The PeopleMover, America Sings, and now the Tomorrowland Starcade: all beloved Disneyland institutions we hoped would one day make an unlikely return. Given the brand new opening of the sparkly Space Mountain standby queue extension, all hope for the Starcade’s reemergence is now lost. It does spruce up this previously uninspiring bit of line, though.
Truly, it’s a little like lamenting the loss of an obscure New Orleans Square courtyard. Every inch of Disneyland real estate is valuable beyond compare. To leave such a large swath of space (😉) unexploited for so long must have cost some sleepless nights in the Imagineering Department. Walt himself said Disneyland will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. From Pixar Pier, to the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, to an entire new hotel, there’s apparently still a wealth of imagination left.
Space Mountain’s upper patio was a brutal place to queue up. An unfortunate stretch of the outside, hazardously sun-soaked line remains, though the redesign will be a significant relief on Southern California summer days. Preserving the wherewithal of Space Mountain standby guests wins out over those of us who were still really good at Galaga and who were sentimental over the original Tron game.
The Starcade’s popularity had been dwindling for decades. The brief boost provided by Wreck-It Ralph gave hope to those of us who spent way too much time, and tokens, inside similar venues. Still, that too, quickly faded. The new queue, and the barren wasteland on the lower level, are the two-toned death knell for another former Disney institution. The next time you’re not trapped out in direct sunlight, an hour from your ride on this attraction for which you should have definitely secured a FastPass, you’ll be thankful for at least this bit of the ever-changing landscape.