Perhaps one of the most intense rides in all of Walt Disney World is Mission: Space, located in the Tomorrowland section of Epcot.
In fact, the ride is so intense that due to a number of factors, Disney now offers a “Green Team” more subtle version of the attraction to those that still want to experience it, but are prone to motion sickness, migraines, neck problems, etc. (The original version with all of the original motion is known as the “Orange Team.”
Mission: Space takes guests on a simulated trip to the planet of Mars. To do this in the most realistic fashion possible, Disney spent an estimated $100 million dollars to construct a multi-arm centrifuge. With the spinning of the centrifuge and with the ability to tilt each separate capsule, Disney is able to emulate both the g-forces on might experience on take-off from Earth as well as the (near) weightlessness that those in space have experienced.
Upon entering the ride structure, guests are asked to choose between the “Green Team” and the “Orange Team.” As stated earlier, this is the choice between the original full-motion ride that first debuted in 2003, or a more subdued version that was added in 2006. Both utilize the same basic ride capsules, but the “Orange” version does not employ the centrifugal forces, only the rocking and tilting.
Those up for the adventure queue up in their respective colored lines and are separated into groups of 4. Those people in your group will be your mission team and you will be “playing” the roles of navigator, captain, engineer and pilot. Once loaded into your capsule, the experience is about to truly begin.
Intense version riders feel the g-forces as the centrifuge simulates take-off. You are strapped into your seat of the capsule with a small screen in front of you. Make sure to keep eye contact on the screen, as it can help to ward off motion sickness. En route to Mars, guests are asked to fulfill some of the duties of the role they are playing such as initiating rocket separation. Don’t worry though if you don’t, or if one of your fellow crew members does not either as the job will be completed by the computer.
A short “hypersleep” section of the ride allows guests to settle the stomachs a bit before being “woke up” for their descent and landing on Mars. Expect a few bumps in this area!
For those that enjoy the excitement that a ride such as this can provide, it tends to be one of the best experiences they have ever had. For those that don’t, try the “Green Team” side as it still allows you to experience the aesthetics of the ride, without all of the motion.
Thanks to milkdidmybodygood who provided the video shown above.
For more videos and reviews of Disney rides, see the All Things Mouse Video Tours Page.