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And The Relaunch – 2005

From George McGinnis comes this:

Front row: George McGinnis, Show Designer (1975) and Luc Mayrand, Show Designer (2005). Second Row: Bill Watkins, Ride Designer (1975).

Bill asleep on his thrill ride. Proof it only goes 30 MPH. ;)

With me in the front seat at the 2005 reopening is the designer of the new show (mostly made it a darker ride). The new track follows Bill’s original design — smooth.

Notice the speakers built into the seats. This was my last design contribution under my consultant period after retirement in 1995. I sculpted the seats in automotive clay and the all new vehicle was made of lighter materials. I improved knee space in the front seat — for Bill.

I gave Mark V Monorail contours to the seats. Very comfortable. I don’t claim to have designed them. MkV interiors were done by Chuck Pelly’s Design Works, designer of many of today’s Mercedes and BMW seats.

Vehicle exterior in the photo is of the old car — a framing computer “set piece”.

In 2005 Space Mountain re-opened with a new track that followed the original design, and featured some new visual effects as well as on-ride audio. George, as show designer for the original attraction, was present for its 1977 unveiling where he was able to meet the six Mercury astronauts; he was also present at the 2005 re-dedication (where this picture was taken), where he met Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong.

You can read more about Bill and George’s work on the attraction, and see more from the re-dedication, in this 2005 article from MousePlanet.

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