After Astro Orbitor at Disneyland closed for a refurbishment set to last until at least the new year, plaques about the attraction’s history at different Disney Parks were added to the construction walls. Unfortunately, the plaque about the Magic Kingdom version of Astro Orbiter had completely incorrect information. (At Magic Kingdom, the ride is Astro Orbiter, while at Disneyland, it’s Astro Orbitor.) After we reported on the plaque, Disney took it down. Now they’ve replaced it with a plaque featuring the correct dates.
Magic Kingdom Astro Orbiter Plaque
The new plaque states that the Astro Orbiter opened at Magic Kingdom in 1994. It explains that the Star Jets “were a sensation since opening in 1974” and that Imagineers restyled the attraction into Astro Orbiter “as spaceships encircling a kinetic galaxy of planets” 20 years later. This information is all correct.
The previous plaque suggested that Astro Orbiter opened at Magic Kingdom in 1995 as a reimagining of Star Jets, which itself was an opening day attraction at the park, which was completely wrong.
Wrong Information on Disneyland Signs
In January of this year, a statue was installed on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Park to kick off Disney100 celebrations. The Mickey Mouse sculpture featured a banner that read “It all started with a mouse,” a misquote of the Walt Disney statement “It was all started by a mouse.” The statue was promptly updated with the correct quote.
That same month, new Disney100 banners installed throughout Disneyland Resort honored various Disney Parks, attractions, and films. But several featured incorrect dates, bad grammar, and spelling errors. They were replaced over the following weeks.
The next month, signs on Indiana Jones Adventure construction walls were riddled with typos. They were replaced within a few days.
And though not incorrect information, the newest Disneyland Park holiday map is decorated with a photo of the famous Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas tree that is so low-quality it’s visibly pixelated.
Astro Orbitor History
Astro Jets was the original rocket-spinner attraction at Disneyland and opened in 1956. When United Airlines became a park sponsor in 1964, the name was changed to Tomorrowland Jets due to concerns that Astro Jets would be connected to American Airlines’ Astrojet service.
Tomorrowland Jets closed in 1966 for a major Tomorrowland renovation. The ride reopened a year later as the Rocket Jets and lasted until 1997, when another major Tomorrowland renovation began.
In 1998, the new Astro Orbitor opened. It’s a replica of Orbitron at Disneyland Paris (although with some different coloring), where it was an opening day attraction in 1992.
At Magic Kingdom in Florida, the similar Star Jets opened in 1974. It was re-themed to Astro Orbiter in 1994. Star Jets existed at Tokyo Disneyland from its opening in 1983 until 2017, when it closed to make space for The Happy Ride with Baymax.
At Hong Kong Disneyland, the ride is also known as Orbitron. It and the Magic Kingdom version of the ride are visually similar to the Disneyland and Disneyland Paris versions — with a central tower and large planetary orbs — and have similar rocket vehicles.
Jet Packs is another celestial spinner ride at Shanghai Disneyland, although it looks very different from the other rides.