Disney faces marketing challenge with Mission: Space

Posted Friday, February 7, 2003 3:50 AM | Contributed by General Public

Disney marketing executives have a challenge ahead as they prepare to open Mission: Space, a space flight simulator scheduled to open this year at Epcot. Consultants say that the ride will have to be promoted with sensitivity to avoid causing bad feelings following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Read more from ABC News.

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Friday, February 7, 2003 3:59 AM
Well, I suspect Disney will pull it together and do things the right way. This won't be a lot different than the Kennedy Space Center's efforts to continue promotion of its visitor center in light of what happened. They certainly aren't going to close down the attractions over there.
Friday, February 7, 2003 5:01 AM
What's more, there was an article on CNN on Monday that stated that the nation's various Space themed attractions and museums had a surge in attendance last weekend. My point being that despite the conventional wisdom to remove any space shuttle references and theming for sensitivity reasons, in actuality the direct opposite happened with the public being drawn towards them.

A good marketing spin, and they could bring this new attraction online without skipping a beat.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville

Friday, February 7, 2003 5:14 AM
As yet another aside, Alexa reports a 212% increase in traffic to Nasa.gov, which probably shouldn't surprise anyone.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

Friday, February 7, 2003 5:45 AM
Well, I for one was already planning a visit to the cape in my upcoming visit to Florida late this month. I am not changing those plans one bit. I am fully behind the space program and hope they can get some answers quickly and get back into space. I was actually planning on attending the shuttle launch on March 1 but we all know that wont happen anymore. I have seen one go up already but once you have seen one go up you want to see it more and more...

Bob Hansen

Wishing that Mission: Space would be finished earlier in the year, like when I am out there ;)

Friday, February 7, 2003 6:58 AM
Reminds me of the Twister attraction at Universal opening within a week of a major outbreak of twisters in Florida...what was that, 2 years ago?

"Know thyself!"

Friday, February 7, 2003 12:07 PM
Ugh, has anyone failed to realize that TOT was in the same exact position, yet it's still extremely popular? Not only that, but M:S hasn't even begun the test/adjust phase, it WON'T open till at least July, at the earliest. Us being the short attention span people that we are now adays, I think that alot of people won't even make the connection 6 months down the road.
Friday, February 7, 2003 3:11 PM
Has anybody actually been able to describe what the ride will even be?

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

Saturday, February 8, 2003 11:56 AM
Heres exactly what the ride is-

This is what the ride currently looks like-

Heres the promo poster for it (it's MY photo, don't steal it! )

The ride's queue will be themed to an astronaut training center. You'll be briefed and trained like an astronaut, then you'll board a "shuttle" to take to the International Space Station. You'll take off inside the space shuttle, pulling 2.5 g's(origionally slated to pull 4 g's, but early riders said it was far too intanse). Once you reach Space, you'll experience weightlessness for a brief period of time (around a minute). Everyone on the ride will be able to interact with the ride and will have specific tasks to complete while in the ride, the ride outcome will depend on how well each task is accomplished. Last I heard, there were 3 sets of paths with 5 outcomes so basicly there could be 15 different endings to the ride! Somewhere along the lines, a disaster occurs(I beleive it's a meteor shower) and you must return to earth. When you return to earth, you'll leave the shuttle and have the option of trying many different excersizes(not sure exactly what).

Here are a few more details-
The ride was origionally going to have a 2nd portion where you return to earth on a "Soarin over Cali" type ride system, but it was scrapped when Compaq said they had already spent enough. (Compaq is spending nearly 700 Million Dollars on this attraction/deal!)

How the ride system works-
The queue will hold approximately 1.5 hours of queueing (or about 3,000 people). The ride system will be made of 4 huge centrifuges, with 10 pods attached to each centrifuge. Each pod willhold 4 people for a total of 160 people per ride cycle(thats alot! nearly 2,000 riders per hour!). The centrifuges spin to nearly *200 RPM's to create the 2+ g's. The rapid slowdown of the centrifuges combined with the tilting of the pods will cause weightlesness for a 1-2 minute period. Right now, the post show throughput is severly limited, at about 300 riders per hour, this will haveto be fixed before the ride is finished, or lines will be astronomical. I don't think it'll be open by the target deadline of July 4th, they still have big problems to solve. Mainly synchronization witht he film, I'm hearing reports that CM's are getting VERY sick on the test version of the ride. As I said, they only have 1 centrifuge currently installed, and that one isn't even near ready to take riders... Lets not forget the Test Track mayhem, opening a full 19 months late!

It's being built by Entertainment Technology Corporation, heres a rendering of the ride vehicle and centrifuge-

A few specs on that centrifuge system-

- 3 DoF Electric Centrifuge Platform
- +40°/-55° Pitch
- ±25° Roll
- +360° Planetary
- Up to 4.5 G's - SUSTAINED
- 10 4-Seat Gondolas [40 Seats total per unit]

Simply put- If done correctly, this sucker looks like the ULTIMATE ride experience!*** This post was edited by ThePhantomLives 2/8/2003 5:01:25 PM ****** This post was edited by ThePhantomLives 2/8/2003 6:13:46 PM ***

Saturday, February 8, 2003 12:29 PM
Ah, thanks! I had not previously seen anything about what the actual ride system was going to be, so that's exciting to see!

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

Saturday, February 8, 2003 1:48 PM
ThePhantomLives said :"Us being the short attention span people that we are now adays, I think that alot of people won't even make the connection 6 months down the road."

I wouldn't say we have a short attention span. Afterall, people still flock to Ground Zero, NYC. And what is the first thing that comes to mind when people say "9-11" (September 11th). You don't need to specify a year to know people are referring to 9-11-01.


"Some people spend an entire LIFETIME wondering if they made a DIFFERENCE. The MARINES don't have that problem." -President Reagan 1985

Saturday, February 8, 2003 2:46 PM
Yes I do know that, but how many people look at Tower of Terror and say "bad idea, thats like the World Trade Centers". Heck, DCA's TOT was announced ON Sept 11th... I dont think M:Space will have alot of trouble as far as the Columbia tragedy. Heck, it may even go to show the dangers of space flight and why astronauts are truely heroes....
Saturday, February 8, 2003 8:05 PM
I wish you could opt for the "high-G" experience - 4.5 sustained G's - that's incredible! Regardless, if this is the 1st ride to give the rider true weightlessness for over a minute, that would be revolutionary. When you're weightless, will you be able to float around like in the shuttle, or are you locked in with a restraint? I hope they get some astronauts to ride it and judge whether or not it's realistic. I'm sure Disney will do it right, even if it takes awhile to get the kinks out. Where's it going exactly - where Horizons used to be? Well, can't wait to check it out - should be the best non-coaster experience this year.


Six Flags: "Catapulting shameless apostasy to a new stratum of excitement and entertainment!"

Saturday, February 8, 2003 8:44 PM
There will be an OTSR holding you in, and of course it won't be full weightlessness. Its called g-force training. The rapid spinning will disorient you, and the tilting of the pod combined witht he slowdown of the centrifuge will produce something like .3 g's, which is near weightlesness and going from 2.5 to .0 g's will certainly feel VERY close to weightlessness. CM's that have ridden it say its a very unique experience and that its a very convincing effect.

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