Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin Ride
Rides at Walt Disney World
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin Ride is one of my son’s favorite rides. For years, this was the first ride we went on upon entering Magic Kingdom. We would head right over to Tomorrowland and ride it once or twice before heading over to other sections of the park. And then he would want to ride it one last time before leaving the park. But are there any sensory issues with Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin?
Before I answer that question, let me tell you a little bit about the ride itself. This area of the park used to house If You Had Wings sponsored by Eastern Airlines. It was changed a couple of times into other “flight” rides, before changing to the ever popular Buzz LIghtyear’s Space Ranger Spin in October 1998.
HISTORY OF BUZZ LIGHTYEAR’S SPACE RANGER SPIN RIDE:
The Evil Emperor Zurg was originally first mentioned in Toy Story 1 which came out on November 22, 1995. However, we did not see him until Toy Story 2 which came out on November 13, 1999. The ride was already operational when Zurg appeared in Toy Story 2.
The premise of the ride is that Zurg is stealing batteries from toys to power a new weapon. Buzz Lightyear needs our help to defeat Zurg. You will board an XP-37 star cruiser and use your “laser cannon” to shoot the moving targets.
You the rider are in control and your goal to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg who has stolen the power cells from the Galactic Alliance. As you fire upon select targets (think arcade style), you accumulate points. Can you beat your high score?
POTENTIAL SENSORY ISSUES INVOLVING BUZZ LIGHTYEAR’S SPACE RANGER SPIN:
This ride generally has a longer wait unless you have a FastPass+. However, the FastPass+ line for this ride still can be a wait (10-20 minutes). While waiting inside, there is a Giant Buzz Lightyear that is giving instructions. It is loud inside the queue with Buzz talking, and an alarm blares. Everything is painted neon colors.
Toward the end of the queue, Buzz is giving instructions into what you need to do to defeat Zurg. There may be time for a quick picture with the giant Buzz if you plan it correctly, or allow the guests behind you to keep moving so you can get a photo.
When entering the Space Coaster, you have to step on a moving platform before entering your star cruiser. The ride is slow moving, and your star cruiser does not have a seat belt, but a safety bar is lowered. On top of the safety bar are your “laser cannons” (2 per car).
The majority of the ride is in the dark, with neon black light paint for the targets and figures. The laser cannons make firing noises similar to video game noises. If your child is not able to “shot the targets” most likely they will still receive points by firing their cannon. There is a digital display on the vehicle below the cannons.
Some of the cannons do not aim correctly. Test the cannon before the ride starts to see where the laser points. The vehicle moves with the control of a joystick. The vehicle will jerk and not move smoothly depending on the person controlling it.
The ride does experience stops for handicap accessibility to allow riders to get off and on. If you are on the ride when it stops there will be an announcement that the ride has temporarily stopped. Use this time to keep shooting to acquire more points.
The entire ride is loud and makes arcade type noises. The cannons fire lasers – the lasers are Class 2 which are relatively harmless. These lasers will not burn skin or material and do not get hot. Additionally, the lasers will not harm your eye unless you deliberately stared into the beam. It is a red laser, and some children may be “afraid” of the laser.
HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE (Wheelchairs do not need to transfer, however, scooter riders will need to transfer)
NO MINIMUM HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS
There is also a flash of light at the end of the road to take your photo.
The following video will give you an idea of the sights, sounds, noises, and experience you will have on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
TIPS FOR A HIGH SCORE ON BUZZ LIGHTYEAR’S SPACE RANGER SPIN RIDE:
You are trying to aim your “laser” at the center of the target inside the Zs.
The moving targets are worth more points.
Generally, the further away from a target, the more it is worth.
The top of the volcano, the back of the orange robot’s left hand, and the bottom of Zurg’s ship are high scoring targets.
Keep shooting in the beginning and in the dark room with the projection targets.
OTHER TOMORROWLAND RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
Stitch’s Great Escape
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Enjoy the ride! For more rides, visit Dumbo, The Flying Elephant.
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