Home Disney, Universal & Other Theme Parks WDW’s Space Mountain: The Tricky Way They Increased Capacity But Maintained Safety

WDW’s Space Mountain: The Tricky Way They Increased Capacity But Maintained Safety

by SharonKurheg

As any Disney fan who’s been to Walt Disney World in the past decade or so, WDW is crowded almost 100% of the time. The larger the crowds, the longer the waits, especially if you don’t have a Fast Pass for a certain attraction.

One way that Disney helps to make the queues shorter is to increase ride capacity; whereas an attraction may be able to run XX number of cars at any given time, they may only run YY number of cars during slower times (this decreases wear and tear on the ride vehicles and saves Disney having to pay for more Cast Members [Disneyspeak for employees], but will increase it to XX number of cars when things are busier.

Depending on the type of attraction, that “XX” number may still be pretty low, so they figure out how to increase its capacity in other ways. Dumbo The Flying Elephant is a perfect example of this – this attraction originally opened with 10 ride vehicles when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. It was updated in 1983 and then had 16 ride vehicles, but that still wasn’t enough for the massive lines the ride would get, so in 2012 they built a second Dumbo ride (after moving the original to another area of the park so there would be enough room), which doubled the ride’s capacity.

(Above: 1971 & 1983 versions, artist rendering of 2012 version)

But then you have an attraction like Space Mountain, where the way to maintain a decent capacity becomes a little trickier…

The video below shows the “magic” they used to ensure WDW’s Space Mountain roller coaster had a capacity that was more than what would have been roughly 288 people per hour:

Pretty smart, huh? I love stuff like this. Hope you do, too.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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