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Astro Orbiter at Magic Kingdom

Today, the Astro Orbiter ride in Magic Kingdom stands as a great example of the public’s universal fascination with the idea of space travel.

Outer space is an area that is near and dear to children’s imaginations.

Since the advent of the first science fiction films and novels in the early 1900s, kids around the world have dreamed of rocket ships and traveling to far off planets.

In keeping with the times, Disney World opened Tomorrowland to appeal to the dreamer in all of us.

The ride has been in place since Tomorrowland’s first major expansion in the mid-1970s and was originally called Star Jets.

By the mid-1990s it was refurbished and rebranded as the Astro Orbiter.

Spaceships

Astro Orbiter simulates a group of spaceships weaving through a ‘league of planets’.

While located several stories off the ground, the ride is suitable for children of any height because of its gentle nature.

To enter, you’ll first have to ride up an elevator to reach the boarding area.

Each ship has a capacity of two passengers.

The carriages are modeled after retro rocket ships.

The entire ride itself retains a retro mid-century theme.

As the ride begins, you’ll be on the receiving end of some of the best views of Disney World.

Nearby Space Mountain will be clearly visible in the foreground, and you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of Cinderella’s castle in the distance.

90 Thrilling Seconds

Your space rocket will orbit the ride at a rate of 11 times per minute for a total of 90 thrilling seconds.

As you spin through the air, the rocket you’ll have the ability to move up and down with a joystick located in front of your seat.

The ride gives the illusion of maneuvering through a series of colorfully painted planets and other space matter on a fast-paced orbit through a solar system.

At the center of the ride is a very stylish retro work tower reminiscent of 1960s science fiction movies.

The tower corkscrews its way to the sky.

At its core is an orb that spins along with the ride.

High above the ground, Astro Orbiter offers what Disney World describes as a ‘mild but wild’ ride.

This ride is enjoyable for the whole family.

The technology in place for the ride is very similar to the Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride located in Fantasyland.

Just like many other attractions in Tomorrowland, the experience will be accompanied by narration from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, which offers a fun dimension to the ride.

Astro Orbiter’s bright colors, high vantage point and exciting narration will be enough to ignite anyone’s imagination, especially those of younger children.

Over the years, the ride has become so popular that it’s estimated the rocket ships go through over 1 million rotations per year.

A true highlight of Tomorrowland and Disney World, the ride also stands as a reminder of the age of space exploration and the excitement the world felt as we first began sending manned missions into space.

By Marie Ospina
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