Hyperspace Mountain is returning for another limited run beginning on April 29, 2022. The overlay is coming back just in time for Star Wars Day (May the 4th) and one week after several major nighttime spectaculars return to Disneyland Resort.
As with the return of Soarin’ Over California at DCA, this move makes sense and the timing probably is not coincidental. Hyperspace Mountain is incredibly popular with both locals and tourists, and will draw even more Californians to the park in May 2022.
That should give a boost to Disneyland’s 2022 SoCal Resident Ticket Deal during its final month…or maybe give the Enchant and Imagine Magic Key passes a sales boost before their summer blockouts take effect. Beyond that, the impact on crowds should be interesting…
Historically, Disneyland attendance would slow down in May prior to the start of the summer tourist season. There probably needs to be a big asterisk on that, as Disneyland hasn’t had a “normal” May since 2018. The following year, demand was pulled forward in May as many locals feared a “crowdpocalypse” when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened. That never materialized, but a pre-opening surge certainly happened.
In May 2020, Disneyland was closed, so you could say that crowds hit an unprecedented low that year. (Following that logic, June through the following March had unprecedented low crowds, too.) Last year, Disneyland had just reopened as of May, and there was an attendance cap of like 27 guests, no one was allowed to stand indoors for more than 39 consecutive seconds, and there was a total ban on non-Californians. So not exactly a normal year, either.
May 2022 likely will bring with it more of the same. Disneyland Forever Fireworks, Main Street Electrical Parade, and World of Color all return on April 22, 2022. That’s right as spring break season ends, so crowds would “naturally” trend downward around then, all else being equal.
What’s past is prologue. Past shoulder or off-season returns of Main Street Electrical Parade alone resulted in massive spikes of locals, and there’s every reason to believe that beloved fireworks, World of Color, and a new finale to MSEP will only exacerbate that.
Hyperspace Mountain just gives Californians one more reason to visit. It’s not counterprogramming and won’t result in higher utilization of an unpopular attraction. To the contrary, Space Mountain is already the #1 ranked Lightning Lane via Genie+ at Disneyland, and routinely has the second-longest wait times in the park. Hyperspace Mountain will only make that worse.
The better justifications would be May the Fourth or Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nites at Disneyland (held on May 3, 4 and 27, 2022), but those were already sold out before this announcement and the overlay was not advertised as being part of that hard ticket event. It’s thus hard for us to understand why Disneyland is doing Hyperspace Mountain, other than “just because.”
Honestly, we’ll take it. Doing things just because or as a value-add for locals who are splurging on tickets is Disneyland at its best. Just as it’s hard to see this helping with crowds, it also shouldn’t really hurt much, either. Hyperspace Mountain is just a nice little bonus addition.
Speaking of which, we should probably cover what Hyperspace Mountain is, for those unfamiliar with the overlay. Here’s the description from Disneyland.com:
Navigate through a vast futuristic space station as you make your way to Mission Control. Board a sleek flight vehicle and prepare yourself for a high-flying adventure to the furthest reaches of space.
Ascend slowly through a swirling solar field as your rocket powers up. Plunge through a spectacular spiral nebula and then, when the countdown ends—hang on tight!
As you hurtle forward into infinite darkness, your rocket darts and twists in the void, speeding faster and faster. Feel the g-force as you careen into the unknown!
Immersive sound effects and evocative music add to the intense sensory experience. Brave the most epic journey of your Earthbound life and accept your mission—to conquer Space Mountain.
For our part, we enjoy Hyperspace Mountain. While many purists scoff at the overlay, it’s fun and adds even more energy and excitement to the normal Space Mountain experience. Hyperspace Mountain takes the foundation of Space Mountain, an excellent coaster on its own, and ups the ante by engaging with elements of the Star Wars universe.
There are some cool details, a blast-off tunnel, space battle, and on-board music to spice up the experience. While this is done mostly through the same screens used by Ghost Galaxy, the Halloween incarnation of Space Mountain, there are some added effects that are simple yet…effective. These overlays are just a lot of fun, even if they aren’t anything revolutionary. They keep the core component of Space Mountain (so first-timers shouldn’t feel “cheated”) while adding their own unique twists on the flavor–like Mountain Dew Baja Blast.
Speaking of which, I want to use this platform for another message: bring back Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy, you cowards!
I don’t even remember the last time Disneyland did Ghost Galaxy (2018, I think), but it’s the best of the bunch. The overlay for Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy has everything: ghosts that aren’t really ghosts, subliminal marketing for Alien Pizza Planet, other questionable imagery, and more cheesy projections than Disney Enchantment. (Except Ghost Galaxy is actually good.) Seriously, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is gloriously corny in the way as many Halloween movies, and is campy fun as a result.
Ultimately, we’re hopeful that’s exactly what happens this year. Given that Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy uses the exact same infrastructure as Hyperspace Mountain, it seems like it would be as easy as flipping a switch (well, a bit more involved than that) to transition from the Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain to Ghost Galaxy at the end of summer. Then bring back normal Space Mountain at the start of the Christmas season and get locals excited for that again after not having experienced it for over half of the year. Win-win!
Regardless of whether we get our wish with regard to Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy, it should be a fun summer and beyond at Disneyland. The return of Hyperspace Mountain is yet another sign that the parks will be almost 100% back to normal by Memorial Day weekend. We cannot wait, and will keep you posted about all of the changes, crowd dynamics following the returning nighttime spectaculars, etc.
Are you excited about the return of Hyperspace Mountain? Do you hope that it sticks around indefinitely? What about at Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment about May 2022 (and beyond) crowds at Disneyland? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!