The operational updates page of Disneyworld.com now has confirmed Space Mountain AND the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) will both be down for refurbishment starting April 19. So far, the operational updates page only lists closures through July 2009. The Space Mountain refurbishment is expected to last until sometime in late 2009, though a more specific completion date is not known, which is no surprise.
What I find most interesting is the length of time for this refurbishment. At only about 8 months, I'm not sure the Imagineers have the time to make huge modification as had been hoped for - modifications that might make the WDW Space Mountain more like the Disneyland version. Keep in mind that the Haunted Mansion was down for three months, and in that time essentially only one new scene, enhanced audio and some fresh paint were added. Nothing too major, yet that took three months. IF some major overhaul of the interior ride system were planned, I'm not sure eight months is enough time. Maybe the Imagineers will have crews going 24/7 to complete such a major refurb in a short amount of time -- Space Mountain is an anchor attraction after all and I can't imagine Disney wants to have it down any longer than they absolutely have to.
For now, anyone headed to Walt Disney World after April 19 will only have two Magic Kingdom mountains to scale - Splash and Big Thunder. Trips into Space have been grounded.
I'm sure we'll start to hear more about the nature of this refurbishment in the months to come, so stay tuned!