Ad Luna in Flamma Gloria

Journey into Themed Design

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Ad Luna in Flamma Gloria

"An appalling unearthly report followed instantly, such as can be compared to nothing whatever known, not even to the roar of thunder, or the blast of volcanic explosions!" 
Jules Verne
Author of "De la Terre à la Lune"











On June the 1st, 1995, after two years of works and 90 millions pounds invested, the Columbiad cannon blasted off its first rocket-train at Disneyland Paris. A turning point for the themed design industry. Here is a small list of reasons which made Space Mountain – From the Earth to the Moon a legendary ride. 


An experience for everyone

Space Mountain – From the Earth to the Moon is first of all a visual experience. The building is animated in many ways to appear impressive. Gear rotation, cannon recoil, smoke and sound effects give rythm to Discoveryland every 36 seconds.

At night, the show lights guide the trains to the moon…

Let’s remember that in 1995, there is only one rollercoaster with a loop in every Disney Parks, and it’s located a few hundred meters from the Mountain. We’re of course talking about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. The passengers of this very ride are warned in the queue line, which goes right in front of the loop. But how can you explain to the guests that the adventure will be really intense if the ride is inside a building?


The selected solution was the « Stellar Way ». The passengers could see the dance of the trains in the space from the Queue Line of the attraction, thanks to large glass panels along the way. 


For the adventurers too small to enjoy the ride, or too scared to board a train, a small part was accessible to everyone. It allowed them to be a part of the adventure and watch a friend who decided to defy the Columbiad.


A world first

In addition to the stellar way, two main innovations were achieved in Space Mountain, and put Paris on the map of coasters enthusiasts.

  • World first synchronised music in a looping rollercoaster
  • World first inclined catapult in a rollercoaster

A complete experience

"We don't build rollercoasters at Walt Disney Imagineering. We build stories.
Tom Fitzgerald
Executive VP at WDI

And that’s where Disney definitely hit the mark. At the time, there were no rollercoaster (or no ride, the awakening of Universal Creative would come a few years later) which could rival with Space Mountain in terms of storytelling. The ride offers a complete experience as soon as you enter the queue line. In fact, the whole sequence is similar to a movie.


The poster

It sets the background of the attracion. Earth-Moon travels have become frequent.


The teaser

The exterior and interior queue line show you glimpses of the adventure, from the blast-off to the arrival… but without showing the main event.


Introduction and credits

The rooms before the boarding show you the journey, while the imagineers are credited on the ceiling.


The movie

Space Mountain is story driven from the beginning to the end.

After the blast-off, the train is deviated from his route by a meteor mining machine, which was supposed to secure the way.

This event causes the first inversion (Sidewinder loop) and the collision with the Mother of Meteorites.

In the end, you will miss the moon and will be attracted back to earth thanks to the Electro de Velocitor.

That’s it for today! If you wish to live the attraction in its former glory, nothing better than this Space Mountain Tribute!