It‘s been almost 10 years since Walt Disney World’s Space
Mountain last underwent a lengthy rehab. And since this indoor roller coaster
is one of the Magic Kingdom’s signature attractions … Well, WDW officials knew
that they had to do something special to commemorate its upcoming six
“We tossed around a lot of ideas,” said Jen Rother, the
Florida marketing manager of WDW’s annual passholder program. “Given that we
always like to give our annual passholders the opportunity to have some truly
unique experiences at the Parks, we wanted to come up with something truly
special for this attraction’s closing. “
So – in the spirit of last December’s Cinderella Castle
Suite tours and January’s walk-throughs of the American Idol Experience –
Disney World toyed with holding a last chance ride event for Space Mountain.
Letting annual passholders take one last spin around the galaxy before this
iconic attraction then went down for its
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“But then we became concerned that a one-night-only event
like that wouldn’t give enough annual passholders the opportunity to take part,” Rother continued. “And we
always try to be inclusive, to give as many people as possible a chance to take part in
Which is why – after talking with their partners at Disney
Parks & Resorts and WDI – WDW’s annual passholder program decided to go
another way with their Space-Mountain-is-closing commemorative event. Rather
than let APers drop by the Magic Kingdom for one last ride, they’d let one
lucky annual passholder take home an actual piece of Space Mountain.
“What piece?,” you ask. Something that die-hard coaster fans
would kill for. One of Space Mountain's signs.
“So where do I sign up to win this sign?,” you query. Well,
as Jen explains, this sweepstakes – which got underway back on March 1st
– does have a few rules.
“This sweepstakes is open to anyone with an active annual
pass. And there are actually two ways to
enter. Now through April 3rd, APers can walk into the gift shop at
the exit of Space Mountain – the Tomorrowland Power & Light Company -- and then
fill out an entry form. Or they can just mail in their entry.”
Rother cautioned that only one entry per day per annual
passholder will be allowed. More importantly, that any additional / illegal
entries will automatically be disqualified. But – that said – she encouraged
all APers to get involved with this sweepstakes.
“This is really a one-of-a-kind item,” she enthused. “My
understanding is that this sign has been in place since Space Mountain first
opened back in January of 1975. So we’re talking about a real piece of Disney
World history here.”
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And if you don’t actually manage to win this piece of WDW
history … Not to worry. Jen promises that there are a lot more
annual-passholder-exclusive events in the works for 2009. Stuff like last year’s
pre-release screenings of “Tinker Bell” and those four park litho giveaways
that will really make owning a WDW AP seem worthwhile. But what exactly these
events will be … Rother wasn’t ready to say. Not yet, anyway.
“All I can say is that everyone should keep an eye out for
the May issue of the Mickey Monitor,” she teased. “We’re going to continue to
mix things up. Maybe do another Passholder Speakers Series event like last
month’s Muppet Magic or Year of the Gorilla talks. Or perhaps we’ll hold another
behind-the-scenes tour. We’re always looking for different things to try, while
– at the same time – give our annual passholders the chance to make the most of
FYI: Even if you’re not an APer right now but still want to
get in on this win-the-Space-Mountain-sign action … Jen says that -- as long
as you purchase your annual pass before April 3rd – you’re still
eligible to take part this sweepstakes. Which I know is going to make some of
you coaster crazies out there seriously consider picking up a WDW annual pass
For further information of the Walt Disney World Resort’s
annual passholder program, please click on this link.
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Now I hate to be the guy that complains about free giveaways, and this is indeed a great prize. However, the logic that dictates that a "last ride" promotion wouldn't allow enough APers to participate, but some how one APer winning a price would, simply is ludicrous.