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Magic Mondays: Astro Orbiter

Soaring high above Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom you will find the Astro Orbiter. This ride was not an opening day attraction at Disney World; in fact, Tomorrowland didn’t have many attractions on opening day. In 1974-74 Tomorrowland was finished and much more closely resembles the Tomorrowland of today that we all know and love.

Astro Orbiter

Fly above Tomorrowland on the Astro Orbiter

In 1974, one of the new attractions that opened was the Star Jets. In 1994, the ride underwent a face lift and name change and the Astro Orbiter was born. The ride, however, remained largely unchanged from it’s original incarnation as the Star Jets. The Astro Orbiter is located on top of the People Mover platform. You take an elevator up to the loading area where you board one of the 12 open air rockets that “blast off” and make you feel like you are weaving through the planets that make up the decorative structure of the ride. Each rocket allows the pilot to control the rocket sending it higher or lower, much in the same fashion as Dumbo; except the Astro Orbiter moves a good deal faster than Dumbo!

A word of warning to those with a fear of heights – this ride takes you high above Tomorrowland – much higher (and faster) than Dumbo or the Magic Carpets. While you are afforded some amazing views, if you have a fear of heights, you should skip this ride. Personally I find that the views early in the morning, as you can see people streaming into the Magic Kingdom and after sundown where you can see all of Tomorrowland (and further beyond) lit up for night to be some of the best views on Astro Orbiter. And due to the slow loading nature of the ride those are optimal times to ride the Astro Orbiter as well. During the day, lines can easily stretch to 30 minutes or more since you have to ride the elevator to the loading area, load the ride, ride the elevator back down – these lines quickly build during midday. Hit this ride early or as one of your last stops and you will have a great view AND a shorter line!

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