View Full Version : WDW Rated & Reviewed - Mission: Space

Red Randal
05-19-2006, 03:17 PM
Since today is the big opening for the "non-ride" version of Mission:Space, I thought I would post my review of the original. Enjoy!

Mission: Space

Intro: Opened in 2003 to replace Horizons, Mission Space was Disney’s big attempt to return to the cutting edge of theme park attractions. Using the same technology as NASA, Mission Space is designed to show riders what real astronauts go through. Since people periodically die aboard this attraction, Disney has put up many many warning signs to dissuade guests with potential problems and added a second riding option for those who think the original might be too intense for them. As I understand it, the new version involves just sitting in the capsule looking at the ride film and not actually moving. Which makes it a lot like what I expeienced when watching a home movie to do this review.

Queue: Read warning signs. There are lots of them. Got’cha.

Preshow: Like most of these rides, an intro video to give you an idea of the module and the story of the ride. Everyone is positioned, by party, in front of televisions. There seems to be a lot of back and forth, walkie talkie style, announcements going on, there to do nothing but build tension. After what seems like an eternity, the video starts. Gary Sinese (!) joins us from the International Space Training Center. We are here to train for the exploration of deep space. (To TRAIN, keep that in mind.) He gives more warnings. We GET IT, it’s INTENSE. Everyone is going to get a job, you will either be navigator, pilot, commander, or engineer, but don’t worry, the jobs could not matter less. Apparently, everyone has to work as a team for the mission to succeed. The flight director gives us MORE WARNINGS (you know, just in case). From the first preshow holding pen, we go to another preshow holding pen. At least it keeps the lines down. I like the dramatic music. They play some warnings, because there have not been enough of those. This is your last chance to chicken out. It’s time to train for the first mission to Mars (good choice of words). Everyone gets a job and its time to enter the module, but not before some warnings.

Ride: Lots of fancy buttons and switches and panels inside the pod. A small screen is in front of you. They countdown and then launch. And this is officially the coolest thing ever! General thoughts during liftoff will be something like “wow…oh wow…..oh man, how are they doing this!?!?!” Then, we’re weightless! Amazing! We fly over Florida; go past the space station, and slingshot around the moon. Then it is time for hyper-sleep. Umm…okay. Don’t sleep too long though, because as soon as they darken the shuttle some sirens go off and it’s a METEOR STORM!! We have to maneuver our way through. Once we’re through it we have to land on Mars. However, we have overshot the landing strip and end up crashing into the barriers and almost falling into a crater. But in the end, we make it and the mission is accomplished.

Postshow: The “Advanced Training Lab,” which has some games and interactive areas and such.

Thoughts: Well, where do I begin? Rating it on the ride alone, it is hands down one of the greatest things Disney has ever done. The liftoff is intense and they have finally managed to make the space flight believable. You are always feeling movement (probably because you always ARE moving) and the graphics are amazing. This really felt like space. However, the ride has its problems. It seems like early on this was all about the training for an historic voyage. They did a great job designing the ISTC and played up the dramatic aspect of the “mission.” Lots of dramatic music throughout makes you feel like you are important and getting ready to become and American hero.

The trouble starts with hyper-sleep. Hyper-sleep is too science fiction sounding to go along with the very serious nature of this ride. But I will let that fly, because they DID need to get us from liftoff to Mars in a very short time span. But then the mission manages to miss the landing strip and everyone aboard almost gets killed. Yet, when the ride ends, the mission is deemed a success. I certainly hope this is not how success is measured at NASA. Wouldn’t it have made just as much sense to say that the mission failed and we should try it again? After all, we are not going to be astronauts, are we? The Advanced Training Lab can be explained by saying we need it since we CRASHED THE SPACESHIP! And, come to think of it, didn’t they say in the preshow that we were training for the FIRST mission to Mars? So, if we are the first people to get there, why have a landing strip or barriers in the first place?

I should also point out that, while I only rode it once, it seems like the kind of ride where the initial feeling of “ooh” and “ahh” wear off very quickly, leaving the ride to come up flat after too many times on.

For a great ride (especially the first time), this is one of the best, but keep in mind that Disney was counting on you forgetting the story and getting caught up in the ride, itself. But the awesome liftoff, alone, is worth about three stars, so it gets off pretty easy.

Overall Rating: **** (Regular Version)

Now, for those of you who are unable to enjoy the ultra intense launch sequence, I would imagine this ride is a whole lot of nothing. I have not seen the new version though, but if it is just sitting in the capsule watching the movie while not spinning, then it is about ** at the most.

Kuzco's Groove
05-19-2006, 03:39 PM
One of my favorite rides at WDW, and possibly my favorite. Closest I'll ever get to achieving my dream of going to Mars.

I try to get the Commander seat when I ride, not that it makes any difference!

05-19-2006, 03:43 PM
As I understand it, the new version involves just sitting in the capsule looking at the ride film and not actually moving. Which makes it a lot like what I expeienced when watching a home movie to do this review.
Apparently the new "Lite" version does have movement, and isn't just a movie that you sit there and watch. There are bumping and moving motions (similar to Star Tours), just not the centrifuge spinning that causes G-forces on your body.
I think it's a good idea that they came up with this new version. Although I love the original version, I see nothing wrong with offering a less intense version for other people.

05-19-2006, 03:55 PM
.. Just wanted to say on behalf of those of us who either haven't been on it, or are nervous about our first time..thanks for the info/update!


05-19-2006, 03:56 PM
More moving in the lite version than you think... I am hearing from friends who are CMs and got to test the new version said it is amazing... And a lot better than thought.... There is plenty of movement.. Just no G forces...

05-19-2006, 04:07 PM
I'm done with Mission: SPACE. For as amazing as the attraction was the first time, the experience just is not the same on subsequent rides. Hopefully the new version lets more people experience would could have been the best attraction in Walt Disney World, but turned out to be a bust.

05-19-2006, 04:19 PM
Your review of the original MS is appreciated but I do not think you should try to review (the new version) a ride you have never been on.

Red Randal
05-19-2006, 04:26 PM
I'll be making sure to ride the "new" version in August when I'm at Epcot, and I'll amend the review accordingly.

My assumption of ** for the new version was based on my understanding that movement was not involved. Well, I now see what happens when I assume. Since the new version involves SOME movement, then maybe it cracks ***. I don't know, not having been on it. However, the original ride has giant gaping plot holes and is only worthwhile for the launch. Without the launch, I see the ride being much less thrilling and the plot holes being much more obvious.

But, NJGIRL, you are correct that I really should not speculate without riding first.

05-19-2006, 04:30 PM
Please do post the new version review in August as we are going in October and would like to know what it's about before riding it.

05-20-2006, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the great review. I look forward to reading your review of the new version. :thumbsup:

Red Randal
10-02-2007, 12:41 AM
Bump! Happy Birthday Epcot!

10-02-2007, 08:46 PM
I like this ride a lot even though it makes me feel bad for a while after I get off. The takeoff is very intense! I love it! I would give it 4 stars! :mickey:

10-02-2007, 11:40 PM
WE love it and agree with your review on the original. Never rode the other..maybe next year if DD 4 is tall enough!

10-03-2007, 01:18 AM
Like a few others, i quite like the ride and the theming. its extremely impressive technologically and the first time is really fun...i do sometimes skip it though as theres always the possibility of an unwanted headache.

SpecJoe Magic
10-03-2007, 06:25 AM
It's my favorite attraction at Epcot even though I do miss Horizons. I find that Mission: Space actually has good repeat value for me after having ridden it several times now.

10-03-2007, 05:12 PM
I find it to be tremendously thrilling. No matter how many times I go on, I find it a thrill every time, especially when we're finally on Mars and it looks like everything is about to come down.

It all works out, though, and it's a lot of fun. I plan on doing it again next year, as I've done many times before.


John Kilduff

10-03-2007, 05:39 PM
DW, DD6 and I rode it last week for the first time. Because of her age and concerns over the regular ride being too intense, we did the "lite" version. Overall, I would say it was OK. The concept is great, and I like the idea of interactivity, but your pushing the buttons is even less necessary than steering the wheel on the Indy speedway at MK. It would be a lot better if it actually did affect it. The aftershow area looked really cool, but unfortunately we didn't have time to spend there.

Good enough to do again, but not one of my favorites. I would like to try the regular version next time to see if it's any better.

10-03-2007, 05:50 PM
I thought this ride was great when I rode it for the first time a few years ago. It really is quite remarkable when you feel weightless in "space"...then when I went on it last year it just made me feel :ack:
Glad I had the opportunity to go on it, but don't think I'll be giving it another try for obvious reasons.

10-08-2007, 06:37 AM
I loved it the first time I rode it but during our next visit my DW rode it with me before taking our DD9 on it, but after the second ride in 15 minutes I was :sick:. Now just thinking about it makes me :sick:. We took my DD and DS5 on it last August and did the "lite" version, they loved it and I was able to enjoy it again. We rode it 3X's in one day. It's my DS's new favorite ride.

10-08-2007, 11:48 AM
I love the ride. Although, every time I get off I feel a little out-of-sorts.

Before I rode it for the first time, I had the jitters as bad as when I was a small kid getting on a big roller coaster for the first time. When I got off the ride, I felt like I had really achieved something. (I know that's hokey...it's a ride.)

I don't think there's an attraction out there similar to this one.:thumbsup: