Mission: SPACE

by josh on April 17, 2010

Opened: August 13, 2003

Location: The far side of Future World East with Ellen’s Energy Adventure on the left and Test Track on the right.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning, Evening

FastPass+: High Tier 2 priority along with Spaceship Earth

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, 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 potential riders to be apprehensive about riding for the first time.  For many first time riders, the bark is much louder than the bite, meaning it isn’t as “bad” as most people are expecting. Skip if any motion simulators like Star Tours are upsetting or if small enclosed spaces are upsetting.

When To Go: Before 10:30am, after 7pm, or with FastPass+.

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 because Disney doesn’t want guests to ride the more intense Orange team due to a shorter 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.  On the Orange Team, the intense aspects last for about 15 seconds at takeoff and again for a short amount of time when the spacecraft travels through an asteroid field. 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, try 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.

Rating: 7/10

Commentary: Mission Space, with a price tag of around 100 million dollars, is one of the newest and most expensive Disney attractions, even if it’s over ten years old.  Its popularity has waned a bit with the arrival of Soarin’, coupled with a healthy hourly capacity. 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.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri in So Cal September 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

Rode this ride for the first time shortly after it opened and have enjoyed it since. Originally just rode the intense version as they didn’t offer the milder one. Occasionally I have felt the spinning. My mom, 71, won’t ride it since she has claustrophobia. Once my daughter was tall enough I took her on the Green side. She enjoyed it. The next year we did Green again and she thought it was tame. So we did Orange. She loved Orange and we’ll probably do Orange from now one. There have been a few times when the Orange side can get to me, just a little. But not always.

mike April 10, 2013 at 7:41 am

My father felt like he was going to have a heart attack the only time he rode the orange side.

Kelsey November 1, 2013 at 10:17 am

I really enjoy this ride. We always do the Orange team. I tried the Green team once (the line was MUCH shorter), and I got more nauseous from the Green side than the Orange side. The Green side didn’t have the spinning, but it felt more bouncy. I guess it has something to do with the centrifugal forces on the Orange side keeping you more in your seat. I’m moderately claustrophobic, and I can handle the small capsules. I will say, though, that I can’t ride it twice in one day (or too soon after eating!).

Dave April 28, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I had no idea what I was getting into with Mission Space. I thought that it was simply a flight simulator like Star Tours. Wow was I wrong. I ignored the green side because they made it seem as if that was the line for little kids. Plus my 9 year son insisted on the orange side. My first inkling that this could be interesting was when I boarded the capsule I looked over to my right and saw a boy of around 14, bent at the waist, throwing up into a bag. This did not really concern me as I have never had issues with motion sickness or claustrophobia. But when I saw this I thought all of the signs and warnings you see on your way into the ride might be for real and not there just to appease the lawyers. The takeoff is what really gets your attention. I could not believe the pressure from the 2.5 g’s you pull when you take off (frankly, it feels like more than that). It was almost suffocating. After the takeoff, the ride is pretty cool. Just sit back and enjoy. Tried the green side later in the day and it was pretty tame by comparison. But please heed the signs on the orange side (they are real and not just lip service).

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