At the heart of Discoveryland sits the formiddable and eyecatching Hyperspace Mountain. Formerly Space Mountain Mission 2 this ride is an update on the classic Walt Disney World and Disneyland Ride Space Mountain. Where Space Mountain has 0 inversions, Hyperspace Mountain boasts 3 inversions a sidewinder, cutback and a corkscrew. The exterior of the mountain showcases the ride’s launch tube, which catapults guests from 0-44mph at 1.3g. The design of Hyperspace mountain is inspired by Jules Verne’s from the earth to the moon, the Verne theming is extended by the Nautilous which is parked alongside the mountain. A green, victorian structure hyperspace mountain looks incredible, a real retro future centrepiece that fits, most of the theming in Discoveryland, this is a huge departure from the other Space Mountains accross the world that are based on an iconic pure white 80s NASA inspired design.
The decision to makeover Space Mountain 2 into Hyperspace Mountain was an odd one as the Star Wars theming is at odds with the very specific steam punk design. There is little pre show, a few rebel plans on the wall and a monitor showing a video are about as much as you see, this is a far cry from the excellent pre show at Star Tours just a few meters away. The overall experience does little to immerse you in the world of Star Wars before you board the ride. The clash of themes is especially true when you get into the ride vehicle which bears no resemblance to any star wars ship, design or even the broad Star Wars battered technology aesthetic.
The ride itself is a breakneck, twisting and turning dark ride rollercoaster which features iconic Star Wars music, sound effects, lighting and screens. The experience simulates a battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire which culminates in riders being confronted by a huge Star Destroyer before the ride’s finale. Entering and exiting the ride is handled very well with an immersive hyperspace effect that is arguably the transition from victoriana into a truer Star Wars experience.
Overall this is one of Disney’s more thrilling rollercoasters featuring speeds and a track layout matched only by the Rock N Roller Coaster. The Star Wars update feels like a gimmick rather than a selling point and the blend of two very different aesthetics is not really acheived until you are experiencing the ride itself. that being said the Jules Verne original design is incredible. This is the ride equivelent of having chips and ice cream, I like both but I’d maybe avoid having them together. Undeniably a superb rollercoaster but if its scratching a Star Wars itch you are after, there are better experiences to be had in the park and here Star Wars has probably usurped a braver and more consistent original vision.
Overall scores blow