PHOTOS: Planets and Other Themed Elements Removed From Astro Orbitor During Refurbishment in Disneyland Park

Shannen Ace

PHOTOS: Planets and Other Themed Elements Removed From Astro Orbitor During Refurbishment in Disneyland Park

Many themed pieces of the Astro Orbitor at Disneyland have been removed during the ride’s refurbishment. It closed in late November and will reopen sometime next year, but a date has not been announced.

Astro Orbitor Refurbishment

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For reference, above is a photo of the attraction when it’s open, and below is a photo of the attraction immediately after the refurbishment began.

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Almost all of the silver metallic planets attached to the attraction’s central support have been removed.

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A few of the smaller planets remain, as do the ones on the ground around the ride.

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The golden paneling has been removed from all around the bottom of the ride, revealing the framework and lift mechanisms.

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The ride vehicles aren’t visible behind construction walls, but may have been removed to be worked on elsewhere.

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The construction walls are decorated with signs telling the history of the attraction at different Disney resorts. The sign for the Walt Disney World Astro Orbiter had incorrect information but it has been replaced with a corrected plaque.

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With the paneling stripped away, it’s clear this construction work is an in-depth refurbishment.

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The ride may not see any major changes, but crews will perform maintenance on the inner workings before themed pieces are re-installed.

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Some paneling has been removed from further up the support as well.

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How do you feel about the extended closure of Astro Orbitor at Disneyland? Let us know in the comments.

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.

orbitron

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.

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At Magic Kingdom in Florida, the similar Star Jets opened in 1974. It was re-themed to Astro Orbiter (spelled with an “e” instead of a second “o”) in 1994.

At Hong Kong Disneyland, the ride is also known as Orbitron and was an opening day ride in 2005. 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, although are not exactly the same.

Star Jets existed at Tokyo Disneyland from its opening in 1983 until 2017, when the ride closed to make space for The Happy Ride with Baymax.

Jet Packs in Tomorrowland, Shanghai Disney Resort
Jet Packs at Shanghai Disneyland

Jet Packs is another celestial spinner ride at Shanghai Disneyland, although it looks very different from the other rides, with a large orb-shaped center and futuristic bench-shaped vehicles instead of rockets.

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Author

  • Shannen Ace

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.