Opened: August 13, 2003
Location: In the back of Future World East with Ellen’s Energy Adventure on the left and Test Track on the right.
Extra Magic Hours: Morning, Evening
FASTPASS: Yes, FASTPASSes are almost always just 40 minutes out for both the Orange and Green Versions.
Type: Motion simulator
Similar To: A unique, intense experience
Requirements: Must be 44” tall to ride. Mission Space has more warnings than any other ride at Disney World and is the only ride where you will be handed a card with all of the various warnings on it. Consider skipping if you have suffered motion sickness on any other ride or are claustrophobic.
Scary Factor: The ride itself is not particularly scary. There are some iffy moments on the trip, but such is life with space travel to Mars. You are never in any real danger inside the capsule. However, the stories about people getting sick have caused a lot of people to be apprehensive about riding. For many first time riders, the bark is much louder than the bite, meaning it isn’t as “bad” as most people are expecting.
When To Go: Within first 90 minutes of Park opening, after 7pm, with FASTPASS, or during Extra Magic Hours.
Expect to Wait: Lines are relatively short soon after Epcot opens, but expect them to be longer in the afternoon. Very few people head here first thing in the morning, but it’s a popular third or fourth attraction after the major headliners. Expect 10-15 minute waits in the early morning and 25-30+ minute waits in the afternoon. The Green Team version of the ride always has a shorter posted wait.
Length: 5 minutes
What to Expect: Mission: SPACE is a space flight simulator, where riders board small four person capsules that are intended to mimic the inside of a space shuttle. There are two versions of this ride – The “Orange Team” features a spinning takeoff with G-Forces up to 2.5. The “Green Team” is identical to the Orange Team ride in every way except there is no spinning takeoff, and thus, no G-Forces to worry about. After the initial takeoff, the rest of the ride is rather tame with only slight movements by the simulator while you watch a small screen in front of you. Each person in your capsule will have a “job” to do during the ride, but this equates to little more than pressing a button. The mission is unaffected, whether each member presses the button or not.
Where to Sit: It doesn’t matter. The sensation is the same from any of the four seats and the view on screen is exactly the same. If someone in your party is more likely to get sick, sit them on the end of the row.
Is It Really That Bad? This is a difficult question to answer because no two people experience the ride in the same way. I will say that the Orange Team version is probably the most intense attraction at Disney World. The claustrophobia inducing capsule coupled with a substantial G-Force is enough to make most people at least a little queasy. Nonetheless, the great majority of riders enjoy it. Unless you have severe motion sickness or claustrophobia, I would recommend riding the Orange version unless it will cause too much anxiety. You may also want to “test the ride out” by riding the Green Team first and then ride the Orange Team after. Most people who ride the Green Team version get off the ride saying, “That was it?” Other than the takeoff, the ride doesn’t really feature any thrills or excitement.
The Trick: To avoid motion sickness, it is imperative that you keep your eyes on the screen. Don’t look away, close them, or try to console someone else in your capsule by looking at them. Looking away will make the sensation intolerable for almost anyone because the brain can’t process the different sensations. If you keep your eyes glued to the screen, you should be just fine. Like most people, I was apprehensive about riding the Orange Team, even though I haven’t had motion sickness problems on other attractions. I finally worked up the nerve to ride and didn’t have any problems. It was actually more fun than I was expecting.
Commentary: Mission Space, with a price tag of around 100 million dollars, is one of the newest and most expensive Disney attractions. Its popularity has waned a bit with the arrival of Soarin’ and the bad press from two visitors who died within days of riding it. Although Disney and Mission Space were exonerated from any wrongdoing and both deaths turned out to be directly caused by preexisting medical defects, people are still apprehensive about riding it. If you don’t think you’ll enjoy spinning until you feel ill, my recommendation would be to try the Green Team first. If you love the ride, you can always try the Orange Team later. My other major complaint is that Disney plays up the interactivity of the attraction, but there are really no interactive elements. The video that plays inside the capsule is also going on eight years old and could use a refresher. All in all, the beginning of the Orange Team version is thrilling, but the rest of the ride isn’t as enthralling as it should be.