Remembering Space Mountain, From the Earth to the Moon
Since the first of June 1995, an extraordinary cathedral of copper and steel proudly overhangs Discoveryland, Disneyland Park, Paris. It's name: Space Mountain.
The French version of this classic E-Ticket ride differs in many ways from its American counterparts. It uses a real catapult, has an on board sound system broadcasting a synchronized soundtrack specially made for the show and features three inversions in complete darkness.
Between 1995 and 2005, the attraction offered its guests the unique opportunity to embark for a fantastic journey 'From the Earth to the Moon".Today, we pay tribute to this original version / background story of the amazing mountain often stated as the masterpiece of Disneyland Paris.
Jules Verne's 1865 tale, "De la Terre à la Lune", provided the thematic inspiration for the ride. Touched by reports on America's Civil War, Verne began to muse on using the destructive technology of cannons and explosives in a more peaceful way. He imagined an amazing adventure.
In post-bellum America, the Baltimore Gun Club, a group of artillery enthusiasts and soldiers, gather to recall their military days. Their president, Impey Barbicane, suggests they try an altogether new use of the technology of gunpowder: shooting a projectile to the moon.
“The power of Cannon and the force of gunpowder are potentially unlimited. Might it be possible to project a shot up to the moon?”
The book describes the foolish undertaking down to the smallest details. By using a lot of explanations, figures and formulas, Jules Verne wanted to describe a possible true story, not something totally dreamy or impossible.
For ten years, Disneyland Paris catapulted millions of guests into space.
They traveled through complete pitch blackness...
...past huge black-lit meteorites...
...through a huge 'space mining machine'...
...into the core of a melting asteroid.
And they all had the same goal: reaching the moon.
The train hit the brakes inside the "Elektro de Velocitor" machine.
"The Stellarway", an observation walkway that tunneled through the inside of the mountain at ground level, offered the least braves a look at the ride. The arcade closed down when the Fast Past system was installed.
The projection of the smiling moon was inspired by the “man-in-the-moon” figure that can be seen in “A Trip to the Moon” (Le Voyage dans la Lune), a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film written and directed by Georges Méliès.
Méliès (1861 – 1938) was a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. He was the first to use production sketches and storyboards, created the basic vocabulary of special effects, and built the first studio of glass-house form, the prototype of European studios of the silent era.
The soundtrack of Space Mountain "From the Earth to the Moon" was written by movie composer Steve Bramson, who won an Emmy for his work with Steven Spielberg.
It was recorded by an orchestra in Hollywood, just ten days before the ride officially opened.
At the very beginning it was intended to call the indoor roller coaster "Discovery Mountain".
The original reason to call it "Discovery Mountain" was to clearly define it as a totally new attraction (different from it's American cousins).
The last minute decision to continue the use of "Space Mountain" was strictly a marketing one. The idea being that Disney had an existing marketable name in "Space Mountain". The logo of Discovery Mountain can still be found around the attraction.
Space Mountain "From the Earth to the Moon" was one of the most legendary rides ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. It rediscovered the former spirit of the attractions designed by Walt Disney himself: romantic, spectacular, dramatic, fabulous.
In 2005 the Space Mountain show building was completely refurbished.
Brand new special effects were added inside the mountain. The name was changed and the original background story was abandoned. Consequently the ride lost it's charm, appeal, heart and soul. One can only hope that once...
They bring back the moon.
Designing Disney Max was one of the first to enjoy Space Mountain "From the Earth to the Moon" on the first of June 1995.