Space Mountain is an attraction that is featured at all Disney Parks, both in the United States and around the world. However, each locale puts its own unique twist to it, and the one at Disneyland Paris gives Guests an experience that will send them over the moon!
Located in the Discoveryland section of the park, Space Mountain: Mission 2 (formerly Space Mountain: De la Terre a la Lun) at Disneyland Paris takes this fan favorite and kicks it up a great big Disney notch. The experience more closely resembles Rock ‘N Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida than it does its American counterparts. Author Juz Griffiths describes it as “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster on steroids” in his Disneyland Paris the Family Guide.
The lengthy walk through the ride queue is well worth the wait. When you arrive at the station, you’re prepped for launch in your transport vehicle, seated in rows of two, and secured with shoulder harnesses. The “rocket” contains 150 speakers inset in the headrests to enhance your journey. Once everyone is secure, you are transported down a small drop—where your photo is snapped—and then, after a brief countdown, you are shot through a cannon into space!
The intense experience sends riders up a 32-degree angle and goes from 0 to 44mpg in 2 seconds! The entire ride lasts just over 2 minutes, reaching a top speed of 70mph, zooming though three inversions, corkscrews, and steep slants. Wow!
It has been suggested that Disneyland Paris’s Space Mountain is reminiscent of the Jules Verne novel, From the Earth to the Moon, in which a massive cannon—a 900-foot columbiad, fired by 400,000 pounds of gunpowder—is built to transport passengers to the moon.
Have your students read From the Earth to the Moon, and build a unit study around it. As the story is set in the aftermath of the Civil War (history), consider the time period and the viability of the subject matter. Discuss space travel as suggested in the book versus the technology we know today (science). Build a vocabulary list from the text (English), and build a scale replica of the columbiad.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: History, Science, English, Art
SKILL LEVEL: Upper Elementary / Middle Grades
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