Once the rollercoaster began, passengers got to see a vibrant and entirely retrofuturistic depiction of space. First the trains fly through a field of asteroids, narrowly avoiding a collision with the ‘Bluemoon Mining Machine’, a steam powered space machine built to extract minerals from asteroids by the Gun Club, as seen referenced earlier in the queue. After then flying through the centre of an asteroid we get to see the moon with the same iconic face seen in the film along with Jules Verne himself standing atop a passing asteroid. After passing a meteor shower the trains would appear to begin burning up on re-entry to earth, this is when it passes through a contraption known as the ‘Electro-de-Velocitor’, a machine that slows the trains in a marvellously Victorian fashion as the return to the station.
As cool as a Nautilus themed restaurant would have been the replica of the submarine is still a worthwhile visit for any retrofuturist, especially those that are fond of the 1954 Disney movie of which the site is based on. The submarine appears to be floating in a small lagoon; to enter you must go through a lighthouse beside it. Once guests travel down a spiral staircase they get to see the inner workings of the craft, viewing rooms such as Captain Nemo’s quarters full of his belongings and an engine room where we get to see the machines that power the Nautilus which host a variety of smoke effects. The highlight of the attraction has to be Main Salon which is the heart of the ship. Here we get to see numerous treasures, the Captains organ, complete with a mirror that reflects the face of the man himself, and most notably the submarines viewing hatch where we get to see a Giant Squid attack.
A perhaps overlooked section of the area is the Discoveryland Station of the Disneyland Railroad, a service that carries visitors and stops off at each section of the park. Every station is modelled around the theme of the section it’s placed in and the Discoveryland Station is no different. The station is modelled with a Steampunk theme that is very much in the same vein as the early Space Mountains. Throughout the Station there are all sorts of posters that show retrofuturistic visions of some of Americas most well known States like New York, San Fransisco, Washington DC and Los Angeles, each with a unique design that are a treat for any fan. You can take a look at all these fantastic posters on the Disney and More blog.
Unfortunately as Disney has acquired more properties Discoveryland has seen many changes, saying farewell to the majority of Jules Verne themed attractions. Some have been replaced by Toy Story features and they are currently working on a ‘Mickey’s Philharmagic’ attraction that is featured in many of their parks. The biggest change however is the transformation Space Mountain which no longer houses the gorgeous Victorian themes but instead is now a Star Wars themed rollercoaster named ‘Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain’. The Nautilus currently remains however, though still without that awesome themed restaurant. Oh what could have been.