Mission SPACE at EPCOT: How it works, what you should know

Mission: SPACE is a popular ride at EPCOT. It’s located near the main entrance in an area previously known as Future World East.

Walt Disney World Resort has recently rebranded this part of the park. It’s undergoing multiple construction projects and refurbishments. Today, it is known as World Celebration.

Mission: SPACE and Test Track are the biggest attractions in World Celebration’s World Discovery area. Mission: SPACE is an intense thrill ride that uses centrifugal forces to simulate space flight.

If that sounds a bit intimidating to you, you are not alone. However, the good news is that there are two versions of this ride. Although the same ride vehicle is utilized, the missions differ greatly in terms of intensity. And each experience features a unique and exciting space mission.

Read Also: EPCOT vs Animal Kingdom: Which Disney World park is best?

The line for Mission: SPACE
Guests wait to ride Mission: SPACE at Disney (photo by Travis Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

How does Mission: SPACE at EPCOT work?

The orange team version is a more intense experience and takes crew members on a mission to Mars. The green version takes astronauts on a milder training mission in which they orbit the Earth.

But make no mistake, the green version of this ride is still an exciting and immersive experience. It just puts significantly less physical stress on the body.

I love that Disney offers different versions of the ride. It’s an inclusive option that makes the experience accessible for younger kids and less adventurous adults. In other words, go for green if you love the idea of experiencing space travel but can’t handle the G force!

Decorations around the Mission SPACE ride at EPCOT
Mission SPACE has two versions of the ride to be more accessible for those who prefer a more mild experience (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Who can ride Mission: SPACE?

Riders must decide between the green or orange mission near the entrance. Guests with certain risk factors or medical history will decide whether or not to abstain from this ride by reading a large board that lists specific warnings.

For example, if you are pregnant or have a history of high blood pressure or chest pains, you should not ride Mission: SPACE. A cast member will also be posted there to answer questions.

Once you process through the queue, a cast member will organize riders into crews of four. You’ll watch a video briefing that explains your mission and provides detailed instructions for boarding the ride vehicle. Each crewmate will be assigned a role: Engineer, Pilot, Navigator or Commander. And you will be tasked with duties related to these roles during the mission.

My husband is an engineer in real life. As a result, he always insists on being the engineer when we ride Mission: SPACE. My oldest son loves to be a pilot.

Thus, I usually end up quietly assuming the role of Commander. I think that tells you everything you need to know about who wears the EVA suit at our house.

A sign at Mission SPACE
This plaque was flown into space aboard the shuttle Atlantis, Mission STS-101. It reads, “To all who follow their dreams, ‘to infinity and beyond!'” (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Does Mission: SPACE go upside down?

Nope! Mission: SPACE doesn’t go upside down.

The space ride’s tilting capsules recline riders backward during the launch phase of the mission. The orange version, however, spins rapidly to create the illusion of acceleration.

Riders who do not typically experience motion sickness might encounter some iffy moments on their four-minute mission.

If you’re asking whether Mission: SPACE goes upside down to gauge whether it will make you feel queasy, it may be the wrong question.

Inside Mission: SPACE at EPCOT
Mission: SPACE is designed to simulate space flight (photo by Travis Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

How do they simulate G Force on Mission: SPACE?

Mission: SPACE simulates the force of up to 2.5Gs by spinning the ride vehicles. The ride building houses four centrifuges. Each centrifuge has 10 capsules arranged in a circular pattern around a massive rotor. Each capsule houses one four-person crew. To illustrate, picture spokes on a bike wheel.

The capsules are spun around the centrifuge to simulate the feeling of a rocket launch for the riders inside. During the launch phase, it can feel like more than twice the force of gravity at Earth’s surface.

In other words, it feels like your weight is multiplied by 2.5. You’ll feel your head being forced back against the headrest. At other points during the orange mission, the motion of the capsules is manipulated to simulate the feeling of weightlessness.

If it is your first time experiencing this ride, I STRONGLY recommend joining a green team for your first mission. Mission: SPACE is not like a roller coaster. It is an intense training experience designed to simulate space flight.

And as my husband loves to point out, it’s the only ride at Walt Disney World with motion sickness bags in front of each rider.

Mission SPACE at Epcot
A feature at Mission SPACE shows missions to the moon (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What are the height requirements?

Kids must be 40 inches tall to experience the green version of the attraction. If you have kids between 40-44 inches, a cast member will provide them with a booster seat for use in the ride capsule.

This will ensure that the restraints fit properly and that your little astronaut can reach the controls and see the display screen. He or she will be tasked with performing assigned tasks during your trip to outer space.

You have to be 44 inches tall to ride the orange version. However, I would absolutely suggest trying out the green mission for young kids’ first experience with Mission: SPACE. If they have a negative experience with this ride, it may leave them hesitant to try other rides.

If you opt for the less intense version first, you likely won’t have to wait for a long time to try out the orange team mars mission afterward.

Each mission takes you on a different journey, so even if you find the experience to be a piece of cake, your overall experience will be positive. Plus, Disney is super-efficient in loading each of the four centrifuges like clockwork. And the lines tend to move quickly.

Read Also: Disney Characters at EPCOT: What Characters are at EPCOT? [2022]

Space Base at Mission: SPACE
Space Base is a playground area at Mission: SPACE (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

What else can you do at Mission: SPACE?

Adults who aren’t up for the orange mission and young kids can hang out in the mission control space pavilion. It is located between the ride exit area and the gift shop.

My kids could spend an hour exploring the space-themed indoor playground there. And the older kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy trying out the arcade-style games.

Finally, in keeping with Disney’s M.O., you’ll pass through a gift shop on the way out of this ride. The Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay gift shop has a selection of space-themed souvenirs, apparel and snacks. My kids particularly love that they can get freeze-dried ice cream just like NASA astronauts enjoy on a real space station.

Have you experienced Mission: SPACE at EPCOT? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

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