A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Tokyo Disneyland on Tuesday to officially kick off the construction of a completely new Space Mountain.
New Space Mountain
The project was announced and concept art was released in April 2022. The art shows new versions of both the attraction and the Tomorrowland plaza. The iconic attraction and its building, which was cloned from the Disneyland version and opened with the park on April 15, 1983, will presumably be demolished or heavily modified for this new version.
The new attraction building design seems to take inspiration from Shanghai Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, with a large ramp leading up to the attraction similar to TRON Lightcycle Power Run (which has now been cloned as TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom). The curves of the building are accented with blue light.
Kenji Yoshida, President and COO of Oriental Land Co., and Toshio Kagami, Chairman and CEO of Oriental Land Co., were both present at the groundbreaking ceremony, which per tradition was held in the traditional Japanese style. Tamagushihouten, as it’s known, is a traditional Shinto ceremony where a branch of the sacred sakaki tree is offered by a priest as an offering to the gods for safe construction. President Kagami received the tamagushi, as seen above.
Traditionally a mound of dirt similarly shaped to Mt. Fuji is formed which the most important representative of the project then breaks as a symbolic beginning of construction. That honor was performed by Yoshida.
A similar ceremony was held in 2018 with The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger present for the groundbreaking of the Fantasy Springs expansion at Tokyo DisneySea.
Construction walls did go up in October 2022, carving out a large section of land and cutting into the bus lot behind the attraction, as crews prepared for work to begin. Some rumors indicate that the Oriental Land Co. was impressed with the technology and concept behind Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT. The amount of space reserved for the new Space Mountain suggests we may see something similar to the infamous boxy gravity building used for Cosmic Rewind.
Approximately ¥56 billion ($437 million) will be spent on this project. The Space Mountain name and theme will be retained as well as Coca-Cola’s sponsorship. The current version of Space Mountain will close in 2024 and the new version will open with the updated Tomorrowland plaza in 2027. The new coaster will be the first thrill attraction at Tokyo Disney Resort since Tower of Terror opened in 2006.
Read the press release below.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Launches Renovation Project for Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland
Transformation of Iconic Attraction and Surrounding Area to be Completed in 2027
URAYASU, CHIBA—Oriental Land Co., Ltd. announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Space Mountain attraction and its surrounding area in Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland® Park was held on May 16, 2023, officially launching the renovation project.
With an investment of approximately 56 billion JPY, this project will completely transform Space Mountain and its surrounding area. This newly developed plaza will create a reimagined area of Tomorrowland and is expected to open in 2027.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, construction for this project was officially set in motion by the President and COO of Oriental Land Co., Ltd., Kenji Yoshida, and Chairman and CEO of Oriental Land Co., Ltd., Toshio Kagami.
This entirely new Space Mountain 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 ride. Additionally, 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. After dark, the area will draw guests into a spectacular world of light and soundscapes.