Thursday, April 13, 2006

Disney World's Mission: Space

A Disney World guest died this week after riding the Mission: Space ride at Epcot. The guest had some health problems, and it's unknown whether there is any connection between the ride and her death. She is the second person to collapse and pass away after going on the ride.

While the linkage between Mission: Space and the deaths of the two riders is questionable, I nonetheless would like to see Disney remove this ride. It's a very intense ride which spins riders at twice the force of gravity in order to simulate blasting off into space. You have to be careful to look straight ahead at the screen in front of you in order to reduce the chances of becoming dizzy. My two older children liked it, but the rest of us found it most unpleasant, especially as we continued to feel the aftereffects in the hour following the ride. The lines for the ride haven't been very long on our visits -- we suspect because most people don't ride it more than once!

A side note of interest is that a manager of the gently rotating Garden Grill restaurant in Epcot's The Land told us in 2004 that after Mission: Space opened they had to slow down the restaurant's rotation speed, as diners seemed to be more sensitive to the circling after riding on the Space ride. The restaurant can be programmed to make its full circle, which allows diners to view a series of farming scenes, in 45 to 75 minutes. We were told at the time of our visit that the 45-minute speed was no longer an option for the restaurant due to aftereffects felt by riders of Mission: Space. I'd be interested to know if that's still the case.

Friday Update: Mission: Space receives more than twice as many guest complaints as Disney's other rides.


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