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Space Mountain Is Permanently Closing In One Of Disney's Parks, But It's Not All Bad News

Disney Parks attractions come and go, leaving indelible memories or horrendous infamy in the wake of such departures. Some long for the days when The Timekeeper was still running at the Magic Kingdom, while others would like to keep celebrating that Stitch’s Great Escape is no more. However, there are some rides that no one would ever expect to close, with the iconic Space Mountain being one such candidate for the honors. 

Well, Tokyo Disney Resort is about to permanently close their version of this staple of Disney amusements far and wide. It’s not all bad news though, with a very exciting plan for what comes next already in the works. Say goodbye to Space Mountain, and say hello to…Space Mountain? 

Space Mountain Is Dead, Long Live Space Mountain

The Tokyo Disney Resort made this announcement today, through both an official press release and blog post. While Space Mountain is in fact closing permanently, it’s not going to happen immediately. An unspecified point in 2024 is currently on the books for this historic happening, and the park’s official line on what to expect next reads as follows:

Space Mountain, an exhilarating, indoor roller coaster that takes guests on a high-speed joy ride through space, has been a favorite of guests since the Grand Opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. This entirely new attraction will maintain its original concept as an indoor roller coaster, but will have enhanced performance and immersive special effects that will give guests even more thrills on this exciting rocket ride.

Slating this entirely new Space Mountain for a 2027 opening, and with frequent Disney partner Coca-Cola as the ride’s official sponsor, Tokyo Disney Resort is making some pretty huge moves in its future. As if the park’s upcoming section dedicated to Frozen wasn’t a large enough gamble, this new Space Mountain is only the beginning of something even greater. Not only is that attraction being reimagined from the ground up, but the entire Tomorrowland Plaza is about to transform as well, with a new retheming.

What Tokyo Disneyland Is Planning For Their Tomorrowland Retheme

2027 also marks the year that this forward thinking land will see itself refreshed for a new tomorrow. It’s a subject that many domestic Disney fans are familiar with, as both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have seen many loyalists wonder when they’ll get a similar refresh. At least in the case of Tokyo Disney Resort’s refurb, this is what people should expect for this great, big, beautiful Tomorrowland:

The new Tomorrowland plaza will express the connection between Earth and the universe, representing an image of a future where humans are in harmony with nature. Guests will be able to enjoy moments of rest and relaxation in this plaza where various icons and other design elements create a sense of hope for the future. After dark, the area will draw guests into a spectacular world of light and soundscapes.

Traditionally we’ve seen Tomorrowland focused on technological advances and marvels of science and space travel. Unfortunately, that sort of strategy does tend to leave this section of the park as the most in need of frequent refreshes and updates. Not only does Tokyo Disney Resort’s concept of “the connection between Earth and the universe” feel evergreen, it could even be the key to revamping the domestic iterations of Tomorrowland in the near future.

Stepping further into the land of speculation, this new focus on natural harmony sounds like the perfect gateway for James Cameron’s Avatar to make its way to the park. Just as Orlando has seemed to have incorporated elements of Avatar 2 into its Animal Kingdom attractions based on the highest grossing film of all time, the 2027 opening of Tokyo Disney Resort’s new Tomorrowland could see elements of further sequels incorporated in a similar fashion. It also helps that this timeframe is wedged firmly between the intended release dates of 2026’s Avatar 4 and 2028’s Avatar 5.

Lots of changes are taking place at Tokyo Disney Resort, and concepts like the new Toy Story themed hotel are bound to be watched with great interest. Perhaps some lessons for the future of Disney Parks in general will reveal themselves in time. For now, guests who frequent the park should get in as many rides on Space Mountain as they can, as 2024 will be here before you know it. 

Though now that we’re on the subject, let’s leave with another interesting question to ponder in the meantime. Which do you think happens first: the opening of this new ride, or the actual production and release of the Space Mountain movie we’ve been waiting on for some time? It's something to seriously think about, but in-between those thoughts of far flung future worlds, don't forget to check the 2022 movie releases and see what movies, Disney-related or otherwise, will be coming soon to a theater near you.

Mike Reyes
Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.