Tucked away in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland is one of Disney World’s very best rides. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin is a well-themed interactive attraction that takes guests right into the heart of the Toy Story world. If that isn’t worth riding, we don’t know what is.
Of course, the description above is just a small taste of what this ride has to offer, and the full experience can only be had by actually hopping aboard one of the ride cars for yourself. However, in case you simply can’t wait for your next trip to Disney World, we’ve put together a list of 8 awesome facts about this ride to tide you over and prepare you for this super fun attraction.
1. There are Game Tricks
The story behind this ride is the Buzz needs the help of riders to defeat the Emperor Zurg. In order to do this, riders must shoot at the various targets throughout the ride with special laser guns. Every good shot gives the rider points, making for a fun competitive aspect. In order to gain the most points possible, you will want to know a few things. Remember these tips the next time you visit.
- You can hold the trigger. Pulling a trigger over and over is tiring. Luckily, you don’t have to do this. Simply hold the trigger down throughout the ride.
- Points are given even if you don’t aim. That’s right, as long as you’re holding the trigger you will get some—though not many—points.
- There are special targets throughout the ride. Shooting these will help you get a high score. The ones we use most are the hand/claw above the exit door in the first room, and the target in the center of Zurg’s ship in the third room. Both give 100,000 points per hit.
2. Prizes are Available
If you look down at your score and noticed that it’s maxed out at 999,999, take a picture! This is the highest score possible, meaning you can rub your skills in the faces of family and friends. It also entitles you to a special sticker. Just show a cast member your picture in the gift shop at the end of the ride.
3. It Has Sisters Out There
While Disney World’s Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was the first of its kind, it wasn’t the last. The original opened in 1998, and was soon followed by similar rides in Disneyland in CA, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Shanghai Disneyland. However, the one in Hong Kong is now closed.
4. The Building is Nothing New
Before it was home to the current Toy Story-themed ride, the Space Ranger Spin building was home to some other great attractions. It started in 1972 as a ride called “If You Had Wings”, closed and reopened as “If You Could Fly” in 1987, then became an entirely new attraction called “Delta Dreamflight” in 1989, which went through two other name changes in 1996: “Dreamflight” and subsequently “Take Flight”. It finally took on its current incarnation in 1998, and has remained the same since, making Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin the building’s longest-running attraction to date.
5. There’s Room for Three
While each of the Space Ranger Spin vehicles only contains two laser guns, the cars are actually made to hold three passengers. Therefore, if you’re a family of three and have a little one who doesn’t care much about playing the game itself, you can set them in the middle and ride as a family.
6. Playing at Home was Once an Option
In 2005, Disney put out an awesome online version of the on-ride game called Astro Blasters. This game would actually sync up to the Disneyland ride, allowing at-home players to compete against in-park players.
7. Zurg’s First Appearance Was on his Ride
As mentioned earlier, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin opened in 1998—November 1998 to be exact. This was a full year before Toy Story 2 opened in theaters, and since Zurg never made an appearance in the first Toy Story movie, the Disney World ride was actually the first place where Toy Story fans got to see the evil emperor.
8. Lesser-Known Characters Appear
From October 2000 through January 2001, the animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command played on UPN and ABC as a part of the One Saturday Morning cartoon block. This show followed Buzz on his adventures and introduced several characters unique to his backstory. A few of these lesser-known characters can be spotted in the queue and exit for the ride.
As you can probably tell, we’re quite passionate about this awesome Disney World ride. The next time you find yourself in Magic Kingdom, be sure to give it a spin for us!