18 Days 'Til Halloween - Ghost Galaxy
New to Disneyland's Halloweentime this year is Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy. What's special for the holiday is riding the coaster in pitch black as a projected animated ghost pops up on the wall here or there for a "boo!" scare. It's fun, but not worth the almost 2 hour wait in line I had. Get a "fastpass" for it (if you don't know, this is a ticket you can p/u at the ride with a scheduled time to return and skip the regular line). We were too late for one. All had been taken for the evening.
The ghost is a clever design. At first, you see a galaxy of cosmic vapors. It morphs into a spectral skeleton with it's eyes being smaller swirling universes. It's appearances are brief moments trying to grab you, preceding or just after some of the larger drops, twists or turns. The creative inspiration for me though was the projected effects and lighting on Space Mountain's exterior.
Beyond basic color changes there was eerie movement and images that changed the facade's texture. It went through several different cycles. All were retro-cool in feel like radiation and martian ray special effects from old sci-fi movies, although one kid in line mentioned it looked like the world's largest lava lamp to him. There was a constant metallic hum and occasional industrial clanging in sync to the lighting which set a great ominous spooky tone like a futuristic haunted house version of rattling chains and moaning. It was a bit hypnotic and helped pass the time waiting.
This got me pondering how projectors might be used on my own house to create an undefined creepy look with simple light and shadow movement. Below are some photos of the various changes and a video of one when all the colors and textures seemed to blend.