Astro Orbiter with construction walls

PHOTOS: Astro Orbitor Central Column Repainted and Reinstalled at Disneyland

Shannen Ace

The central column of Astro Orbitor at Disneyland has been repainted and reinstalled. The attraction closed for refurbishment in November and is scheduled to reopen on March 15.

Astro Orbitor Refurbishment

Astro Orbiter with construction walls

The ride was dismantled and removed from Tomorrowland to be refurbished elsewhere, while some decorative planets remained behind construction walls. The bottom half of the central column with some of its themed plating is back. The top half of the column and its large planetary elements have not yet been reinstalled.

Central column

Near the top of the column is half of an orb. The top half will be reinstalled with one of the planets on an arm. There is a section in the middle of the column that is not currently covered with paneling.

Repainted plating

The orb and other plating look bright with new paint. The colors have not been changed, just refreshed.

Repainted plating and blue tarp

The ride vehicles have not yet returned. The base that the vehicle arms are attached to is visible below the themed plating, currently covered in a blue tarp.

Astro Orbitor planet with scaffolding

This decorative planet to the side of the ride is also being refreshed. Last we checked, some of the small moon elements had been painted with primer. Two of them have now been painted silver.

Astro Orbiter planet covered in tarps

The main planet and parts of its golden ring are covered in tarps to keep it protected during painting.

Disney’s first Astro Orbitor-type ride was Astro Jets, which opened at Disneyland in 1956. It was later renamed Tomorrowland Jets and then Rocket Jets before it permanently closed in 1997. Meanwhile, Star Jets opened at Magic Kingdom in 1974 and was renamed Astro Orbiter in 1994.

Orbitron, Machines Volantes opened at Disneyland Paris in 1992. Astro Orbitor, a replica of Orbitron, then opened at Disneyland in 1998.

Orbitron was an opening day attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005 and another rocket spinner called Jet Packs was an opening day attraction at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016.

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