The History of Disney’s Space Mountain Accidents

Space Mountain Accidents

The entertainment giant, The Walt Disney Company, offers the theme park mecca for all things fun, exciting, and magical. With Disney keeping safety as the utmost priority with its numerous attractions, it seems like the iconic Space Mountain attraction is one that often draws “accident” attention.

Space Mountain Tokyo 5

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

Space Mountain Attractions

Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster located at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida.

There are additional Space Mountain-themed attractions spread throughout the globe at Disney Park locations, including Tokyo Disneyland (Space Mountain), Disneyland Paris (Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain), and Hong Kong Disneyland (Hyperspace Mountain).

The ride is themed after outer space, and riders board rocket-shaped vehicles that travel through a dark, starlit tunnel. Space Mountain was the first roller coaster in the dark, and it remains one of the most popular rides at both Disneyland and Disney World. It is typically known as one of the Disney “mountains,” along with the former Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

disney adult disney world

Credit: Disney

Disney Imagineering at Its Best

The iconic attraction was created by Walt Disney Imagineers and opened at Disneyland on May 17, 1975. It was an instant success, and it quickly became one of the most popular rides in the Park. Space Mountain opened at Walt Disney World on October 1, 1977, and it was just as popular there as it was at Disneyland.

Space Mountain is a classic example of Disney Imagineering at its best. The theming is top-notch, the ride is smooth and exciting, and the experience is unforgettable. Disney Park guests would easily say it is a must-ride for any fan of Disney theme parks.

Space Mountain Accidents

There have been a few accidents reported on Space Mountain. Details of select accidents are shared below.

Space Mountain Ride Vehicle at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

1980 Walt Disney World Accident

In 1980, reports note a 10-year-old girl died after riding the Space Mountain roller coaster at Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. The young girl had a pre-existing heart condition.

1983 Disneyland Accident

On January 20, 1983, an 18-year-old man from Quartz Hill, California, fell off Space Mountain at Disneyland. The man, who has not been identified, was riding the ride with his family when he leaned over to talk to his brother and lost his balance. He fell about 20 feet to the ground and was paralyzed from the waist down. The man sued Disneyland, but a jury found the park not liable in 1985.

Space Mountain Disneyland

Space Mountain, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort / Credit: Disney

1998 Walt Disney World Accident

According to reports, in 1998, a Texas tourist riding Space Mountain in the Tomorrowland portion of Magic Kingdom Park lost his ring finger on the attraction.

2000 Walt Disney World Accident

On August 2, 2000, nine people were injured when the Space Mountain ride at Walt Disney World abruptly stopped. The train was traveling at about 28 miles per hour when it came to a stop, causing the riders to be thrown forward. Nine people suffered minor injuries, including bruises, cuts, and whiplash. The ride was closed for several days while it was inspected and repaired.

Space Mountain Ride Vehicle

Credit: Disney

2006 Walt Disney World Accident

On August 1, 2006, a 6-year-old boy from Indiana died after fainting on Space Mountain at Walt Disney World. The boy, who has not been identified, was riding the ride with his family when he fainted. He was taken to Celebration Hospital, where he died. The boy had a tumor on his lung, and the medical examiner ruled that his death was due to natural causes.

2023 Satire of Space Mountain Accident

Every once in a while, a satire piece appears amid the Disney fandom that causes the rumor mill to swirl. For example, Mouse Trap News shared a satirical, false story in January 2023 that noted, “Space Mountain Will Keep Lights on Permanently.” The reasoning was reportedly due to a man raising his hands on the ride and having them ripped off.

Of course, this was false, but nonetheless, had the Disney fandom questioning Space Mountain’s safety. The story went viral, causing the information to circulate as if it were an actual occurrence.

family outside space mountain wearing 2024 disney merchandise

Credit: Disney

Safety First

Take note that despite these accidents, Space Mountain is considered to be a safe ride. The ride has a number of safety features to avoid injury, including lap bars and seatbelts, and it is inspected regularly. It is, however, important to keep Disney’s safety message in mind: “Keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the ride vehicle at all times.”

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, and weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.


  1. Please Space mountain came to Disnyland years later. Me and my family rode space mountain during xmas week at WDW during a soft opening in 1974. SM officially opened in January 1975

  2. Space Mountain at Disney World opened on 1/15/75, Please confirm your facts before writing these stories.

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