Disneyland Park guests were surprised by new projection effects inside Space Mountain when it reopened following a five-week refurbishment — but maybe more surprised by new projection mapping on the ride’s iconic building at night.
Space Mountain Projection Mapping
The white mountain now glows blue, yellow, and red at night. The colors appear to blend together to also create shades of pink, purple, and orange.
The illumination is not just light effects but is in fact projection mapping, which is a spatial programming technique that makes projections form around the architecture of a three-dimensional object or building. Projection mapping has become a mainstay of Disney Parks’ nighttime spectaculars. Projection mapping was used during “Wondrous Journeys” to turn Sleeping Beauty Castle into the casita from “Encanto” and more. It’s also been used on the “it’s a small world” façade.
This projection mapping on Space Mountain makes the building stand out at night with the colors of a galaxy.
The Space Mountain exterior has previously been lit using projection mapping for special occasions — specifically when the former Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy Halloween-centric seasonal overlay ran — but it has been several years since projection mapping was consistently utilized and new projectors were installed for this effect.
Space Mountain Refurbishment
On the ride, new projections depict galaxies and multi-colored space dust that seems to expand and fade. Watch our video of the new effects:
The orange light panels in the exit hallway and stairs have also been repaired.
The light panels have not worked for several months, but now illuminate the corridor with an orange glow.
The original version of Space Mountain opened in 1975 at Magic Kingdom. It proved so popular that Disney constructed other versions at Disneyland Park, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Shanghai Disneyland built TRON Lightcycle Power Run instead of Space Mountain. Magic Kingdom has since replicated the ride as TRON Lightcycle Run, next to Space Mountain.
Each version of Space Mountain is slightly different, but they all take guests on a high-speed adventure through the iconic pyramid-like building.
The Disneyland Paris rendition of the ride was originally De la Terre à la Lune, inspired by “From the Earth to the Moon” by Jules Verne. Both the Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland versions later received the “Star Wars” Hyperspace Mountain overlay. The overlay was supposed to be temporary but ultimately became permanent. This overlay also sometimes comes to the Disneyland version of the ride.
Tokyo Disneyland broke ground on its completely new version of the ride in May 2023. The old version remains open for now and the new version will open in 2027. You can check out our latest construction update here.
Will you be checking out the new projection effects on Space Mountain at Disneyland Park? Let us know in the comments.