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Space Mountain: Mission 2 at Disneyland ParisLast updated by Adam on Wednesday, November 06, 2013 17:29
Submitted by Nick on Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:53
Key informationOur rating:
Jun 1, 1995
Steel Roller Coaster
Minimum rider height:
When Disneyland Paris opened in 1992, a large space was reserved in Discoveryland for a major future attraction. It was a poorly-guarded secret that this spot would eventually house the park’s own version of the classic Space Mountain roller coaster at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom – but few could have predicted how different an experience the Paris version would offer.
Rather than being a clone of the existing Space Mountains, Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune (as it was known when it opened in 1995) completely reinvented the concept. While it retained the indoor, pitch-black setting, the “wild mouse”-style ride system was jettisoned in favour of a high-speed, multi-inversion steel coaster designed by Vekoma.
The “journey into space” storyline was also cleverly re-worked, with the ride’s plot being based on Jules Verne’s classic 1865 novel De la Terre à la Lune (“From the Earth, to the Moon”). Victorian-era theming elements set the scene, while the ride started with a stunning launch sequence that was designed to represent a huge gun (the “Columbiad Cannon”) firing a rocket into space.
Most riders would be hard-pressed to recall the rest of the storyline, which saw the train coming close to being swallowed by the “Bluemoon Mining Machine” and experiencing a near-collision with an asteroid. They will, though, remember the spiralling journey through a series of inversions and hills, none of which could be seen in advance thanks to the darkened building.
In 2005, Disneyland Paris closed the attraction for a major refurbishment. When it reopened, many of the Victorian theming elements had been removed, and a new plot based around being blasted to the edge of the universe had replaced the Jules Verne storyline. The ride itself remained largely unchanged, although the launch sequence now takes place at the bottom of the cannon rather than at the top.Review:
When it opened, Space Mountain : De la Terre à la Lune was a genuine masterpiece of attraction design that was rightly hailed as the “saviour” of the newly-rebranded Disneyland Paris. The attraction’s theme was the perfect fit with the retro-futuristic Discoveryland, while the coaster itself offered a thrilling, but smooth ride.
Unfortunately, today’s Space Mountain: Mission 2 is a sad shadow of its former glory. Riding it has become a painfully jarring experience, with the over-the-shoulder restraints acting as implements of torture rather than the safety devices they are intended to be. This detracts significantly from the fun of traversing its circuit – it’s hard to concentrate on the scenery that’s flying past when you’re grimacing in agony.
A major refurbishment was needed to revive Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune. Unfortunately, the 2005 update removed many of the elements that made it great (such as the Victorian theming and coherent storyline), and fixed none of the shortcomings (the trains were given a simple repaint). Space Mountain: Mission 2’s theming mixes modern features with leftover Victorian areas, resulting in a bizarre mixture that feels half-baked.
Space Mountain: Mission 2 remains very popular, which is perhaps unsurprising given the lack of new thrill rides at Disneyland Paris. For first time visitors, it is still well worth riding, but the uncomfortable and sometimes very painful physical sensations it causes severely restrict its re-ride value. Let’s hope that Disneyland Paris eventually sees fit to give this classic attraction the proper revival that it deserves.Top Tip:
Most riders will find the over-the-shoulder restraints on Space Mountain: Mission 2 very uncomfortable, particularly taller guests. It may sound excessive, but consider wearing some extra padding on your shoulders – you may look a little odd, but you’re likely to have a far more enjoyable experience on the ride.
More information about Space Mountain: Mission 2:
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Latest news on Space Mountain: Mission 2:
Report: Disneyland Paris to install new restraints on Space Mountain: Mission 2 coaster
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 08:46
Disneyland Paris is planning to replace the over-the-shoulder restraints on its Space Mountain: Mission 2 roller coaster, according to a new report.
Space Mountain: Mission 2 set for brief closure at Disneyland Paris
Thursday, December 2, 2010 08:52
Disneyland Paris is set to close its Space Mountain: Mission 2 rollercoaster from December 6-10, as the park prepares for an influx of guests over the Christmas period.
Upcoming refurbishments, rehabs and closures
We are not aware of any scheduled refurbishment periods for Space Mountain: Mission 2. Do you know of any upcoming "rehabs" that we're missing? If so - please contact us so that we can keep the list up-to-date.