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Astro Orbiter: Attraction Spotlight

Fast Facts

Location: Tomorrowland, Disneyland

Opening Date: May 22, 1998

Height requirement: None

Age Requirement: Children under 7 must be accompanied

Who it’s for: The whole family!

Ride Length: 1.5 minutes

Fun Fact: There’s a version of the Astro Orbiter at every other Disney Resort except for Tokyo Disneyland.

Astro Orbiter is a spinner that recalls the early days of Disneyland. While it wasn’t an opening day attraction, the first version of the Astro Orbiter (called Astro-Jets at the time) opened in March 1956 — just eight months after Disneyland opened.

Astro Orbiter is yet another “spinner” ride — a ride trope that is well represented at Disneyland. Astro Orbiter is located just off the Hub, right at the entrance to Tomorrowland. Riding provides you the opportunity to see out into the Hub from above. While views of the Hub are good, the ride doesn’t really provide views into Tomorrowland due to the positioning of the PeopleMover / Rocket Rods track.

If you’re going to ride just one spinner at Disneyland, Astro Orbiters is skippable. I would recommend Dumbo for the increased charm of the ride vehicle. Most spinners have about the same wait time, so if

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The Official Word

If you’re interested in the official spiel, here’s how Disneyland’s site describes the attraction:

Blast Off!

Climb into a retro 3-passenger spaceship and prepare for launch! 

Hold on tight as your rocket levitates into the air and revolves around a galaxy of planets—inspired by centuries-old astronomical designs—as the sights and sounds of Tomorrowland whizz by below.

Steer Through Space

As the commander of your own rocket, you’re in control. Direct how high you fly by pulling or pushing the lever inside the ship.

Official Disneyland Website

Lizzie’s Take

Randy’s Take

Astro Orbiter is yet another spinner — and one with rather small ride vehicles at that. Comparing Astro Orbiter to Dumbo, a flying elephant will easily accommodate two adults, where as Astro Orbiter can feel slightly cramped by yourself. This ride is also positioned awkwardly in the middle of the main walkway to Tomorrowland. I always feel out of place waiting in line as people crush past to all other destinations.

This one is fun, but it’s on my “highly occasional” list. If I’m going to ride a spinner though, it’s probably going to be Dumbo for the better atmospherics.


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