To infinity and beyond! We're combating evil alongside Buzz in this secret history of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. This Tomorrowland ride occupies the same building as many past Magic Kingdom attractions! Did you know it uses the same ride system and track layout as the first ride built in the space in 1972? So, report to flight deck and gear up because we're going to save the galaxy!
The Secret History of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Magic Kingdom's Buzz Lightyear attraction opened in 1998, but If You Had Wings was the first ride to occupy the space in 1972. Sponsored by East Airlines, this Disney attraction used the Omnimover ride system to transport guests through different cities the airline flew to! After a 15 year run, Eastern Airlines halted sponsorship of the ride and it was renamed to If You Could Fly. However, that version of the attraction closed quickly in 1989 and then was completely changed to a new ride sponsored by Delta Airlines!
After a decade and some years and a couple of more transformations, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin finally made its grand opening in 1998. Disney Imagineers decided to keep some of the design and elements from the previous versions of the attraction.
We absolutely love this ride (I especially love competing with Lily to see who can get a higher score)! And obviously everyone else does too because in 2005, Disneyland Park opened its own Buzz Lightyear ride. The attraction named Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters has the same storyline as Disney World's version—guests join Buzz Lightyear in his mission to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg since he's been stealing batteries from other toys. Tokyo Disneyland actually opened a Buzz Lightyear ride in 2004, while Hong Kong Disneyland opened it in 2005. Disneyland Paris decided to follow suit a year later in 2006. Now you can join Captain Buzz Lightyear in Shanghai Disneyland as well!
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin Fun Facts
- The hyperspace/speed tunnel portion of the ride actually is an original element from If You Had Wings.
- Another original portion from previous rides is the window where you can see traveling guests on the PeopleMover! According to DisneyFanatic.com, there used to be three windows, but two are now blocked due to the ride's reconfigurations.
- If you just happen to earn 999,999 points, be sure to let a cast member know! You'll get a reward for reaching ultimate coolness.
- A tip to earn some major points—aim at the target on Zurg's ship. If you can successfully hit it, you'll see your score rise!
- Look at the batteries throughout the attraction. They're marked with "Made in Glendale," which is a reference to Disney Imagineering's headquarters in Glendale, Ca.!
- To soar through the galaxy and battle the Evil Emperor Zurg, you travel on a XP-37 Star Cruiser, which contains two laser-cannons!
Have you experienced all the various Buzz Lightyear attractions in the world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! And don't forget to scope out our Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin wait times and more!