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Thread: More Mouse: Remembering the Magic - Astro Orbiter

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    More Mouse: Remembering the Magic - Astro Orbiter

    Remembering the Magic - Astro Orbiter by Jonathan Heigl

    Jonathan Heigl looks back at the magic of the brief history of Astro Orbiter.

    Read it here!


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    One of the exciting and different aspects of this attraction was the fact that it was not just plopped on the ground somewhere—it was actually built on top of the central hub of Tomorrowland, which also served as the platform for the WEDWay PeopleMover.
    This part is key for this attraction to me. If comparing DL to WDW, I give WDW the prize for maintaining this attraction in what I consider it's "proper" location!

    It's just not the same with it plopped down at the edge of TL near the entrance from the hub in DL. I'm not sure if it was the short lived Rocket Rods that caused the move, but IMO, the Astro Orbitor in DL should be reclaiming it's space on top of what used to be the People Mover loading zone in DL.

    So as to re-imagining it with a motion simulator, I'm not really for that at first glance. Any conventional motion simulator would effectively just plop a building on top of this space. To me that's a waste of the uniqueness of the platform. Maybe if they did something where the screen was a dome of some sort so it would not look like a big box from the ground.

    If they wanted to do something really complicated like make it still be rockets, but two levels of them, with the two levels going in opposite directions, I'd go for that! Technically nearly impossible, I'm sure (engineering a safety system for that would likely be the hardest part), but can you imagine the hype that would generate! Ride would of course have to become much taller. I can see the twin lines now with the "top section" line running out of TL when it first opened!
    -Dave

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    Contributing Writer jheigl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post

    So as to re-imagining it with a motion simulator, I'm not really for that at first glance. Any conventional motion simulator would effectively just plop a building on top of this space. To me that's a waste of the uniqueness of the platform. Maybe if they did something where the screen was a dome of some sort so it would not look like a big box from the ground.
    I agree 100%. A big square building on top of a platform would look terrible. A dome shaped thing is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote this. We know that a dome shaped simulator is possible because that would be similar to what is used at Universal Studios for the Simpsons (formerly Back to the Future) ride. With something like this, they could set it up similarly (yet smaller scale) to the Simpsons ride by having multiple vehicles (star jets, rockets, whatever) be on different levels so that they can maximize the ride capacity. Again, I am not an engineer so I do not know the logistics, or even how much room is really there, so this may not even be close to being possible, just throwing out some "blue sky" ideas! Thanks for the comment! Hope you enjoyed this article and all the articles in the series so far!
    "Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. And for a brief moment, we have been among its many passengers."

  5. #4
    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    from a practicality standpoint a motion simulator attraction would not work on the old platform. If you look at a satellite image of Tomorrowland - you will see that the show building for star tours is quite large. You could not have just one cabin on the attraction because the throughput on the attraction would be dismal (even with 2 cabins). and you need enough space to allow for the six degrees of freedom. Remember - it's not just 4 walls and the seats.

    I think reimagining is spot on. just need to find the right thing.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

  6. #5

    My daughter loves this ride. Although the ride would be cool back up above the area, I wouldn't want to see it changed into something else.


  7. #6

    Any type of ride that wasn't visible to passers-by and that didn't take advantage of the view from the top of the platform would be asinine. Why put an enclosed ride up high in the middle of a visual hub?

    The Astro Orbiter is really the ideal ride for the space. It provides a "kinetic sculpture" for the hub, making it visually interesting to everyone walking by. It provides a little-kid-friendly ride in a land where the "rides" aren't necessarily all geared toward little kids.

    It's possible that a swing-type ride (like the Orange Stinger, um, I mean Silly Symphony Swings) would work there, but the visual appeal of rocket ships circling overhead is honestly the perfect ride for that particular location.


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