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Mission: Space Ride at EPCOT

Located in the far eastern end of the Future World themed 'land' at EPCOT, The Mission: Space Ride was five years in the making – and that was just to complete the initial design.

Not only that, it took nearly 700 Disney designers and developers (also affectionately known as Imagineers) to complete the attraction from start to finish.

Mission: Space is one of the newest attractions at EPCOT.

It opened in the fall of 2003.

The construction of Mission: Space is entirely new, however it lies on the site of the old Horizons attraction, which was closed at the beginning of 1999 and subsequently demolished.

The cost of Mission: Space was so great that Disney acquired large sponsorship deals with high-profile technology companies, including Compaq and Hewlett-Packard.

$100 Million Attraction

The total cost of this attraction was a staggering $100 million, which just goes to show how much value and dedication goes into the attractions at EPCOT and indeed all other Disney World parks.

Even from the outside, it is plain to see that the building must have required a tremendous amount of investment, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of time and effort on the part of all Imagineers.

The building is simply enormous: Its focal point is a giant, shimmering red sphere that is held in place by a beautiful metallic frame that curves sharply outwards.

The architecture is inspired by the distant future and space travel.

You can even see the Space Shuttle zooming off from Planet Earth.

The exterior of the Mission: Space pavilion is arguably an attraction in and of itself.

Of the many other electrifying rides and attractions at EPCOT, Mission: Space is unique in that it is not just a ride.

Motion Simulator

It is a motion simulator.

And what better journey to simulate than space flight?

That's right: Audiences young and old will be knocked off their feet by the space travel experience and the hair-raising realism of this nine-figure attraction.

The purpose of Mission: Space is to give you a realistic, first-hand experience of what it would be like to be an astronaut travelling from Earth through interplanetary space and on to Mars.

Interactive Mission

Depending on your designated role, you will have different duties to perform on the mission.

If you don't act in time, the autopilot will perform the tasks for you.

In this way, you can be as interactive with the mission as you want.

Some people may prefer to sit back and let the computer handle it, while others may prefer a more 'hands on' approach.

You can experience a liftoff from Earth, followed by a quick trip to the moon to pick up speed, and then you're on your way to Mars.

Throughout the mission you will experience difficulties that a real astronaut might have to face, for instance high G-Force, unexpected events and malfunctions.

There is also Green Team version of Mission: Space for those who do not want to experience the more intense aspects of spaceflight.

By Marie Ospina
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