7 Out-Of-This-World Facts About Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

Calling all Space Rangers! Do you love Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom? In our house, this super-fun, interactive ride is usually on the Fast-Pass list. Here’s some stellar Space Ranger Spin trivia and tips to make your next galactic battle even better…

7. The Story – Created to immerse riders into Toy Story’s fictional world of Buzz Lightyear, the Space Ranger Spin begins by calling guests to join the Space Rangers in defeating the evil Emperor Zurg. Zurg has been busy stealing batteries from toys to power his own space ship weapon. New ranger recruits must track down Zurg and bring him to justice in a XP-37 Star Ship equipped with laser blasters. Aim your laser blaster at Zurg’s insignia throughout the chase to power him down and earn big points.

6. The Numbers – Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin opened in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland in October of 1998. Each space cruiser is designed to hold 2-3 people, but there are only two laser blasters in each car. Your ride through the Gamma Quadrant will take just over 4 minutes to complete.

5. The History – Prior to the opening of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, the building used to house two different rides (with four different names). Originally it was “If You Had Wings”, sponsored by Eastern Airlines. When Eastern dropped its sponsorship, it was renamed “If You Could Fly”, but the ride was basically the same. In 1989 the ride was shut down to be remade into “Delta Dreamflight”, which later came to be known as simply “Dreamflight” when Delta dropped sponsorship in 1996. In January of 1998 Dreamflight closed it’s hatches to be transformed into the first version of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. There have been slight modifications to the ride over the years, but due to popularity, it looks like Buzz is here to stay for quite a while. However, imagineers used elements of the past when designing Buzz’s ride. The tunnel where you seem to be traveling through hyperspace is original, as well as the window where you can glimpse riders of the TTA Peoplemover. Fun fact: there used to be three windows for the Peoplemover, but because of the ride’s reconfigurations, two windows are now blocked. Ever wondered about that hair salon scene? It used to be a window!

4. The Technology – The star ships that carry new recruits into galactic battle use an Omnimover system, similar to many continuously moving rides at Disney World. However, these vehicles are equipped with a guest-controlled joystick that allows the ship to do a 360 degree spin for better aim at the targets. The laser guns in the vehicles are harmless – to humans, that is. They use the same common laser technology that you may come across at the checkout in your supermarket. Today’s version of the blasters have a stationary base, but a previous version held the gun in the vehicle simply by a cord, allowing much freer aiming ability.

3. The Spin Around the World – The Magic Kingdom version of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was exclusive for several years. But in 2004 Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters opened in Tokyo, then in 2005 it debuted in Disneyland and Hong Kong. In 2006 Buzz went to Paris and in 2016 he’ll blast into Shanghai.

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2. The SCORE BIG Tips – Even if you miss all the targets and just push the trigger, you’ll get a minimum score of 1,300, which is good news for little riders. But if you want to score big (who wouldn’t?), here are some pro tips:

* Shoot for the high and far targets – they are worth more points.

* Look for the large, dark orange robot in the first room. Shoot his left hand for 100,000 points. Then spin around and aim at the claw for another 100,000 points.

* In the second room, shoot near the top of the volcano for 50,000 points. Then find the monster in a box for another big payout. Shoot the spinning target as you exit for a 25,000 point bonus.

* The target on the front of Zurg’s ship in the third room is worth big points. Also, if you hit the batteries on the bottom, they will fall over and you’ll get 50,000 points.

* Don’t take a break in the tunnel! Watch for animated targets that only appear for a second – they have huge payouts! Keep your eyes peeled as Zurg’s ship is destroyed, because the targets will flash quickly. Some say it’s best to turn backwards through the tunnel for easiest aim.

1. The Rankings – At the end your ride, you’ll see a board with the rankings of each recruit depending on scores. Your scoreboard will flash with “L-1” through “L-7” to alert you of your ranking from “Star Cadet” to “Galactic Hero”. If you get a score of 999,999 (or possibly higher, since that’s the highest tabulation available), be sure to take a picture of it! Not only will it make for great bragging rights, but if you show the score to a cast member in the shop as you exit, you will receive a commemorative surprise!

Now go forth and save the galaxy, Space Rangers!

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About Melissa

Melissa resides on Florida's beautiful Space Coast with her husband and four Disney-loving boys. She frequently allows skipping school for Disney World visits...because making memories is more important than math. Their family has also been seen on HGTV's hit show "My Yard Goes Disney."

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