Epcot Re-Imagined Part 6: Mission: SPACE

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Editor’s Note: This series is a look at how one staff member would re-imagine Epcot pavilions. Previous articles in the series can be found here.

Mission: SPACE. This one is going to be a doozy.

Mission: SPACE opened in 2003 on the existing plot of Horizons, but in a smaller, new show building. The concept of the attraction is that you are on the first manned mission to Mars aboard the fictitious X-2 Deep Space Shuttle in the year 2036.  The attraction simulated the sensations of spaceflight. Guests experience a sustained 2.5 Gs of force.

After guest complaints and two ride-related deaths (albeit, both with pre-existing conditions), Disney, in 2006, was forced to create Green Team, the same ride experience without the spinning of the now-Orange Team.

In 2017, Mission: SPACE went under another refurbishment. Green Team became Earth Mission, with a new ride film where guests fly around and tour Earth. Orange Team became Mars Mission, with an updated ride film. Gina Torres also replaced Gary Sinise as Capcom.

Despite these upgrades, the attraction is not the blockbuster attraction that was promised almost 15 years ago. So, how do you revamp an attraction that’s faced so much controversy and refurbishments?

Mission: SPACE: Re-Launched, Sponsored by SpaceX. Yes, SpaceX will become the newest sponsor to this ride. The old storyline is gone, with guests now entering the SpaceX flight training facilities to test out their newest rockets.

A view of the current cabin interior for Mission: SPACE.

The timeline of the ride will be pushed up to 2025, when the team over at SpaceX have been able to develop a commercial line of rockets capable of sending people to Mars to colonize the planet. Both missions will become Mars Mission, and the centrifuges of all four simulators will spin, instead of just two.

Guests on board the spacecraft will have one common goal: to bring the materials necessary to colonize Mars. Capcom will be replaced by Elon Musk, who will instruct guests on their specific tasks while on board the spacecraft to safely get it to Mars.

The ride film will be completely new, with different unexpected moments from its predecessor. However, for the most part, other than the updated storyline, the ride is essentially the same. Destiny will be brought back as the walk-out song, since there was really no reason to get rid of it in the first place.

The queue for Mission: SPACE, featuring its many space-related props.

The attraction queue and exit will be completely redone and expanded, to showcase the latest and greatest innovations from SpaceX, with different exhibitions from the company. The gift shop will be relocated, but will be the same, more or less.

Sponsors are the way to get Mission: SPACE relevant again, and there is no better sponsor than SpaceX.

I’m going to finish off Future World East by heading over to Test Track.

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About the author

Alex Murphy

Alex is a sophomore multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland. He has frequented the Disney parks since he was a child. He is also way to obsessed with Wonders of Life. Feel free to contact Alex at [email protected]


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  • You need to be very careful to let your reading audience know that this article is your opinion and thoughts only, not reality/news. (Always keep in mind that your website name contains the word “news”.) Kids will be googling for info for school projects on Space X and/or Disney and may use the information improperly.


    • Thanks, we have included an editor’s note at the top of each article in the series.

    • Apologies about that. I’ve been writing this series for some months now, more or less on a monthly basis, so it’s meant to be subjective, but it’s clearly evident that there is a chance this will be misconstrued to be fact. I appreciate the feedback as a writer and I will make sure to differentiate the two in the future. Constructive criticism is the best feedback, saying this as a journalist-in-training.

  • Test Track is easy. Put it back the way it was when it first opened. The queue was loud, but entertaining. There was a story line that made sense and there was still lots of great opportunities for GM to show off OnStar and other safety features of their cars. Even the pre-show movie was entertaining (Seven!? Yeah, seven.) and educational. The update was supposed to feel more futuristic and modern, but it just comes off as science fiction.

  • No. The better concept would be closer to the one that was scuttled for cost: tge existing centrifuge ride is the PRESHOW – the transport part of the attraction conveying us fro Earth to our arrival on Mars, where uoon disembarking, we spend our time luxuriantly exploring the human colony on another world, a place where we can shop in a series of biodomes, eat under the stars (literally), engage with scientists dealing up close with this challenging environment, etc. The original concept was BIG. And the pavillion’s overall footprint was much bigger. You enhance the attraction simply by following through.

  • Also in this fantasy, Disneyland Star Tours will be relocated to Galaxy’s Edge so that a similar attraction named Mission: Mars can be installed in the same space that once housed Flight to the Moon and Mission to Mars.

    • Star Tours is in the space that once housed Adventures Through Inner Space. Mission to Mars was located where Red Rockett’s Pizza Port is today.

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