New Mission: SPACE opened relatively quietly back on August 13th as the majority of the focus was on Ellen’s Energy Adventure closing to make way for Guardians of the Galaxy and The Great Movie Ride closing for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Everyone experiencing Mission: SPACE will enjoy the same queue as before before arriving in the pre-show room with a video narrated by Gina Torres. We’ll probably all miss Lieutenant Dan in an “ironic” way, but the good news is that Gina captures the same robotic mannerisms as Mr. Sinise and the script is virtually identical. The Orange/Mars mission otherwise follows the same storyline as before with vastly improved visuals.
Check out the Mars Mission above if you like or click here if the video doesn’t embed properly.
I had high hopes for the Green/Earth side, but I think it’s a complete snore with the video embedded above or linked here.
It might be fun if you could actually see anything, but the experience isn’t much different than sitting on the couch and spinning a globe while somebody occasionally pushes you to one one side or the other.
Luckily, wait times remain short for the most part and FastPass+ availability is plentiful. Here’s a look at Orange/Mars waits since the ride reopened:
Wait times were higher shortly after the reopening, probably due in part to heavier overall crowds and in part due to operational issues. The incredibly high wait times on August 23rd, 24th, and 25th are unusual and likely due to some technical difficulties as wait times at other attractions weren’t abnormally high during the same days. But over the last two weeks or so, the average wait is under 20 minutes virtually every day with posted waits over 30 minutes rare. Of course, these are some of the least crowded days of the year.
Here’s Orange Team waits over the same period from last year:
The 16-minute overall average last year is a solid ten minutes shorter than the 26-minutes we’ve seen since the ride reopened this year. If you eliminate the three long waits in the middle of August, then this year’s average drops to 22 minutes, which is still a 37.5% increase over last year’s time. I’m not sure that we can conclude one way or the other whether the ride is “more popular” now. Disney doesn’t push Green/Earth wait times to the My Disney Experience app, but they are always shorter than Orange/Mars because they don’t want people to feel pressured into riding the more intense version because the wait is shorter. But the Green Team’s wait is typically 5 to 10 minutes shorter than Orange.
So Mission: SPACE is more of the same for the most part. If you’ve done Orange in the past and have no interest in rocking yourself to sleep for five minutes during the Earth mission, then the experience is upgraded in every way other than the Sinise-less pre-show. The improved visuals make for a more impactful experience. If you’ve ridden Orange in the past, but prefer to be disappointed with your life decisions, then you may want to check Earth out. But the video linked above will offer a pretty good idea about what to expect, with the caveat that whatever screen you watch the video on will probably be larger than the screen on the ride.