How To Experience Space Mountain “Imagineer Style”

Space Mountain is one of Disney’s most popular attractions, not just at Magic Kingdom Park, but in all of Walt Disney World.

Opened in 1975, Space Mountain has remained a favourite of theme park newbies and veterans, and is one of the most popular FastPass selections, as 60+ minute queues throughout the day are quite normal.

Space Mountain is deceptively tame. At a speed of just 25mph (40kmh), which is slower than Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain feels much faster than it actually is, thanks to the attraction’s dark starry atmosphere, and unexpected twists and turns.

Disney Parks fans love talking about Space Mountain!

When was the first time you rode it? Which track do you prefer? Have you ever experienced it with the lights on?

My favourite question to ask people: have you ever experienced Space Mountain “Imagineer Style”?

What is Imagineer Style?

Unlike versions of Space Mountain at some other Disney parks, Magic Kingdom’s version doesn’t have a memorable soundtrack or score – there are ambient sci-fi noises, but no singular piece of music that accompanies the ride.

So early on, many Disney fans would choose their own soundtracks, using their Walkman (the hottest gadget at the time). They would choose a song that would provide the perfect atmosphere to this incredible attraction. They found that if you choose the right song, you can really enhance the experience, and lead to more memorable ride!

This practice became so popular that it also caught on with the Disney Imagineers who also love to ride Space Mountain. In fact, this became an inspiration of a future Disney roller coaster, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, which can be found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

How Do I Ride Space Mountain Imagineer Style?

It’s really fun! Now that you know about it, you NEED to try it on your next visit.

Choose a song that makes you happy. Something upbeat. For the best effect, try to choose a song that has a bit of a buildup at first, which you’ll hear as you go up he first hill, and then really kicks in once you get to the top.

I recommend that you choose the song as you’re waiting in line for the ride, so you won’t be rushed. Put your headphones in. Press play and test the volume. Then, hit pause and scroll back to the very beginning of the song. That way, you’ll know that it will play at the exact moment when you’re ready.

As you get on the ride vehicle, make sure that you have your phone (or any media player) in a pocket that is secure but still accessible. Make sure that your headphones are comfortable – I suggest that you use earbuds, rather than over-ear headphones.

As soon as you go through the safety check, the ride vehicle will turn the corner and stop for a moment, waiting for the previous vehicle to go up the hill. At this point, get ready, with your finger hovering over the Play button. Just as your vehicle begins to move forward, start the song. Put your device back in your secure pocket and enjoy the ride!

Want To Be Extra Geeky About It?

My wife and I happen to have the same taste in music. So we like to listen to the same song together! We’ll each use our own phones, and queue up the song together while waiting in line. Just before the ride vehicle beings to climb up that first hill, we’ll count “3, 2, 1” together, then hit play at the same moment. We’re experiencing the ride together in a way which nobody else will that day! After the ride, we talk about the song and how well it worked.


My Top 11 Songs To Use When Riding Space Mountain “Imagineer Style”

Not sure what to listen to? Here are several great recommendations…

1. Sondre Lerche – Legends

This song kicks in perfectly as you get to the top of the hill. Towards the end of the song there’s a part where he goes “whooooooah”, which happens just as you pass through the red light tunnel! This is my favourite song for Space Mountain, and it’s our go-to when we can’t think of something new to try.

2. Sloan – Money City Maniacs

Hey you!! This upbeat hit from Canadian rock band Sloan will have you smiling, laughing and clapping all the way.

3. Blur – M.O.R.

Another song with a great intro that really explodes as you go downhill. The upbeat exuberance of this song is a perfect soundtrack!

4. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky

Such a fun song! There’s a certain retro-futuristic aesthetic to it, which fits Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland perfectly. It’s incredibly upbeat, and the second half of the song really sets the mood.

5. Jamiroqui – Virtual Insanity

A smooth, soulful dance/pop 90’s classic, which pairs very well to a dark ride in spaceship.

6. Phoenix – Lisztomania

A really fun track from French indie rock band Phoenix that keeps building towards the end of the ride.

7. Elvis Costello – Pump It Up

The kind of song that gets you slapping your thighs as you go up that first hill, building anticipation. It’s impossible not to smile while riding Space Mountain and listening to this song!

8. Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)

Not as perky as some of my other recommendations, but the soaring vocals and warm synthesizers engulf your senses and enhance the experience.

9. U2 – The Fly

Both the tone and even the lyrics of this song fit Space Mountain perfectly! “We shine like a burning star, we’re falling from the sky”.

10. Gorillaz – Out Of Body

Another very futuristic but fun song. You’ll want to clap your hands in the air whenever the beat kicks back in!

11. The War On Drugs – Up All Night

A much more subdued song for this list, The War On Drugs are one of the hottest indie rock bands in today’s music scene. The singer’s voice is hypnotic – scratchy and reminiscent of Bryan Adams or Tom Cochrane. When I rode Space Mountain while listening to this song, I mostly closed my eyes and had an amazing experience.


Have You Ever Tried This?

Do you plan on trying it next time? Which songs do you think would work well?

I’d love to know what you think in the Comments section!

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