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Mission: SPACE

Mission: SPACE is the most intense ride at Epcot (as the many warning signs will attest). For this ride, you'll be put with three others to crew a rocket landing on Mars. Each person in the rocket will have a specific role (assigned by seat) and be expected to push their button at the appropriate time. As with all rides, things don't go smoothly but are ok in the end. The attraction uses advanced centrifuge technology similar to that used in astronaut training to simulate g-force effects that can even make you feel nearly weightless for short periods.

Two versions of the ride are available for you to experience and have separate lines. The Orange Team version offers the full original experience with noise, g-forces, and everything. The Green Team version provides a scaled back version without all the extra g-forces and weightlessness that was so hard on many guests.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: On the left side of the park, between Universe of Energy and TestTrak.
  • Date Opened: 10/1/2003
  • # of Ride Units: 4 centrifuges, each of which has 10 cabins. Half of the units offer the original experience involving high speeds. The other half (Green Team) offer the same ride but the centrifuges are never engaged, removing the effects that provided.
  • Ride Capacity: Each cabin can hold four passengers, meaning that 160 people can ride simultaneously.
  • Restraint Method: Shoulder bars
  • Ticket Rating: E Ticket
  • Ride Photo: Yes
  • Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard
 
Time Commitment Information - Hide Section
  • Open/Close: Opens and closes with the park. This attraction is open during both morning and evening Extra Magic Hours.
  • Wait Times: The standby lines can be very long for this ride, generally at least 45 minutes but potentially much longer. Definitely use FastPass for at least one ride.
  • Length of Ride: 4 minutes
  • FastPass: Yes
  • Single Rider: No
  • Queue Description: The build up to the actual ride is elaborate. Out in front of the building is are three sphere representing Earth, the moon, and Jupiter. On the model of the moon, each lunar landing is noted. Once inside the building, the queue winds through several simulated environments including the astronaut recruiting center, a simulation lab for a space station, a training room, and then the final rooms where you'll be given instructions and a final chance to back out.
Access Information - Hide Section
  • Health Restriction: Riders should be in good health and free of heart defects, back or neck injuries, or any other maladies that could be aggravated by extended exposure to increased weight. Pregnant women definitely should not ride, and mild to severe motion sickness is a common complaint. This goes for either version of the ride as both involve a lot of shaking and movement. The Green Team version of the ride simply removes the G-force effects provided by the spinning of the centrifuge but anybody who is on the fence about this should ride the Green Team version instead of the Orange Team version.
  • Ride Access: The queue is wheelchair accessible but not ECV accessible. ECV users will need to transfer to a wheelchair at the building entrance.
  • Wheelchair Transfer: It is required that you transfer from a wheelchair into the seats of the simulator.
  • Service Animals: No
  • Audio: Assistive listening devices are available for this show from Guest Services.
  • Weight and Size Issues: Shoulder restraints may be uncomfortable for those with large chests but should accommodate pretty much everybody.
Parenting Information - Hide Section
  • Height Restriction: 44" (113 cm.) to ride.
  • Child Swap: Yes
  • Other Issues: This ride provides a very intense experience and all younger children should probably first ride the Green Team version of the attraction before considering the full Orange Team experience. The full experience is rough on anybody at all prone to motion sickness or dizziness so this is definitely not the ride to press them on.
History and Trivia - Hide Section
  • At this location: The original attraction in this location was Horizons, which opened on October 1, 1983, one year after Epcot. Horizons was an attraction in which the focus was on what it would be like living in the future and past interpretations of what the future would be like. Using an omnimover ride system, riders saw scenes depicting Jules Verne's conception of the future around 1900, then robot servants and flying saucers of the 1940s and 1950s (including a TV playing the song "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" from Magic Kingdom's Carousel of Progress. Riders then moved into a theater and saw a 70mm film called Omnisphere that showed a space shuttle launch and a theoretical space colony.

    After this animatronic scenes of the future showed crops growing in deserts, living undersea, and a space colony. In a unique feature, the ride concluded with riders voting on which future they would like to see more of.

    The ride closed for several years in 1993, but reopened when World of Motion closed to build TestTrak from 1996-1998. Once TestTrak opened, Horizons closed for good. Unlike other attraction changes were a show building and general track are reused, the Horizons structure was completely razed for construction of Mission: SPACE.
  • Attraction history: Mission: SPACE made a major change in direction in May 2006. Following the deaths of several people following rides on Mission: SPACE (none were found to be the fault of the ride, but all had conditions that may have been excacerbated by riding), the park scaled down half of the ride units to offer a less intense experience. Essentially the ride units are attached to giant centrifuges that spin at various speeds to achieve different weight effects. In the tamer (Green Team) version of the ride all the video and movement effects are still used but the centrifuges are never engaged to create the gravity effects. The Orange Team version of the ride retains the full motion effects and offers the same experience as originally designed.
  • Other Trivia:
    • Sponsors: Hewlett-Packard has sponsored the ride since it first opened. Horizons was sponsored by GE from 1983 to 1993.
    • Lawsuit: Disney and EMT, the designers of the attraction, engaged in a lengthy lawsuit following the attractions opening over issues related to pay, the right of EMT to make similar rides for other companies, and a demand that EMT be allowed to perform safety inspections. In June 2005, all issues but the payment issues were dismissed.
Links of Interest - Hide Section

MousePlanet Links

  • History of Horizons — Former Imagineer George McGinnis looks back at the story of Horizons. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. (April/May, 2004)
  • I Want Horizons Back! — Mouse Flick's Mike Morizio isn't a fan of Mission: SPACE and wants Horizons to come back. (August 3, 2010)
  • Measuring Up: Handling Height Restrictions — MousePlanet's Parenting Panel discusses how to handle it when your child is just a bit too short for a ride. (February 18, 2010)


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