Do you want to fulfill your fantasy or childhood dream of becoming an astronaut? At Epcot, you can make that dream come true! You can’t actually blast off into space but you can do the next best thing….Mission: SPACE! Aboard Mission: SPACE, guests will experience authentic NASA-style training and an out-of-this-world space launch in a shuttle simulator. During your wild ride to the Red Planet, you’ll dodge meteors, navigate nebulae and slingshot around the moon.
There are two sides/levels of intensity for you to choose from. First, there’s the Orange Team, or high intensity side, which uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate speed and G-forces during launch and re-entry. For those who may be hesitant about experiencing Mission: SPACE, Disney has kept you in mind. There is also the Green Team experience which is a motion simulator ride that does not spin and is less likely to cause motion sickness. If you are prone to motion sickness or still unsure which side to choose, I’d suggest that you opt for the Green Team. It’s still a great experience!
My husband suffered a brain injury many years ago and has epilepsy. While he hasn’t suffered a grand mal seizure in over a dozen years, he does sometimes experience auras and small facial twitches. There are some attractions at Walt Disney World (and other places that we visit) that are “iffy” for him. Mission: SPACE is one of the attractions that we play by ear. If he is feeling a little “off” on our Epcot day, we skip riding. If he is feeling great, we always hop onboard the Orange Team.
On this day, he was feeling great and we chose the Orange Team. While my son was “cool” with it, my daughter was a little anxious. Not really, she was just hamming it up for the camera.
In the Planetary Plaza, you’ll see inspirational quotes from pioneers in space travel. The plaza leads you inside the building and into the Simulation Lab. This large training area is similar to one that may be seen at the Kennedy Space Center. Guests will marvel at the 35-foot-tall gravity wheel like the kind NASA uses to simulate gravity in deep space and various other displays. There’s even a genuine NASA Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), one of only 4 in existence, on display in the Simulation Lab. The LRV is on loan from the Smithsonian and, according to Walt Disney Imagineering, is the only LRV constructed by NASA that is not on the moon.
Guests will walk by the Command Room, a glassed in area where ISTC mission-control personnel are hard at work, manning their control panels.
The cast members will ask you how many are in your party and you’ll be directed to a Ready Room where you are dispatched into teams of four. We are often a party of three and, unless there’s a single guest who wants to explore space with us, just the three of us have been in our capsule. After being divided into teams, you may have a short wait before being ushered in the hallways. Once you are standing on your color coded numbers, actor Gary Sinese (no…he’s not standing there before you but he’s there in the video), will brief you before you board and assign each of the 4-cadet crew an important role. The roles are Navigator, Pilot, Commander or Engineer. During the flight, you’ll be instructed to initiate a critical sequence so listen for your prompt. Otherwise, the mission to Mars may go awry.
Once you are properly instructed, the doors will open and cast members will direct you to your mission vehicle. The vehicle or capsule is pretty tight space-wise as you can see from the picture below.
After you put your things in the bin in front of you, you’ll pull down the shoulder harnesses from above. If you have any concerns about not being held in tightly enough, worry no more, as you can pull them down to where they fit quite snugly. Just an FYI, barf bags are in the pockets of the control panel in front of you.
The countdown will begin after everyone is locked in tightly and the excitement builds with each number counted down. The Earth begins to rumble, exhaust clouds start to stir and then you are rocketed off into space! CapCom will radio in, explain your mission to you, and prompt each of the crew members on what to do and when to do it. Be prepared for unexpected twists and turns during your mission!
During our last trip to Walt Disney World, I was on a mission myself and part of that mission was to take as many pictures that I could and make a video of our ride to the Red Planet. I held my camera closely to my chest and the video came out well despite the fact that I was trying to hold the camera still and perform the tasks assigned to me by CapCom. I believe that you can tell from the video and my voice that I truly had a “blast” on Mission: SPACE! Disney Epcot Mission Space video.
Our mission was a complete success and we gave ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done. As we exited the room and walked down the hallways, we chattered on and on about how cool the attraction was and how we were looking forward to riding it again next trip.
The post-show area of Mission: SPACE is the Advanced Training Lab where you’ll find lots of interactive space experiences. For the young children, there’s a play area with a space theme. Expedition: Mars is a joystick game in which the four-minute mission for the astronaut (that’d be you) is to find four other astronauts on the surface of Mars. With Postcards from Space, you can email a short space-themed video to yourself or friends back home. If you participate in the Space Race, you’ll join one of two teams competing against each other in a race to send their rocket from Mars back to Earth. Space Race is a high energy game and almost sixty people can participate at one time.
Now that you’ve read all the details and heard our giggles….Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to head on over to Mission: SPACE and experience this exhilarating space odyssey for yourself!