PHOTOS: Shrubs Return, Planet Seats Removed as Mission: SPACE Exterior Renovations Continue

Kyle Silagyi

PHOTOS: Shrubs Return, Planet Seats Removed as Mission: SPACE Exterior Renovations Continue

Shrubs have returned outside the entryway of Mission: SPACE at EPCOT as renovations to the area surrounding the attraction progress. The planet-shaped seats that previously sat immediately outside of the Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay (the ride’s gift shop) have also been removed as part of the recent changes.

Mission: SPACE Exterior Changes

Mission SPACE Exterior Renovations September 2023 1

We first noted the condition of Mission: SPACE’s exterior in May when we wrote about the giant Mars prop’s deterioration; entire sections of the red orb were severely showing their age, with worn paint exposing the structure’s base gray material and dirt visibly accumulating in the sphere’s grooves. Construction walls were put up a few days later, and while we assumed the planet would be refurbished, no changes to the orb have been made just yet. Instead, tracks for the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers were removed from the entry plaza while planet-shaped and inspired mosaics were added.

We also noticed that the Earth that the Mission: SPACE logo previously wrapped around was removed from outside of the ride’s queue, presumably for renovations, late last month.

While vision-blocking shrubs were still seen near the attraction after the removal of the Earth prop, they were largely kept out of the way. We noticed on a recent visit that the shrubs have returned in significant numbers, blocking the view of further renovations occurring outside of the ride’s entrance.

Mission SPACE Exterior Renovations September 2023 3

Looking over the shrubs, we see that additional pavement has been dug up.

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Mission SPACE Exterior Renovations September 2023 7
Mission SPACE Exterior Renovations September 2023 5

Renovations have reached the ride’s exit, as initial changes have been made to the area immediately outside of the Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay.

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Solid half-orbs with planet designs carved into them previously sat in front of the curved wall. These structures acted as seats for those waiting for members of their party to finish up in the gift shop or for people to catch their breath after the notoriously intense ride.

As of September 3, the planet seats are no longer present. The areas where they previously sat blatantly stick out against the themed pavement. It is not yet known whether the seats, or similar structures, will return in the future.

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Mission SPACE Exterior Renovations September 2023 13

White paint has also been placed along some of the curved cracks in the pavement outside of the attraction, perhaps indicating that further construction/renovations are set to take place.

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Mission SPACE Exterior Renovations September 2023 9

Mission: SPACE

mission space rehab

Mission: SPACE is a motion simulator in the World Discovery neighborhood of EPCOT. It initially opened in August of 2003 and was (very) loosely themed after “Mission to Mars,” a 2000 film inspired by the former Disneyland and Magic Kingdom attractions of the same name. Gary Sinise starred in the science fiction blockbuster and also appeared in the initial version of Mission: SPACE before being removed in 2017.

This attraction offers two unique experiences: the original Mars mission in which guests travel to the red planet while experiencing high G-forces, and the tamer Earth mission, introduced in 2017, in which riders complete a loop around their native planet before landing amidst a storm.

How do you feel about the renovations currently occurring outside of Mission: SPACE? Let us know in the comments.

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Author

  • Kyle Silagyi

    Kyle has been an ardent fan of all things Disney and themed entertainment since his first trek up the Forbidden Mountain in 2006. You can reach him at kyle@wdwnt.com