Facts and Myths About Seattle’s Most Famous Dessert


For over a quarter of a century, I have had the good fortune of serving the (Space Needle’s) Sky City Restaurant’s all-time best-selling menu item.

Tens of thousands of delighted diners, young and old, from near and far, have become mesmerized instantly by this original 1960’s Seattle World’s Fair Space Needle ice cream sundae! This simple concoction is the lone survivor of our original early 1960’s menu. Simply stated(!), this top-seller arrives at one’s table as if smoking- with the use of the simple cooling agent, carbon dioxide (or dry ice; commonly seen in a punchbowl at a grade school Halloween party). With the use of local, gourmet ice creams combined with domestic and imported syrups and coulis, fresh, sliced fruit and a unique serving dish, something so simple is transformed into a magical, show-stopping, attention-getting, steaming, floating, billowing, hovering, crown jewel of our dining room…..
The Lunar Orbiter!

Once this dessert hits the stage at your table, you and your guests become part of the show, as envious on-lookers eagerly inquire about the cloud-like, space-aged dish and how they too can experience such a creation.

I take a lot of pride in being the courier of this amazing edible attraction. I ensure critical timing and placement of the dish, lifting it high above the center of the table and following with a true vertical landing, which if done with precision, will create a perfect “smoke” ring or plume, if you will, somewhat similar to an atomic explosion in reverse!

Talk about in-house advertising!!!

Rumor has it that the Space Needle stopped serving the Lunar Orbiter sometime back in the late sixties/ early seventies. After researching my personal collection of vintage Space Needle menus, interviewing senior employees, and searching online, I am unable to confirm or deny this temporary lapse of reason!

Another rumor has it that a past CEO conducted an employee- only contest to recreate this nostalgic dessert. The contest never really made it off the ground (no pun intended)!

That being said, this fact I can confirm:
As long as I am alive and spinning, I will continue to deliver this futuristic blast from the past to any and all who venture high into the sky to feast upon our fantastic cuisine and absorb our breathtaking views of our magnificent city and beyond! The Lunar Orbiter will remain the highlight of our Sky City Restaurant dessert menu along with many of our other sweet options for years to come!

See you in the sky,

Your Anonymous Sky City Waiter


About Author

Built as the centerpiece and inspiration for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Space Needle has since become a part of the Seattle experience and the globally-recognized icon for the city. The Space Needle stands 605 feet tall with unparalleled views of Seattle, and houses an Observation Deck, an award-winning restaurant, SkyCity at the Needle, a popular private event venue, and a retail shop. Open year-round, the Space Needle hosts more than a million visitors per year. For more information visit: www.spaceneedle.com

Comments are closed.