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Mission: Space

Before Mission: SPACE, there was Horizons. Horizons opened exactly one year after Epcot on October 1, 1983. The attraction used Disney's Omnimover conveyance system and allowed guests to view the future through the eyes of scientist and authors both past and present.


Horizons


The closing of Horizons (January 9, 1999) was generated by several events. First, changing public tastes. Most guests were no longer content to sit for almost 15 minutes and watch one vignette after another pass by. Lines for this attraction were practically nonexistent in the later years. Next, General Electric, sensing that this attraction had seen its day, let their contract expire after ten years and instead, decided to sponsor Illuminations. This forced Disney to pick up the operating costs for a tired attraction. And finally, it was alleged that along with major roof problems, a sinkhole was discovered under the building in 1998. Something needed to be done.

Some sort of Space Pavilion had been envisioned for Epcot since the parks inception so Disney decided that maybe now was the time to move forward with this idea. But the first step would be to demolish the Horizons building. For a number of months during 2000, cranes and bulldozers chipped away at the building. A large amount of the structure’s materials were recycled.

Construction of Mission: SPACE took a little over two years. Compaq was the original sponsor of the attraction, but the company was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2002 and HP took over the contracts. The ride began soft openings in August 2003, and its grand opening was on October 9 of the same year.


Mission: SPACE Sign


The area outside of Mission: SPACE is called Planetary Plaza. If you look at the pavement, you can see orbital pathways and celestial bodies embedded into the concrete. The four large spheres near the building represent Jupiter, Mars, the Earth, and the Moon. The curving lines of the structure symbolize orbits and flight.


Planetary Plaza


The backstory for Mission: SPACE is this. The year is 2036, seventy-five years after Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. A colony is being built on Mars and the International Space Training Center (ISTC) is preparing astronauts for the journey. They will fly aboard the new X-2 Deep Space Shuttle which is propelled by solid hydrogen and can accelerate from zero to six-thousand in sixty seconds.


ISTC Training

X-2 Deep Space Shuttle


Upon entering the Mission: SPACE compound, trainees are asked if they would like to receive “Less Intense Training” (Green Team) or “More Intense Training” (Orange Team). Once you make your decision, you will be given an appropriate colored Launch Ticket. Notice, the green ticket says “CAUTION” while the orange ticket says “WARNING.”


Launch Tickets


I cannot stress this enough, if you’re in doubt as to which training session to choose, select the milder version. (I’ll go into the ride mechanics later.) When this attraction debuted, only the “More Intense Training” was offered. Numerous guests suffered severe motion sickness during the first several years of operation. Things became so bad that Disney installed barf-bags in each training module within a couple of weeks of opening. However, they soon realized that this wasn’t enough and something more drastic was needed to solve the problem. Eventually, a milder version of the attraction was developed (Less Intense Training) and came online in May, 2006. Note, if some members of your party select Mild and others request Intense, you will be separated and you will not ride together.

After you receive your Launch Ticket, take a look at the large model of the moon located behind the cast members.


Model of the Moon


Located on its surface are colored markers. These represent the 29 manned and unmanned landing sites achieved by the United States and the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1976. A single red marker designates the landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969. Other manned missions are marked in blue and unmanned missions are marked in clear/white.


Moon Landing Spots


Also in this area are ten plaques containing quotations from people who have inspired and promoted space travel throughout history.


Inspiratonal Plaques


Before entering the Mission: SPACE Sim Lab, you can view a mockup of the training capsule. For those of you who suffer from claustrophobia, this will help you make a determination if this ride is suitable for you.


Simulator Mockup


Once inside the Sim Lab, the queue passes beside a reproduction of the living quarters of a space vehicle. The rooms rotate to create artificial gravity for its inhabitants. If you look at the hub of this assembly, you can see the old logo for Horizons. Disney often acknowledges previous attractions by placing some sort of remembrance in the current ride.


Rotating Space Quarters

Horizon's Logo


On the other side of the room, hanging from the ceiling, is a large model of a spacecraft. If you study the ship closely, you can see where the rotating section (living quarters) would be located on this vehicle.


Spacecraft


Also hanging from the ceiling is a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). On loan from the Smithsonian, this is the only LRV constructed that is not on the moon. These two-passenger “cars” were battery powered and had a top speed of 8.7 miles per hour. Designed in 1969, the LRVs were used by Apollo 15, 16, and 17 to explore the surface of the moon.


Lunar Roving Vehicle


As your journey along the queue continues, you’ll pass beside a portrait gallery. Here you’ll find a number of plaques commemorating milestones in space history. Starting with the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin (1961) and ending with the first X-2 Deep Space Mission with the crew of Bobby O’Brien, Sumi Yamamoto, and Frank Rodriguez (2036).


Yuri Gagarin

Internation Space Station Crew

First Family In Space

First X-2 Deep Space Mission


Across from the portrait gallery is the International Space Training Center Command Area. All activities of your mission will be coordinated from here.


International Space Training Center Command Area

If you watch the small monitors on the console, you might spot a gooney bird come in for a crash landing. Your first thought might be, “This is a strange image to be displayed here.” But there is some Disney trivia behind this silly bird. During the preshow for “Flight to the Moon” and later “Mission to Mars” in the old Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom (and Disneyland), this gooney bird set off alarms and flashing lights and Mission Control went into full alert as this “UFO” came in for a landing. It was a corny joke, but was appropriate for the era and for old-timers like myself, it brings back pleasant memories.

The Command Area marks the end of the queue and your adventure will begin shortly. Those taking the “Less Intense Training” will be directed to Briefing Rooms 1 and 2 while those taking the “More Intense Training” will be directed to Briefing Rooms 3 and 4. You will be grouped into teams of four and asked to stand on corresponding numbers on the floor.


Briefing Rooms

Briefing Room


When all of the trainees are in place, the doors behind you close and a short video is presented on overhead monitors. Your mission is explained and some safety procedures covered. For those of you who don’t recognize the CapCom, it’s Gary Sinise.

From the Briefing Room, flight instructors guide each team around a circular room and ask them to wait on their corresponding numbers.


Team Grouping Numbers

Team Groupings


At this station, each member of your team is assigned one of the following positions: Commander, Pilot, Navigator, and Engineer. During your training session, each position will be called upon to complete two tasks. But don’t worry. If you miss your cue, the computer takes over and fulfills your duty. You’ll also be given additional safety tips at this time. During this portion of the video, you will see a young lady pull her restraint over her head. Close observers may recognize her from Test Track as she is also in that attraction’s safety video and is shown fastening her seat belt while being seated in her vehicle.

Soon, the doors in front of you open and your team enters its training module. Stow any loose items in the bin in front of you, then pull down the safety restraint. A steady stream of cool air is blown into your face to help prevent motion sickness.


Training Simulators

Training Simulators


I have created a short video of the experience. This is an edited version of the actual events.



Now that you’ve watched the video, let me give you a little information about the attraction’s design and mechanics. In association with former NASA advisors, astronauts, and scientists, Walt Disney Imagineering developed Mission: SPACE. Over a five year period, 650 Imagineers spent more than 350,000 hours creating this attraction. The developers said that much of the technology used for Mission: SPACE needed to be invented as nothing already existed that was capable of giving the guests this type of experience.

In each of the four training areas, there is a large, multiple-arm centrifuge. Attached to the arms are ten training modules. In the “More Intense Training” session, the centrifuge spins, giving riders a since of increased gravity and later weightlessness. This force is 2.5 times that of gravity at the earth’s surface. When your craft blasts off, you feel and intense pressure on your body. Also, while your module is spinning, it pitches and yaws to add to the effect of movement through space. In the “Less Intense Training” session, the motion simulator effects are used, but the centrifuge does not spin. It seems to be the spinning that causes some guests physical problems. The ride has a capacity of 1,600 guests per hour.

I like the “More Intense Training” session – a lot. So when Disney introduced the “Less Intense Training” session, I thought it would be lacking. But to my surprise, it still delivers a good experience. Certainly anyone who can “stomach” Star Tours, can join the Green (Less Intense) Team.

If you’re like me and have ridden Mission: SPACE more times than you can count, I offer you something else to watch during the ride (if your stomach can take it). Pay attention to the small video screen located next to your monitor. An animated simulation of your entire journey is chronicled on this screen.

When your training is complete, you enter the Advanced Training Lab. Here, four different stations offer additional adventures. The first is for the little ones. “Space Base” is a sort of space-aged Habitrail for kids. A number of tubes and enclosures allow them to climb through a variety of pathways.


Space Base

Space Base


At “Expedition: Mars,” you command a search and rescue mission, looking for lost astronauts. This computer game offers three levels of play.


Expedition: Mars

Expedition: Mars


“Postcards from Space” allows you to create a short video and email it too friends and family back home. If you want to make someone envious that you’re at Walt Disney World and they’re not, you can make it happen here.


Postcards from Space


The final Advanced Training Lab attraction is “Mission: Space Race.” At this station, two teams compete to create a successful mission. This game is coordinated by cast members and requires a minimum number of players. If you want to experience this event, you might need to return later in the day when crowds have grown.


Mission: Space Race


And like so many other Disney attractions, you exit Mission: SPACE through a themed shop. This one is called Mission Space Cargo Bay – Gear and Supplies.


Mickey at Mission Space Cargo Bay


Right outside the shop is a bench. This is the perfect spot for those of you who choose not to experience any training whatsoever to wait for your friends and family.


Waiting Bench


Mission: SPACE offers numerous warnings before boarding. There are multiple signs posted in Planetary Plaza. There are videos located next to the vehicle mockup. There are overhead announcements. And both safety videos explain what’s coming. There is no way anyone can claim they didn’t understand what was in store for them unless they paid absolutely no attention as to what was going on around them. Children must be 44” high to ride.

Well, that’s what I have on Mission: SPACE. I’m not a fan of the Tea Cups at the Magic Kingdom as the spinning makes me sick, yet I have no problem with the spinning of this attraction. But don’t let anyone talk you into the Intense Training unless it’s what YOU want to do. It’s just not worth ruining the next several hours of your visit to Epcot while you’re experiencing extreme nausea.


The previous post in this blog was ‘Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort.

The next post in this blog is Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Comments (48)

Vic Williams:

Hi Jack,

Great article about a popular attraction. As a guest who was there when it first opened, I was disappointed at that time because they only had the Orange version. I could not ride it because I had open heart surgery about a year before. When they added the Green side, I was very happy because I could then take part in the experience.

That's an important thing for guests to realize. The centrifuge side (Orange) is very bad for those who have heart conditions of any type according to my cardiologist, and I am glad that Disney has the cautions posted to make people aware. VIC

dusty:

WILL NEVER FORGET THE 1ST TIME I RODE THE INTENSE SIDE . DID NOT GO BACK TO MISSION SPACE FOR 2 YEARS. WHOO BOY !! GREEN SIDE FOR ME .

Diane C.:

Hi Jack,
I'd be interested to hear from anyone brave enough to go back to try the Green side after being sickened by the Orange. That's what happened to me (I got sick after riding it when the ride was new), and I swore I'd never go back. Do you know of anyone who got "back on the horse" and can report that the green side worked for them?
Thanks for another great blog. They actually have made the exit activities pretty engaging--take it from someone who's spent a lot of time there waiting for other family members who were on the ride! : - )
Diane

Jay:

I tried the green side after riding the red side and experiencing nausea. I was apprehensive at first, but the green side is excellent. I am prone to motion sickness, and even feel it a bit on Star Tours, although I still ride it (my son makes me). On the green side, I felt zero nausea. It's a great ride. Don't be scared of the green side if you had a bad experience with the red side.

Mark:

I remember going on the ride before the “Less Intense Training” was introduced. My son was 9 years old and had seen the commercials and was a little nervious. After some encouraging words from Dad, we went on the ride. Afterwards he thought it was great and wanted to go back on right away. I, on the other hand, was ready to hurl. Fortunately, I did not get sick. It seemed funny to me that I had to push my son on the ride and later he was trying to push me "back on" the ride. I have gone back on the ride every WDW visit and continue the “More Intense Training” version. But that first time was almost too much. One time a year is all I can take (and NEVER after a meal).

Nicole:

For 1st time riders: take the multiple warnings about motion sickness and claustrophobia seriously. I suffered both while trying to be a brave mom on the orange side...deep breathing and closing my eyes were all that saved me - ug! I think I'll admire Mission Space from the comfort of your blog from now on.

Kevin:

Jack,

Terrific article about an attraction I often underrate. On my first trip to WDW, I rode the intense version, thinking I could handle no problem. Following that, I couldn't do anything else in the parks for a couple hours. Next time, I tentatively did less intense, and things worked out a lot better for me. Thank you for this!

Shannon:

Hi Jack,

This is a fabulous review! We are now down to 49 days until we are at Disney World...and after this review...I think that the bench outside is the PERFECT spot for me...:)!!!

You do such a great job on all of your blogs!!!

We are looking forward to whatever is next...

Many blessings,
Shannon

Cathy Mawhinney:

Jack
Great article! I will go back again to enjoy the attractions you pointed out in the queue. The first time I rode Mission Space, I sat in the Navigator seat praying for it to be over. I crawled out onto the exit floor, where a cast member told be it would be better to keep walking rather than sit. ( I think she didn't want me to vomit near her.) I made it to the bathroom before I lost breakfast and then to the First Aid Center to lie down. Two years later, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try the new "less intense version". I loved it! Please tell guests not to be afraid to try this, even if they had a bad experience on the original ride.

Nick:

Another great, detailed article! I've always been interested in the mechanics behind this ride. I love roller coasters but can't stomach spin and puke rides. I've always wondered if I could handle Mission: Space.

Mike Venere:

What I have found is that if you pay attention and focused to the screen in front of you and don't let your eyes wonder you should be fine.

My first time riding this back when there was not a choice, I was looking all around, as one would riding it for the first time, and felt a little nausea.

Ever since I make it a point to look all around before the ride starts and stay looking at the screen throughout the time it is moving.
Doing this, I have been fine without any nausea.

Just a tip you may like to try.....

David Santo:

Super Jack,

Man-o-man, what a great blog!

Like some of your other readers, I too am a heart patient and was thrilled when they made the whimpy version of this ride available.

So what role do you like the best?

Pilot?

Navigator?

Sonda Jordan:

Hi Jack, the old Horizons ride is fuzzy in my memory, towards the end of the ride did you travel through a future city at night that seemed enormous or was that World of Motion?

I think people are capable of sitting through a slow 15 minute ride, the problem with Epcot in the early years was that there was so many of those types of rides that they all began to blend together.

Jack's Answer:

You're thinking of World of Motion. You traveled by a futuristic city at night. It was really cool. At the end of Horizons you got to pick which ending you wanted to see, Desert, Ocean, or Space and then saw a short film about it.

Nick:

Thanks to your advice I think if given the opportunity I will try to stomach the intense version.

I'm going to be in Orlando in early November and I have am extra day to kill. Any recommendations for something unique to go see or do?

lasto:

We didn't get a chance to do much Epcot on our last trip due to some poor planning by our travel partners. (They didn't listen when we told them it was a bad idea to start a park at 3:00 in the afternoon on New Years Eve week.)

Mission Space is a must do for our next trip.

Jack's Comment:

Your comment made me smile (and grimace). When I have out-of-town visitors staying with me and visiting Disney World -- with me as their guide I tell them, "You have two choices. You can either arrive at the parks at opening and have a relatively stress free morning (and day). Or, you can arrive later and stand in line all day long. It's your choice."

Hi Jack,

Great pics for the bad lighting you had to deal with.

The older I get, the less I want to ride this ride.

We have this as the 4th best thrill ride on the ToddsOrlandos Top Ten Thrill Rides at Walt Disney World.

I think the Orange Team should have been named the Green Team because when I ride with the Orange Team I feel Green.

Keep up the good work Jack!!!

Todd Burnidge

Helen:

Jack--

Do remember the World of Motion ride. Was a great place to actually close my eyes for a moment or two in the cool. I do remember seeing the show in its entirety, and it was nice. Was saddened when it did finally close.

Loved the Gooney bird trivia. I had completely forgotten about that until you mentioned it.

Have taken the kids and adults on the more intense ride several times. WE all love it. Always love the centers at the end of the ride.

Had no idea what those "Blobs" were on the moon. Figured they were just areas that were up for exploration on the tour. Thanks for once again showing us what we miss.

Pat:

Hi Jack, Another great review. I was there with the opening of the Orange, My daughter then 8 and hubby rode it 8 times. I rode it once and wanted to sleep the entire day away. Never rode again until the Green(mild) side came along. Know we do the split, those two ride the intense and my youngest daughter and I ride the mild. Glad you let people know if they can't handle the intense stay off it or you can ruin your whole day in Epcot. Thanks again

i love this ride, though a twisted side of me has always wanted to know what would happen if you didn't push the buttons.

i know nothing most likely but i'm always curious

Jack's Answer:

Your question has an easy answer. If you don't push the buttons, a computer voice announces, "Computer override. Now activating (whatever button). This was necessary for two reasons. First, some people will forget to push the buttons. Second, if your capsule only has two or three people riding, the computer needs to fill in for the empty seat.

Robin:

Okay so my husband and grandchildren have been riding Mission Space since it opened but I have yet to get up the courage, however we will be there in 2 days and I have promised my husband I will try even if it's the wimpy side. Thanks for the video at least now I can see what I'm afraid of. You would think that at 55 I could just act like a gramma and sit on the bench but not with my family!!!

Amy Sapp:

only been on mission space once, several years ago before they offered 2 versions. did not get sick and it really felt like you were blasting off into space. never felt anything so realistic! however....i would give ANYTHING to be able to ride horizons again :( even as kids, me and my sis would ride it numerous times in one vacation. she said she 'boycotts' mission space because it took horizons place, LOL (it was her favorite, maybe we were weird kids, same with world of motion)

Mat:

Jack, as alwasys your blog makes my luncbreaks go by so quick! I was surprised you didn't point out the hidden Mickey at the beginning of the ride. For those who pay attention, once yo are strapped in your craft, you will see one prior to launch!

Richard Mercer:

Jack,

Thanks for the usual great article. I especially appreciate the history of Horizons as for the life of me I can't remember whether we rode it in 1992, our only visit during its lifespan.

As a baby boomer who grew up with the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, I don't know of any other attraction that better brings home the thrill of the "astronaut experience". Even the shuttle simulator at the Kennedy Space Center, no matter how accurate it may be, pales in comparison.

J:

Thanks for such a great article about Mission:Space!

Just a head's up, the current model of the lunar rover on display is only a replica. The one on loan from the Smithsonian was removed in early February of this year and returned to them.

Theresa Konno:

After riding Mission:Space! two months after its grand opening I promised myself I wouldn´t ever cross that entrance again! I felt dizzy and queasy for a long time afterwards, and that practically ruined my day at Epcot . I must add a woman was removed from the attraction in a gurney shortly after I left and was still trying to catch my breath outside.
Unless you are very strong and very resistant to motion sickness, don´t try the Orange experience. It´s is VERY intense.
Last year I didn´t have the guts to try the green team, but after reading Jack´s review I might as well give it a try!

Debra McDonald:

Jack - I am going solo on this trip to WDW, the last time I went I actually was seated with a family of three and it was fun, but it was a late evening and at that time there was no one else waiting...walked on...do they ever seat you alone if you happen to hit the line when there isn't a crowd?

Jack's Answer:

It is possible to be seated alone, but the cast members try to avoid this. On slow days, they won't fill the entire attraction (capsules 1 thru 10), but they try to have at least 3 to four 4 people in each module.

If you arrive at a very slow time, ask a cast member if you can have a module to yourself. The worse they can is no.

Adam August:

I did this in a press preview, and still have the "captain" badge they gave me on a lanyard hanging in my cubicle. It seems to get easier with succeeding rides. Also heard that us geezers can take the G's better -- hardening of the arteries and all -- but I wouldn't bet on it!

Kristine:

Jack,

I am a Seasonal Cast Member who works at Mission: SPACE. It is my most favorite place I have ever worked! This blog brought back memories! (Plus I know the cast member pictured in what we called "Team Dispatch" or sometimes "Grouper")

Danielle:

I have ridden both the orange and the green sides of Mission Space. I personally prefer the more intense orange side although I do not do well on anything that spins (no issues on roller coasters though). Since I like the more intense version, I will take a motion sickness pill an hour or so before getting on the ride to prevent any possibility of motion sickness. This only works for one ride per visit, and then I am relegated back to the green side. To me, the realistic ride of the orange is the best, but the green side is pretty good too!

teresa:

I LOVE the intense version. first time my whole family went on it , and I was the only one who "survived". Now my son and husband (22 and 48) go play in Inoventions, while I ride Intense. I cannot wait! 2 more days til we arrive, and I am riding this 1st thing , on my 46th birthday!

Jenny Sperandeo:

Jack, this article brings back lots of memories. Although, I'm the only "greener" in my fanily, I still anticipate this ride every trip, and bride one of my kids to take the easy route with me. :)

John:

The first time I got the opportunity to ride this was during it's "soft" opening. Back then there was only the Orange version. A girl in front of me was talking with a Cast Member and expressed reservations about getting sick, and said maybe she should just close her eyes. The CM told her to NOT close her eyes, and NOT look to the side-just look straight at the screen in front of you, as it will "trick" your mind into not feeling the spinning. My girfriend's daughter, however, who LOVES roller coasters and thrill rides, was quite queasy after that and we had to take it easy for a while. I cannot handle roller coasters, Soarin' or Tower of Terror due to a fear of heights but I have no problem on this attraction. Our last two trips, we have had the option for Green or Orange, and I have always picked Orange. A funny aside, on our last trip two weeks ago, my wife and I were paired with an older Asian couple who spoke NO English and we were trying to communicate to them before the ride began that when the light in front of them blinked, they were supposed to push it. We never did get the message across, as for both of their positions I heard the "computer override" message. I never noticed the part about the cool air blowing in your face...I will have to try and notice that next trip. Thanks, Jack, I love your blogs!

Rob Crawford:

There's a reference in the queue to something non-Disney. It's actually in one of your pictures, but too dark to see -- in your picture of the gravity wheel with the Horizon's logo. To the left of the wheel, above the queue, there's a "door" with the number "42". Intentional or not, I take this as a reference to Douglas Adams and his "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Adams died while Mission: Space was under construction.

Jack's Comment:

I have no idea what the number "42" means -- if anything. So I'm more than happy to take your word for it. The Imagineers are always putting subtle details into things -- and not all of them have a Disney reference. Thanks for sharing.

Rob's Response:

In Adam's books, "42" was the answer to the ultimate question about life, the universe, and everything. Sadly, while we had the answer, no one knew exactly what the question was...

Katharine Richardson:

Hey Jack-

Any thoughts on youngest age appropriate for this ride? Will be taking twin 7 year old boys to DW for the first time in December and am wondering if they are old enough for the ride. They are tall enough, but I'm not sure if this will scare them.

Jack's Answer:

Disney doesn't give an age limit because this is such a subjective thing. The height requirement is for safety reasons.

There is NOTHING scary about this ride. It's just the spinning on the Orange (intense) side can be nauseating to some. But usually kids can tolerate this better than adults.

I don't know your kids, but I think the average 7 year old would think this ride is cool. If you're worried, try the Green side first.

I was at Epcot last year with my 72-year-old Mom. She was very nervous about riding Soarin because she was afraid of getting motion sickenss. I talked her into trying it, and while we were waiting in line I told her to close her eyes if she felt sick on the ride. The man waiting in line behind us overheard, and said to close only ONE eye. He had learned this in a martial arts class.

Has anyone heard of this before? I've always skipped Mission Space becuase I didn't want to get sick and ruin the rest of my day. I'm wondering if the one-eye trick would work on Mission Space. I'd reall like to try Orange the next time I'm there.

Tracy:

I LOVE Disney. My family & I go every year. We are headed there 4 weeks from today actually. BUT . . . I hate this ride and do not want to even try the "mild" version of it. I used to never get motion sick. Loved riding tea cups and roller coasters and all the rides. Me & my brother & my sister-in-law rode this ride not long after it opened and there was no "mild" version. My sister-in-law loved it but my brother & I both got sick. One of the workers on the ride told me the same thing . . . don't close your eyes or it will make it worse. After the ride was over, I was dizzy and sick to my stomach the rest of the day. Micky's Philharmagic made me sick later that night. Bad thing is that we weren't just sick that day. My brother and I now both get motion sick extremely easy and have to take pills before we go to the Parks. If you are thinking of riding this ride, take the warnings seriously. I had never experienced any motion sickness and didn't have any of the conditions recommened not to ride it, but years later I'm still feeling the effects from that ride. My sister-in-law however loved it and she continues to ride it to this day! She just rides it by herself!

Diane:

Next trip in December. Per your review, I can't wait to ride the Green side. I am the big chicken of the family and my entire family has gone to the "WILD" side every trip. This trip, after reading your review, I actually feel compfortable enough to ride the "MILD" side. Thanks again Jack you ahve brought my family together for Mission Space.

Bill:

I rode this ride when it first opened, when there was only one version. I had to experience it once even though I new it might make me sick. I can't usually ride rides that spin. I had no problem with this ride and would probably ride it again. I'm not sure if I want to stand in line for the less intense version. It seems that the lack of G-forces would take away from the whole experience.

Dave:

I love the intense side of Mission Space. A couple of tips for first-time riders:

1) When you ride the intense side, make sure you keep your head against the back of the ride. Don't ever try to "peek around the corner" to see what your friends are up to. By keeping your head where it's supposed to be, you keep the forces working on you in harmony. The same thing applies to regular roller coasters, too--if a headrest is provided, it's probably for a reason. Don't try to outthink the ride's designers!

2) This is important--keep watching the "window" in front of you. This is because most motion sickness is caused by a disagreement between what your eyes are telling your brain and what your inner ear is telling your brain. The forces of the ride fool your inner ear into believing you're really taking off into space, but if your eyes say something different, you could end up with motion sickness. This is the same reason some people can't play first person video games, as well as why some people have trouble in cars. As long as you watch the screen, your eyes will tell your brain that your ears are correct, and you should be OK.

This is a great ride and I encourage everyone to try it!

Mary:

Thank you so much for comparing Mission: Space to Star Tours. I've steadfastly avoided Mission: Space because I REALLY suffer from motion sickness. I can handle a spin on Star Tours, though, so Mission: Space (definitely on the Green Team) just became a must-do for my next trip! I love Disney's queues and this most certainly looks like it would be so great to see - both before and after the ride.

Thank you Jack for your wonderful blogs and all the information!

Lisa:

After MANY trips to WDW I still haven't ridden Mission:Space.

I love most rides, and my husband has done the Orange side whilst I watched the kids. He fell in love and insisted I go on. My 7-yr old daughter decided to join me, but then chickened out as we were "boarding". All of the warnings started to get to her. I think the warnings are overkill. Reading it 10 times and then hearing it on the de-briefing thing makes one wonder what exactly they are signing on for.

I hope that when we return in May she wants to give it an official go. I'm excited to get this one under my belt!!

Thanks for the review....I'm going to show her the video and hopefully that will allay some of the fear of the unknown!!

Jacki:

I have ridden Mission: Space Green Team, and experienced a problem not mentioned here. At one part of the ride it begins to tip your forward. I am a slightly larger than average woman, who is quite top heavy. This was a lot of pressure on my chest and I began to have trouble breathing. I have been on other rides with over-the-head harnesses, and even gone upside down, but haven't experienced this problem. It might've been due to the amount of time in that position.

Overall, I did enjoy the ride and would definitely go back. But just be prepared that there might be a few uncomfortable moments. Enjoy space!!

Jennifer:

The first time I rode this they didn't have the two "training" modes and I rode the Orange side even though Star Tours makes me a little queasy so I knew I was in for it. What I didn't expect was the severe headache that came on after I got off the ride. I was very sick to my stomach, had to sit down for a little bit and battled a headache for the rest of the day. I avoided the ride until they brought out the Green Training. I was hesitant to try it but eventually curiosity got the best of me and I gave in. Luckily I was able to experience the ride, enjoy it and not feel sick afterwards.

Josh:

Jack,
Awesome article about what has to be my favorite ride. We rode this attraction when it first opened. I swear with all the warnings from the recordings, signs, and the CM's telling you if you get motion sickness DO NOT GET ON THIS ATTRACTION! They all but talked me into getting sick. I was questioning myself. Man this must be an intense ride for all of these warnings. Maybe I will get sick. Then you get on the attraction and you look down in the bin. AHHH a barf bag. Man I am going to get sick on this ride...

Well, luckily I didn't. It was close. I mean close. Thank god they had the benches inside the exit tunnel. I had to sit down for a few minutes. CM's came out of the wood work checking on me. (later my cm friend told me they have a designated protein spill team just for that ride) No wonder they were on me so quick. Just for the record, I did not get sick. If that ride had fallen down the cliff at the end of the runway it would have been over for me!

I do believe that the Orange team is less intense than the first few times I rode this attraction. I think with all the controversy they toned it down a bit. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. This does not stop me from making the stop for my orange team training every trip to WDW!

Just one note.....Has anyone noticed that "CapCom, it’s Gary Sinise" forehead is full of BOTOX and does not move during his training video??????

Chris L:

I'm not sure if anyone pointed this out, but in the queue line, the rotating chamber, and the model that looks like a space shuttle nose with the rotating section behind it look very much like those seen in "Mission to Mars." Gary Sinise was also in this movie.

Hilary:

I think one of the first commentators may have been onto something when they suggested that people with heart conditions shouldn't ride this one. I never get motion sick and LOVE thrill rides. However, I do have moderately low blood pressure which is not a serious condition at all, but is related to how the heart is pumping blood. This usually only manifests itself when I get up too quickly and feel light-headed, and has never kept me from riding attractions.

However, I rode Mission Space shortly after it opened before they devised this Green team option (and to be honest, I probably wouldn't have picked Green anyway because I've never had a problem on any other ride) and almost immediately after "lift off" I started to feel really woozy, like I was going to pass out. I didn't feel nauseous, just like the world was going grey and there was pressure on my chest. I've been on gravitron rides before, but this was a lot more intense. So, I'd caution people against riding Orange if they have low blood pressure as well. I have had an EKG since then, and my heart checked out fine.

Maris:

I'm on the fourth month of experiencing servere cervical and back pain as a result of Mission Space orange. The ride is terrifying, and I feel off balance after getting off, but worse was the stabbing pain in the middle of my back that has only worsened with time. Epcot should make people sign a release before getting on this ride, and I'd say 30 years old should be the limit! I'm living a nightmare since and pray my neck and back pain go away soon.

I hope noone else gets hurt on this ride.

Tim:

Great article. Probably would have helped to read before entering. I walked right in with my son and worried about the consequences later. It is the most intense ride I've been on and we hit every roller coaster at Universal, Islands of adventure and Seaworld. "Rock it" which straps u in at the waist only and sends you 17 stories strait up with your back less than 90' didn't bother me as much as this ride. Read the warnings. But don't hesitate to go on if you want to experience blasting off in a rocket. I thought I was going to die before we even reached the top of the launching tower. Do not take your eyes off the video screen like I did. Go at the end of the day so if you get sick it won't ruin the rest of the day. I couldn't even handle the boat ride in Mexico after this. I do get sick on a swing so don't get to frightened it's worth the bragging rights "I think". May be try green first without spinning. I do like how one article called these positive G forces. It's kind of like saying positive weight when they added stones to the Salem witch's chest to determine if they were really a Witch. "More Weight" That's what I'll liken the pressure to. 45 year old Male. 14 year old son. May the force be with you.
Tim H.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 11, 2009 5:00 AM.

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