Epcot is home to some of the most amazing and unique experiences in all of Walt Disney World. Guests who spend time in the park can enjoy exploring Future World and World Showcase and experience everything including traveling around the world, diving into the seas, imagination, and energy. One of the most popular and thrilling attractions in Epcot invites guests to enter into the final frontier of space. Mission: SPACE brings guests into the International Space Training Center (ISTC) where they are offered the opportunity to train for the first ever mission to Mars. Guests who enjoy a ride on the thrilling attraction are assigned the role of either the Commander, Navigator, Pilot, or Engineer and help to successfully complete a daring and ground breaking journey. While many guests love to enjoy Mission: SPACE while in Epcot, they may not know some of the interesting secrets and facts that help to make the attraction so unique. Here are seven facts and secrets about Walt Disney World’s Mission: SPACE for guests to enjoy.
7. Two Different Experiences
When Mission: SPACE first opened to guests in Epcot in 2003, it only featured one experience which packed some big thrills. Since many guests wanted to enjoy the attraction without the intensity, two different versions were created to appease everyone. Mission: SPACE now features two different experiences on the Green Team and the Orange Team. While both experiences follow the same storyline, they differ in intensity. The Orange Team experiences the full force of the attraction including G Forces whereas the Green Team is a milder experience. Be sure to tell the Cast Member at the entrance which version is right for you before entering.
6. Moon Landings
After passing by the initial Cast Member located near the entrance of Mission: SPACE, guests pass through the outdoor Planetary Plaza which features sweeping architecture and a historical object. The large sphere which represents the moon is covered in twenty nine golden circles which represent every moon landing between the years of 1959 and 1976. Guests should be sure to take a few moments to walk all around the sphere and check out the incredible history honored there.
5. A Familiar Logo
Once inside the main room of the queue for Mission: SPACE, guests can check out some authentic items from NASA as well as a massive gravity wheel with many different compartments and rooms. In the center of the wheel is a logo which pays homage to Epcot’s past. Before Mission: SPACE, the pavilion used to be home to the attraction Horizons which was a favorite of many guests. Those who are missing the original attraction can still check out its logo in the middle of the large gravity wheel.
4. Massive Prop
While waiting on the queue in the room featuring the gravity wheel, many guests will be sure to spend lots of time checking out all of the details and props found within it. While there are other authentic NASA items in the room like a rover, the gravity wheel was actually a prop from the 2000 film Mission to Mars.
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Just before boarding the attraction, guests waiting for Mission: SPACE can listen for an announcement for a Mr. Johnson. While this might seem like a random name, it actually pays homage to an extinct attraction in the Magic Kingdom. Mr. Johnson was the robot host of the Tomorrowland attraction Mission to Mars which existed where Stitch’s Great Escape can be found today. Another reference to Mr. Johnson can be heard on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover when Mr. Tom Morrow is prompted to contact Mr. Johnson about his flight to the moon.
2. Hidden Mickey
One of the most important safety messages for guests on Mission: SPACE is to keep their eyes open at all times and focused on the screen in front of them, and it is a good thing that they do! Guests who pay attention just before the initial launch sequence begins will notice classic Hidden Mickeys made out of three small circles on both sides of the screen. They can be a little difficult to spot as they are a similar color gray to the paneling found behind them.
1. A Second Logo
After enjoying the adventure on Mission: SPACE, guests pass through the Advanced Training Labs where they can enjoy further experiences and entertainment helping to get them to Mars. Just after the Advanced Training Labs is the Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay which offers unique merchandise including clothing, accessories, toys, and more. Guests who spotted the Horizons logo on the gravity wheel in the attraction’s queue can spot it again on the counter below the cashier in the Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay.