Ready for launch? In Epcot’s Mission: SPACE expect a thrill ride like no other. In this out-of-this-world experience guests can go to Mars, orbit the Earth, and assume the role of a real astronaut. With G-Force Speeds and sudden moments of darkness, this ride can be an extreme thrill but is still appropriate for the whole family.
So, if you’re interested in space and want to take on the role of an astronaut this ride is sure to give you and your fellow voyagers a realistic galactic experience.
So, what can you expect when riding Mission: SPACE? Well, if you love all things space but don’t love the intensity of thrill rides don’t worry. Mission: SPACE offers two separate missions to board; the Orange Mission and the Green Mission.
The Orange Mission is the most intense version of this ride. In fact, it includes Mission Space G-force spinning speeds upon launch and entry into Mars that reach up to 2.5 G’s. This mission also includes jerky movements, slight dips into cavernous terrain and intense tilts during the mission’s exploration of Mars.
This mission is best for those in good standing health and is not recommended for expecting mother or anyone under 3’4. If you think yourself or your party will likely feel ill after a few minutes of intense spinning, then the Green Mission might be more your speed. The Green Mission offers guests the opportunity to orbit around the Earth and experience space at a less intense level with no spinning.
However, the Green Mission does still involve slight dips and moments of darkness, so the ride will still be exciting for those prone to motion sickness. The Green Mission is also not recommended for expecting mothers or anyone under 3’2.
Assume the Role of an Astronaut
As you prep to enter this ride keep in mind each space capsule holds 4 passengers so be sure to organize your party as such. Also, pay close attention in line because each passenger will assume the role of an astronaut and have a specific duty on each flight launch.
This is the fun part of the ride, after a while you learn which roles are most exciting for you and can predetermine where you sit within the capsule. The instructions for each role are told before you board as well as once you’re in the ride, so don’t worry if you didn’t catch all the information at first. The roles include a pilot, navigator, commander, and an engineer.
Each role has its own duties on the flight and you’re responsible for clicking the right buttons, pulling the right levers, and keeping the journey moving smoothly.
Once boarded and strapped in you’ll notice a screen in front of you, this is your window into space. The goal is a successful endeavor either to Mars or around Earth. Here you’ll learn and experience the realities astronauts face when on a mission. It’s an eye-opening experience that lets you engage directly and influence the path of your space journey.
During this ride you’ll be hearing cues and information from the command center similar to what a real astronaut would hear on his or her mission. The space lingo and orders directed from the command center give you a better understanding as to when your role comes into play as well.
Mission Space Orange Ride
In the full-thrill Orange Mission, launch is initiated and the you will feel the motion and force of a real space launch occurring with a spinning mechanism tossing your capsule at hyper speed. This might just be the most intense portion of the entire ride. Be sure to keep your head backed up against the head rest and your arms and legs secure.
Moving these during the launch can possibly hurt yourself or others as the spinning intensifies. You can expect a few jerky movements as the ride progresses and lapses of complete darkness within the storyline to make the journey as realistic as possible. Once you reach space the fun begins. Here you’ll slingshot around the moon, see the space center, dodge meteors, encounter breathtaking views of our universe, and reach the landing station at Mars with little to no complications, right?
Not exactly, it wouldn’t be Disney if there weren’t a few exciting twists along the way. The story of Mission: SPACE takes place over three months but don’t worry the ride will only feel like a short 4.5 minutes to you. Once you’ve reached Mars the rocky terrain makes it difficult to land, navigate, and more. It’s up to you and your crew to ensure a safe and successful mission.
Landing in Mars might be the most interesting part of the Orange Mission for both kids and adults alike. The visuals in this ride are a little old school but the journey to Mars seems pretty close to what an actual space launch may feel like. Once you reach Mars the landing becomes a ride of its own and all hands are on deck to fulfill a successful mission.
Here’s where the joy sticks come in handy and you can all control the spacecraft yourself for landing. The command center remains in your ear and by your side as you tread around the surface of Mars and gives key information, so you know exactly what to do during the mission.
Mission Space Green Ride
The family-friendly Green Mission gives you another great space experience, which is why I recommend riding them both if the thrills of the Orange Mission are seemingly fun by you and your travel group. Now, just because the Green Mission is less intense does not make it any less thrilling.
The mission? An orbit around the Earth and safe landing back. On this mission you’ll see incredible aerial views of the entire Earth. Expect to see everything from the grandiosity of the Great Wall of China to understanding exactly why Paris is called the city of lights. In this ride the command center will guide you through which parts of the planet your flying over and help get you through a few mishaps along the way.
Now the visuals on this ride do still get a little intense but you’re spared from any spinning and extreme twists and turns. This ride is recommended for the whole family and is a great way to get kids to experience our planet from a greater perspective.
What are the Ride Details?
Logistically, this is one of Epcot’s most fun and thrill-inducing rides and generally doesn’t have an unreasonable wait time compared to other Disney World wait times (i.e. Soarin’ holds a notoriously long wait time). I would say on the average day Mission: SPACE can hold a typical wait time of about 40 minutes when on the higher end and around 20 minutes otherwise.
Wait times tend to be slightly longer for the Orange Mission line but still aren’t usually too drastically different from the Green Mission wait times. For a ride that lasts roughly 4.5 minutes that wait time is pretty good considering how crowded rides in this section of the park can get. The line itself is incredibly interesting, interactive, and offers plenty of educational points for younger guests interested in space.
While waiting in line you’ll have a unique look into the International Space Training Center where there is a life size gravity wheel similar to the ones used to train astronauts to live in space. The line also shows a complete replica of NASA’s Lunar Rover and a peek into the command center where your future orders will be coming from. All of these visual distractions really help make the line go a bit faster as well as the videos introducing you to the premise of the ride.
Based on this info, a Fast Pass+ would serve better use at another high traffic ride in the park. Mission: SPACE usually isn’t the kind of ride that gets too crowded so if you want to ride it, plan it into your day around the Fast Pass+ times for other rides instead. Plus, if you’re riding solo the single rider line is significantly faster and gets you to the front in no time.
When it comes to getting those hilarious ride photos on your Disney Memory Maker, this ride is a bust. There are not any in-ride photo options, which is one of the rides great disappointments. It would be great to see pictures of your face or your friends and family when entering space, launching off earth, or looking into space in awe. Unfortunately, that’s not an option, at least not yet. However, there are great photo opportunities you can take yourself once you exit the ride and spend some time in the interactive area known as the Advanced Training Lab.
The Advance Training Lab
The Advance Training Lab works in conjunction to the Mission: SPACE ride and offers interactive sections for all ages. Got young ones? They can run and crawl in the Space Base indoor playground full of fun space-related exploration areas to explore. Families can also send a postcard from space where you can share via e-mail a stellar postcard as you travel through galaxies in the background.
If you’re looking for a little more fun than head over to the Expedition Mars area. Here guests can take control of a space craft via joy-stick and travel through Mars looking for the travelers aboard Mission: SPACE. If you have a competitive edge the Mission: SPACE Race is for you and up to 56 other space cadets ready to compete. Here you pick a team to play on, the astronauts or ground control.
The race is to see which team can send their rockets back to Earth as fast and safely as possible. Each area of the Advanced Training Lab connects itself to the storyline of Mission: SPACE and offers some pretty cool photo ops and additional space-based experience.
Overall, Mission: SPACE crafts a great credible story and lets guests embark on a journey they otherwise never could, a trip to space. A few things to note about this ride is that it does take place in an enclosed capsule.
Those who are claustrophobic may not like the experience on this attraction since you’re pretty tightly strapped in, taken aback due to gravity within the spinning portion for the ride (only in the Orange Mission), and the screen/controls are placed pretty closely to you. This is the case for both the Orange and Green mission so make sure everyone in your party is comfortable within a tight and snug space.
Another tip when riding this is to not ride on a full stomach. The spinning is very intense! Keep in mind this ride is meant to simulate an actual space launch so, riding it after chowing down on a famous Disney turkey leg might not be the best way to go. Even those who love roller coasters are known to get motion sickness from Mission: SPACE. This I because it is not like a roller-coaster at all.
Mission: SPACE is much more intense in visual and physical stimulation in that it spins continuously until affecting the sense of gravity around you making it difficult to move any extremities. A lot of people do get sick on this ride due to the intensity of the centrifuge so give yourself a couple of seconds to center yourself once you get off the ride or plan to ride this towards the end of your day at Epcot to not risk feeling ill the remainder of your trip there.
The Mission: SPACE Rating
If you’re looking for an extreme-thrill that’s completely unique Mission: SPACE is the attraction for you. I give this ride a total for 4 stars out of 5. It loses points for having a bad reputation in being one of the highest motion sickness inducing rides in the park and for not having an in-ride photo opportunity. But it still ranks highly considering it’s full of some of the best traits in a thrill-ride:
- extreme exploration
- direct interaction
- unique views
- and overall thrilling physical sensations
Mission: SPACE is also so special because it comes with an interactive element not seen in most rides, giving guests the chance to play a different role each time they ride it. The adjacent Advanced Training Lab even makes it interactive for those who decide not to board the ride by including games that work directly with the Mission: SPACE aircraft.
All in all, extreme thrill-seekers of all ages will love the Mission: SPACE experience and the educational opportunities about space travel that come with it. Its excellent visuals and engaging storyline makes it one of the best and adventurous rides in Epcot. Plus, out of all of the top Disney World attractions this one might just be the only one to truly make you feel completely out of this world.
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