. Oh, whom am I kidding? Disney wants to promote its box office hits, so let’s try ...

WALL-E: With Buzz Lightyear and “Finding Nemo“ already well established in Tomorrowland, why not bring one of Pixars’s space-themed hits to the land? We could fly through fields of floating garbage encircling the Earth as we chase WALL-E and EVE throughout the solar system. And who knows how much more Disney could make in beverages sales once it installed Buy-N-Large cupholders on every Space Mountain train?

Mission to Mars: Missing the nostalgia that fueled last year’s 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration? Let’s flash back to the past with a Space Mountain overlay that pays tribute to the ride’s former neighbor, Mission to Mars. We’ll blast off to the Red Planet on a journey that’s far more exciting than the vibrating seats on the old version. But if we’re going to reference another Disney attraction with a Space Mountain overlay, here’s the one I really want ...

Rex’s Revenge: After getting fired from his job piloting Star Tours in 2010, Captain Rex has lurked backstage in Tomorrowland, plotting his revenge. Today, he’s taken over Space Mountain and is blasting riders into an out-of-control chase across the galaxy. I love a nasty Disney villain, and Rex deserves his shot to transform from a bumbling incompetent to the truly evil robot he aspires to be. Let Rex have his revenge!

Source: OC Register

Banner Photo Credit: Will Gearhart