In my last post, I talked about things to do in Walt Disney World if you love cowboys. But for all the Woody fans, there are also a lot of Buzz fans, so I thought it was only fair to give the space man his due. So, here are five things to do in Walt Disney World if you love astronauts and the mysteries of outer space.
Like the cowboys have Frontierland, the astronauts have Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland is actually designed as a space port, with the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover as the local transportation system, and Space Mountain as the inter-galactic gateway. Other space-themed attractions include Astro Orbiter and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. (I prefer to pretend that Stitch’s Great Escape does not exist.)
2. Mission: SPACE
This attraction is meant to be more realistic than those in Tomorrowland. Here, you are a crew member on a mission to Mars. The original version of the attraction was a little too realistic, with people getting sick from experiencing the g-forces, so now there are two versions, the orange more intense version and the green less intense version. I’ve only ever ridden the green version. I’m not particularly prone to motion sickness, so I think I could do the orange version, but I’ve never wanted to take the risk of being woozy the whole rest of the day. I’ll have to try it sometime at the end of the night.
3. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
You can’t talk about space without mentioning Star Wars! The Star Tours attraction in Hollywood Studios has recently been updated with all-new scenes. The film now has 11 random segments for a total of 54 different possible ride experiences. I haven’t gotten a chance to ride this version yet, but I can’t wait!
4. Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth is the story of the history of communication, but along the way, there are some great references to space (in addition to the name). During the 1960s scene, you see a family watching the moon landing on television. When you reach the top, you see a beautiful starscape. On your way back down, you interact with a touchscreen in your ride vehicle to create a video about your future, and one of the options you can choose is to live in space. At the end of the attraction, you can have the video emailed to you.
5. Captain EO
OK, this one isn’t entirely serious, because Captain EO is really more about Michael Jackson’s dance moves than anything else, but on the surface this film is about a ragtag space crew encountering the leader of an alien planet. If you like Michael Jackson, you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t, well, it’s pretty dated. I was glad they brought it back in 2010 because I had never seen it before, but I don’t know how long it will (or should) last before being replaced. It’s fun for nostalgia but that’s about it. (Please don’t hate me, 1980s fans.)
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Your space-themed day will center on Tomorrowland and Future World, with a jaunt out to Hollywood Studios for Star Tours. You can start in Epcot or Magic Kingdom, whichever you prefer. You’ll probably want to get a FASTPASS for Space Mountain and maybe Mission:SPACE, but otherwise the queues shouldn’t be too bad. The queue for Spaceship Earth is longest in the morning as people are just arriving in Epcot, but it will decline later in the day. Over in Magic Kingdom, be sure to take plenty of time exploring the details in Tomorrowland, keeping an eye out for aliens and space rangers.
To infinity and beyond!