Opened: November 28, 1974 as Star Jets and reopened as the Astro Orbiter on February 25, 1995.
In the middle of Tomorrowland above The Lunching Pad quick service.
The entrance is opposite Space Mountain.
Extra Magic Hours: Morning, Evening.
Length: 2 minutes.
Similar To: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, TriceraTop Spin.
Scary Factor: It might surprise you. This is far and away Disney’s most “intense” spinner with the ride vehicles tilting inward much higher up than most rides. The duration is short enough that most people should be fine, but be aware that this is more than just Dumbo on stilts – it “feels” like you’re going much faster and the tilt can be disconcerting.
Buckle up tight.
Riders also have to board an elevator which is cramped and usually filled to capacity, so it may not be the best ride for the severely claustrophobic either.
What to Expect: This is another “hub and spoke” carousel ride along the same lines as Dumbo, TriceraTop Spin, and others.
The difference is that you have to take an elevator up to the platform to board it and the ride vehicles are themed like space rockets. Each vehicle holds two people and there is a joystick onboard that riders can use to move the space rocket up and down as the ride circles around the hub at approximately 11 revolutions per minute. Believe it or not, Astro Orbiter actually loads even slower than Dumbo. With a maximum capacity of just 24 people, even a short line can equal a long wait. Undoubtedly, the best part of the Astro Orbiter is flying high over Tomorrowland and the rest of the Magic Kingdom.
Where to Sit: Unlike the other more comfortable Dumbo-like attractions, riders sit one in front of the other in a single row with one seatbelt.
Sit larger riders in back and smaller riders in front. Adult couples may wish to identify as parties of one for a more comfortable ride.
FastPass+: Not available.
Expect to Wait:
When To Go: Before 10am or as late in the evening as possible. While it’s far from “the most popular attraction” in Magic Kingdom and it won’t appear like the line is that long, the abysmal capacity means long waits.
Commentary: It’s fun to fly high over Tomorrowland, but most guests with limited time will want to visit higher profile attractions over Orbiter, particularly with the drearily long afternoon waits.