Space Mountain as if the lights were on, and other Disneyland/World secrets

Many years ago, some friends of mine went to Disneyland and got to experience Space Mountain in an unusual way.

They went through the ride the normal way, but when the car returned to the load/unload area, the cast member (because that's what Disney calls them) asked, "Do you want to go again?"

Everybody in the car enthusiastically shouted, "Yes!"

(Presumably they were falling behind on the loading and unloading, and waving a car through saved them a bit of time they could use to catch up.)

The second time through the ride was qualitatively different: Their eyes had already acclimated to the dark, so even though they were going through the ride like everybody else, they could see the room as if the lights were on.

There are a number of videos of Disneyworld Space Mountain with the lights on, captured from the PeopleMover, but that's not the same as riding it with the lights on.

Other Disneyland secrets:

I'm leaving for vacation today, so the blog will be on autopilot for a while. I might visit a certain theme park. You never know.

Comments (5)
  1. smf says:

    I'm pretty sure that either Disney Land Paris or Disney World Florida have run Space Mountain with the lights on (it's one or the other as I've only been to those two).

  2. John says:

    I've been through space mountain at Disneyworld with the lights on.  I thought it was creepier than with the lights off.

    We'd been waiting in line for like 40 minutes when the ride broke down.  Cast members went through the line telling everyone, but said, "we don't know how long it will be down, could be 10 minutes, could be hours.  you can stay in line if you want"  So my family decided to stay in line for 15 more minutes, and then bail.  Almost everyone vacated the line, so we were in the first car 10 minutes later when they'd fixed the ride. They wanted to run it once with the lights on just in case, so we got to see it with the lights on.    

    In one way, it wasn't as scary, because you could see things coming.  But in another way, it was as scary, because you could see how close you got to other parts of the track, which you couldn't see in the dark!

    after the ride with the lights on, they turned them off and we got to go 2 more times before they re-opened the ride and let others back on.  It was a long wait, but not longer than super busy days, and we got to ride 3 straight times, so that was cool.

  3. JustSomeGuy says:

    I have no idea what sort of ride that is but presumably you could get a similar effect by closing your eyes tight as soon as you're "seated" and then opening them when you enter the dark area, no?

  4. Brian says:

    @JustSomeGuy it's a pretty standard roller coaster, but entirely contained (except for the loading/unlodaing area) within a large dark (nearly black) room (with projections of stars and galaxies on the walls). The loading area is very well-lit, so you'd need to be more aggressive than simply using your eyelids to get sufficient dark-acclimation.

    As an extra measure to augment the darkness, the incline up which the car goes before the "real part of the ride" happens is in a brightly-lit tunnel with a light at the end shining straight at the riders. Without taking special measures, it's very much designed to make sure the riders' night vision is obliterated before they enter the dark room.

  5. smf says:

    I think it was Disneyland Paris which had Space Mountain with lights on, I don't know if it was time limited but it was advertised like that. Not just due to maintenance. It wasn't full lights on, but you could see. They probably got complaints because of the dark.

    I never liked space mountain, big thunder mountain and splash mountain is better.

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