Space Mountain: Mission 2

Disneyland Paris is planning to replace the over-the-shoulder restraints on its Space Mountain: Mission 2 roller coaster, according to a new report.

Disney and More claims that the ride's manufacturer, Vekoma, has already carried out tests of new hydraulic harnesses that will replace the existing system. These are designed to reduced the pain caused by the over-the-shoulder restraints, which has led to severe criticism of Space Mountain: Mission 2 in recent years.

However, the report suggests that the new restraints will not be added to the coaster until 2013 at the earliest. Their eventual installation will require a major refurbishment of the ride, which could include adjustments to its existing trains.

Rather than being a clone of the existing Space Mountains at other Disney parks, 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 ride's backstory was based around Jules Verne’s classic 1865 novel De la Terre à la Lune (“From the Earth, to the Moon”).

In 2005, Disneyland Paris closed the attraction for a major refurbishment. When it reopened, many of the original 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.

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I am glad Disney have decided to do this. I am experienced very sore shoulders after riding Space Mountain last April (2011). Apart from the minor soreness I thought the ride was excellent. Its unique style compared to its sisters in Anaheim and Orlando is very much welcomed. However, strangely, in which some would disagree, unlike its sister rides I don't think its one of those "oh lets do that again!" rides. Granted, it still does not take away the fact that it is one of the best rides in the Disneyland Park.

This was always my favorite experience at any Disney park, I have been on the Paris version over 100 times, that was until the changes to Mission 2. All of the magic had gone, the wonderful music and the thrill of returning back to Earth. As far as the over the shoulder restraints go, I have found them to be the most secure of any theme park ride. May I suggest that the ride reverts to its far Superior first version, especially the original score and maybe a little more padding is added to the restraints around the head area.

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