Tomorrowland Astro Orbiter Ride
Autism at Walt Disney World
Ride a Spaceship high up in the sky as you soar by planets! True Confession time: Astro Orbiter is a ride that I have only been on 3 or 4 times. This is one of those rides that I have no interest in riding. Give me Peter Pan’s Flight or Pirates of the Caribbean any day, but Astro Orbiter is one that I pass on. However, that doesn’t mean that you or your children won’t be mesmerized by this ride.
But before you go on this ride, I am going to make sure you understand what the ride is about and any potential issues that you or your children may have with this ride. I will start by telling you about the History of the Ride. Then, I will talk about potential sensory issues, tips for riding, and we also will have a video of the ride!
FASTPASS: Not Available
HISTORY OF ASTRO ORBITER
Location: Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. Entrance is in the center of Rocket Tower Plaza. Entrance is near the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover.
Opening Date: November 28, 1974. Astro Orbiter in Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort opened on November 28, 1974, and was originally named Star Jets.
Type of Ride: The Astro Orbiter is a ride with rocket-shaped vehicles. These vehicles “travel through space” by spinning around a central point (similar to how Dumbo works).
The centerpiece of this ride was a Saturn V Rocket. The ride closed on January 10, 1994, for a redesign and reopened on April 30, 1994, with the name Astro Orbiter. The Saturn V Rocket was gone and replaced with an iron tower with planets along the outside of the attraction to give the feeling that you are traveling through space.
POTENTIAL SENSORY PROCESSING ISSUES INVOLVING ASTRO ORBITER
To board Astro Orbiter, you need to take an elevator up to the top level. Each retro spacecraft holds 2 passengers sitting front to back. Your child will sit in front of you. The vehicles are open similar to Dumbo, the Flying Elephant.
When entering the ride, you step over the side into a rocket ship. You need to sit down with your legs in front of you stretched out. When exiting the ride, you need the ability to pull yourself up to a standing position and swing your legs over the side of the vehicle.
You control how high you fly by pulling or pushing the lever insider your ship, but this ride is not on ground level, so even if you don’t pull up on the lever, you will still be high above the ground (approximately 30 feet). If you have a child in front of you, they may not be able to control the lever, and you may not be able to reach it. My husband uses the lever with his foot if our son isn’t operating it.
There are lap belts that must be used. You need to remain seated the entire ride. If your child cannot remain seated during the ride, I would recommend you avoid riding.
The ride lasts approximately 2 minutes.
Guests with wheelchairs and electric scooters must transfer. The rider may have difficulty getting in and out.
NO MINIMUM HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS
NO MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENTS: Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by a person at least 14 years of age.
The following video will give you an idea of the sights, sounds, noises, and experience you will have on Astro Orbiter.
TIPS FOR RIDING:
Ride during the day for a spectacular view of Tomorrowland and beyond. Ride at dusk for a beautiful view of sunset behind Cinderella Castle.
This ride generally has a 30-60 minute wait because of the limited amount of riders per ride. The wait time will also be dependent on closures of rides such as Space Mountain.
The vehicles move at 11 rotations per minute.
Each Disney Park, except Tokyo Disneyland, have a version of Astro Orbiter, but each version bears a different name. While Walt Disney World Resort is named Astro Orbiter (with an e), the Disneyland version in California is named Astro Orbitor (with an o).
OTHER TOMORROWLAND RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS:
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Stitch’s Great Escape
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