Way back in 2005, I rode Mission: SPACE in Epcot. It was, to me, the Disney equivalent of a double-dog dare. I had to do it. I had to prove to myself and The Fam that I had the right stuff, so to speak. No backing down, no backing out – I stood in line, reading the dire and serious health warnings, and reminded myself that I was one tough cookie who had never, in her adult life, tossed a single cookie due to motion sickness. There was only one version of the ride (now called Orange) and I was getting in that cockpit and performing my crew-member duties perfectly, regardless of any challenges I faced as we blasted off to Mars.
Front of the line. The time came for The Fam and I to take our seats – the four of us became a crew of astronauts (pilot, navigator, commander, and engineer). There was no way to ignore how small a space we were climbing into – four seats, side-by-side, facing control panels, seats separated by partitions. I knew what not to do – I would heed the warnings. Do NOT move your head. Do not look to the side. Do not close your eyes. Stare straight ahead at the control panel’s screen and wait for your turn to perform your duties. I’m not going to lie – I was scared! I remember chanting in my head – do not move, do not look away, do not move, do not look away. The g-force was strong enough that I had a hard time reaching out to the control panel to do whatever it was I was responsible for, but I did it.
The ride ended and we crawled out of our vehicle. Megan and Joseph were pretty stoked! They were feeling proud and I heard them discuss riding Mission: SPACE again. Raymond turned and looked at me – at the exact same time we both said, “I’m good.” As in good for life – never need to ride it again. We proved we were tough enough to ride Mission: SPACE and emerge unscathed, but Raymond and I each felt we had taken a terrible risk – what if? What if we had gotten sick? At the least – what if we’d gotten queasy and felt horrible for the rest of the day? That would have been tragic! To be at our most favorite vacation place in the whole wide world and waste even part of a day with self-imposed nausea!
I don’t care if you are passionate about Rock’n’ Roller Coaster, The Mad Tea Party, or the Primeval Whirl – Mission: SPACE Orange is fraught with PERIL, I tell you – BEWARE! Seriously, people, ride at your own risk. There are extremely valid reasons this ride comes with a dozen posted health warnings and a handy barf bag when you find your seat (nope, not kidding). If you have even the slightest case of claustrophobia, you’ll be miserable even before the chance of illness and health issues strikes.
Here’s the deal: This ride is an excellent example of a simulated rocket launch – actual NASA scientists and astronauts were involved in creating Mission: SPACE. It’s good. It’s very realistic. To achieve that perfect reproduction of how it feels to blast off into space, your ride vehicle must create g-force by spinning in a giant circle – imagine you are attached to the outside of a wheel as it spins. Add other simulator effects that bounce you around – bouncing, spinning, very tiny space – you get the idea. Green, the milder version of the ride, is reportedly very realistic without the spinning. Choose wisely, my friends.
There’s a great article here at Touring Plans.com with tips for mitigating the risks of riding Mission: SPACE Orange.
So? Which color’s for you?