Located in the center of Epcot’s Future World East, “Mission Space” is an interstellar flight simulator that rockets guests to the Mars. Like every attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, Mission Space has quite the story to it. From its construction, to its workings and all of the secrets within, this is must do attraction has it all. Here are ten facts about Disney’s out-of-this-world experience.
Mission Space went under construction in early 2000, and officially opened to the public on August 15th, 2003.
9. It was once Horizons
Before Mission Space, the pavilion used to house Horizons, a dark ride omnimover that showcased a futuristic world. The ride would transport guests on a tour of what living in different biomes would be like. Visuals included everything from underwater facilities to those in space.
8. Horizon Easter Eggs
Mission Space still pays tribute to its predecessor. The Horizons logo can be as elusive as a hidden Mickey. It can be spotted on the center of the gravity wheel in the queue, and on the front of the gift shop’s register counter.
7. Reprogrammable flight bays
Due to Mission Space once having four intense training bays, the mechanics in the less intense bays have remained the same. If need be, non-spinning bays can have their simulators retrained to spin on a centrifuge once more.
6. HP Lounge
Employees and associates of Hewlett-Packard have a lounge just above the attraction. This luxurious level is equipped with couches, televisions, a bar, and an aerial view of the spacebase.
5. Mission Space Race
Upon exiting the ride after your flight to Mars, you will be directed to the advanced training lab. This is the location of an interactive video game titled “Mission Space Race.” In this game, two teams of four will each be assigned a ship. Team Triton will pilot a silver ship, while Orion commandeers a gold craft. Players will then match pieces to fix their ships while racing the opposite teams back to Earth. As they rocket off, other guests can help them by sending fixes from mission control stations. This interactive experience is fun for the entire family.
4. There are two versions of the ride
Mission Space has a more intense training and less intense training mission. Those who choose less intense will be handed a green boarding ticket to proceed to the flight bays. More intense astronauts will receive an orange ticket, and do the same. While both simulation videos are the same, the capsules perform relatively different maneuvers. Green teams will rock back and forth while swaying to the sides. Orange trainees will go through the same motions, except their capsule will also be spinning to inflict g-forces.
3. How it works
Ten capsules are fitted to a centrifuge. Once each is safely locked and secured by cast members, the ride is launched. When the simulation starts to play, the floors underneath the capsule will drop. As the centrifuge begins to spin, g-forces are initiated. The ride will reach 2.5 G’s before slowing once more. This spinning lasts thirty seconds and only happens three times throughout the ride.
2. Hidden Mickeys
There are multiple hidden Mickeys scattered throughout the Mission Space pavilion. The first is located on the giant moon replica just outside of the entrance. You can find it just beside the “Luna 8” label. When you pass Mission Control in the queue area, you can spot a hidden mickey flashing on the monitors. Moments before liftoff, two Mickeys can be seen at the very tip of the shuttle’s launch tower. Just before you exit the ride through the gift shop, you can observe two Mickey-shaped, junction boxes against the wall. One is a sideways view while the other is a classic Mickey. Happy hunting!
1. The ride is based on a movie
Mission Space is based on the 2000 sci-fi adventure film, Mission to Mars. The movie stars Gary Sinise as an astronaut leading his team to the mysterious red planet. As a tribute to the movie, Gary Sinise stars as Capcom for Mission Space. He serves as the host for both teams as they prepare to launch into space.
Mission Space is just one of many rides with hidden secrets. Every single Disney World attraction is teeming with facts just waiting to be discovered. From hidden Mickeys to clever references, these attractions each hold pieces that connect all of them together. Good luck on your adventures! Check out “Top 8 Experiences For Your First Day At Walt Disney World’s EPCOT.”
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