Attraction Spotlight – Mission Space

Mission Space, as simulator attraction in Epcot where Horizons used to sit, that lets you participate in a training mission to goto Mars. Mission Space has two variations: Green Team and Orange Team. Orange Team is the more intense version utilizing a centrifuge to simulate geforces. There are a total of four simulator groups with each “team” getting two. Originally all of them ran the centrifuge, however, in 2006 Disney added the tamer Green Team variation to accomidate those not wanting to feel the geforces or at least not to that extent. The pavillion is sponsered by HP, who took over sponsership when they merged with Compaq in 2002.

Approaching the attraction you’ll be greeted by Cast Members both checking for FastPass+ returns as well as providing info handouts for Green and Orange Team. They ask which you want and hand you the corresponding handout. This will be collected a little bit latter when they break you into flight teams. As you enter and proceed thru the line you’ll see various sites, models, etc for the International Space Training Center (ITSC).

Past this you are split up in to “flight crews” consisting of Navigator, Pilot, Commander, and Engineer. Though you get the specific assignments a bit later. While you are waiting to move to pre-loading you’ll get a video giving you a bit of background and find out you’re training for the first manned mission to Mars. You’ll be filed out and around and recieve your “assignment” and told what you’re supposed to do in the mission. This boils down you’re supposed to hit a couple of buttons at the right momment, but have no fear if you miss it or can’t because of geforces the computer will declare an override and do it for you so te mission carries on. Amidst all of this at several places you’ll hear and see warnings that the ride may cause nausea, headache, dizziness or disorientation, and that people prone to motion sickness, or who have a headache or an inner ear problem, or who have a history of migraines, vertigo or elevated anxiety also should not ride. You’ll also be warned to keep facing forward and not to close your eyes. Considering this is the only Disney attraction I know of that has barf bags, they aren’t kidding. For reference, once you’re in the simulator, glance down a bit and you’ll find them hanging just below the console.

Entering the simulator, you’ll notice it is going to be small space and there is an overhead restraint akin to some rollercoasters. Once everyones in, the console moves forward and locks in place and a few moments later a final video pops on and you will soon be on your way to Mars. Do note, you are on camera in there.

The mission kicks off and in the more intense version you’ll quickly start feeling geforces pushing you against the seat, pushing your face back, and making it hard to touch the console a few inches in front of you. This is the roughest part of the attraction, well that and as soon as you clear the atmosphere getting a sense of weightlessness. You rocket past the moon and go into hypersleep, only to “awaken” to alarms blaring as you enter an astroid field between you and your landing zone. After all, what’s the fun of having a simulator if you don’t go what if? Anyway you get thru that with some close calls and drop into Mars atmosphere to find out autopilot is offline. Not a problem everyone has a joystick in front of them, be like flying thru Beggers Canyon…oh wait wrong simulator. Anyway…thru a series a turns and close calls yo successfully land the spacecraft on the edge of the runway.

As you exit you can stop by the Advanced Training Lab, which is a themed arcade area with some individual games, a group game, and a virtual postcard. You can also stop by the gift shop for Mission Space or other space related souviners.

Stats:

  • Height Requirement: 44 inches
  • Riders per “car:” 4
  • Cars per Centrifuge: 10
  • Centrifuges: 4
  • Capacity: 1600 per hour
  • Duration: 5:38
  • Orange Team Geforces: upto 2.5

Fun Facts:

  • Originally all 4 groups of simulators ran the centrifuges.
  • There is a lounge for HP employees call The Red Planet Room. Many Epcot pavillions have something like this for the sponsor company.
  • Except during the busier parts of the year, you can often walk on in 10-15 mins, so save your FastPass+.
  • The Horizons logo can be found in the middle of the floating gravity wheel in the line as well as the front of the gift shop cash register.
  • Some of the footage in the pre-show is a re-use from Mission to Mars and Flight to the Moon from the Magic Kingdom.

This is quite the fun attraction not far from Test Track. Just don’t eat right before riding, your crewmates an the Cast Members will be much happier that way.

 

Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

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