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Describes the precast prestressed design construction considerations that went into building Walt Disney World's monumental "Space Mountain" at Lake Buena Vista. Florida.

Precast prestressed concrete was used effectively to build Walt Disney World's spectacular "Space Mountain" at Lake Buena Vista. Florida.

This mammoth structure, which is in the shape of an elevated truncated cone, reaches 183 ft high and has 300-ft diameter.

Inside its sky-high, column-free arena, Space Mountain houses series of space-age rides-combining the natural thrill of weightlessness and nonlinear motion with a brilliantly conceived illusion of space travel.

The facility was opened to the public in January 1975.

Conceptual Design

The size and function assigned to the structure as well as the general appearance and stvle of surrounding facilities in the park-like layout demanded "futuristic" desing concept that would vet be compatible with the adjoining structures.

WED Enterprises® suggested a truncated cone roof with external, radial ribs. The interior surface of the cone was to be used for image projections.

However several consultants pointed out that such concept was not only exceptionally difficult to realize but also structurally questionable, and a traditional "bubble" shaped dome should be considered.

Finally, the eventual structural engineer was consulted to render an opinion as to the feasibility of the "bubble" concept. This firm suggested an imaginative concept featuring the extensive use of precast and prestressed concrete components-allowing a structural configuration that is in close conformance with WED Enterprises' initial design.