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Epcot Mission Space -- Virtually the Real Thing!

Have you ever wanted to travel to outer space? If you don't have a few million dollars to become a space tourist, Epcot's Mission: Space is a great first step.

At the Epcot theme park in Walt Disney World the Mission Space ride is a superb motion simulator located in Future World.  It will give you the real feeling of actually blasting off into space while keeping your feet (after you exit the ride) firmly on mother earth.

Adults, big kids, and teens will all find this an exciting and thrilling ride. You can experience what an astronaut might feel during an actual flight to Mars. Each person in the module has a task to perform during the flight — and this may include navigating around nebulae and dodging meteors.

Two Versions of the Same Ride

This is an attraction where there are extreme G forces exerted.  The ride is actually a huge centrifuge which spins “astronauts” around, just like the real thing. The ride will spin as well as tilt during the ride to simulate gravitational forces and speed – everything from the extreme pressure of a blastoff to near weightlessness.

Blast off to a thrilling trip to Mars at Mission Space.

Blast off to a thrilling trip to Mars at Mission Space.

When Mission Space was first started, there was only one version. However, some riders found the ride too intense.  Because of that, there are now two different version of the ride.

Orange or Green Team?

At the beginning of the ride you have a choice as to which team you’d like to join, either this “Orange Team / More Intense” training or the “Green Team / Less Intense” training. The Green Team version will let guests enjoy the ride, but they won’t have to experience gravitational forces which are twice the Earth’s actual gravity.  Those “astronauts” who would like the original and thrilling high G force ride can choose the Orange Team / More Intense version of the ride for their experience and training. Either version gives you insight into the space race at Disney World.

Preshow Information for a Better Launch

Astronauts in training are invited to board the X-2 deep space shuttle which is located at the ISTC (International Space Training Center). The occasion is the 75th anniversary of humankind’s very first mission into the cosmos. Guests make their way to the recruiting center and a team of four is chosen, to undergo training and then the flight. Each member of this team is assigned a position and tasks to perform, during the flight. These four crewmember tasks include being an engineer, commander, navigator, or pilot. Before the mission starts, these trainees watch a short video about the mission where Gary Sinise will talk about what they’re supposed to do.

You can see great space props, like this space station mock up, in the queue area.

You can see great space props, like this space station mock up, in the queue area.

After the briefing for the mission, trainees make their way inside the space capsule and are side by side with other team members. Astronaut trainees will experience the video images and realistic sounds which are piped in.  You will experience an amazing journey as you takeoff on this training adventure to Mars.

If you were standing outside of the “spacecraft” for the Orange Team you would see the centrifuge whirl around. This provides actual G forces.  If you are prone to motion sickness, have back problems, or are concerned about being in a rather darker and small space for a few minutes, then choosing the less active Green Team version of the ride might be for you. You will land on Mars and then return to the earth.

After Mission Space

After enjoying the ride, guests can enter the Mission Space Advanced Training Lab. There is interactive play space here so all ages can compete at different levels in the space race. There’s an arcade style game where Mars is explored on foot.  You can even create special video postcards which may be sent to anyone via e-mail.

Great details set the tone for your adventure.

Great details set the tone for your adventure.

  • Service animals are allowed on this ride.
  • Some monitors have video captioning available. These astronaut trainees may visit Guest relations in order to get an activator.
  • The orange ride may cause motion sickness. If you are at all unsure about the effect on yourself, than visit a cast member before the attraction for further information.
  • If your family includes young children, then Disney has a system set up where adults may take turns experiencing attractions. You wait together as a family, and then one adult rides while the other waits with the child.  After the first adult finishes the ride, the second can ride without waiting again in line.  Cast members have further information on this method.
  • If you want to go on the Orange Team version of the ride you should be free from high blood pressure, in good health, have no neck or back problems, heart problems, experience motion sickness, or have any other conditions which could be aggravated by this high G force ride.
  • Translation devices may be rented for this ride at guest relations. They do have a refundable deposit.
  • Visitors using a motorized scooter or wheelchair, must transfer from them to the attraction ride vehicle.
  • During peak times of the day or week, there Disney’s FastPass is available for Mission: Space. These small ticket centers are located in front of the attraction and to one side. Simply insert your pass and you receive your FastPass to return to the attraction, at a time usually about a couple of hours ahead. You may enter Mission: Space through the FastPass line and save a lot of wait time.
  • Pregnant women should opt for the Green Team version of this ride, due to the higher G forces on  orange.
  • The Mission Space entrance plaza has plaques describing the history of space flight.

    The Mission Space entrance plaza has plaques describing the history of space flight.

  • This attraction was built where another one, called Horizons, had been previously. Horizons had been a dark ride offering views of what future life may be like. It closed in 1999 after a period of off-again, on-again operation. Mission Space was developed at a cost of about $100 million.
  • The main feature of this attraction is a centrifuge with multiple arms. It spins and tilts and gives the illusion of acceleration during a 4-minute Mission to Mars. Air is gently blown at riders in order to help them avoid motion sickness.  A window to space is in front of each rider and high-resolution images are displayed here. The attraction has four centrifuges with 10 capsules each, which can each hold 4 riders.
  • After the attraction had been open a few months, air sickness bags were placed in each capsule for the riders. Dizziness was experienced by some people for up to two hours after they left the ride. This is when the Green Team / alternative version of the ride was developed.
  • About the author

    Herb is the founder, author, webmaster, chief executive, and chief bottle washer for World Of Walt – and he is the Disney enthusiast who put this site together. Ever since his parents took him to the Magic Kingdom on a family vacation as a youngster, he has had an interest in the magic that Disney creates for families.

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