Are you trying to work out “Is Mission: SPACE scary”? Take a ride with me as I dive deep into EPCOT’s infamous (but fabulous!) space adventure simulator.
If you’re heading to Disney World anytime soon, you might be trying to work out your EPCOT itinerary.
And part of your trip planning might have you asking the question: “Is Mission: SPACE scary?”.
This interesting space exploration ride is kind of infamous as it can cause major motion sickness with centrifugal force.
But honestly, isn’t that what space travel is all about with zero gravity?
If you’re trying to work out whether to ride the GREEN or ORANGE Missions or simply want to understand the ride’s layout, I’ve got you.
This detailed guide will cover everything from potential drops and speed to that pesky G-Force.
Now let’s do this thing!
What is Mission: SPACE?
Mission: SPACE is an attraction at Disney World that uses a motion simulator to recreate the feeling of space exploration.
It’s all about using centrifugal force to create that feeling of G-Force on the body.
To make it more family-friendly while still appealing to thrill-seekers, there are two separate missions you can take.
Don’t worry – I’ll get to these in just a second as the distinction is SUPER important if you’re prone to getting nauseous.
In terms of what to expect, the motion simulator tilts and spins to simulate the speed of a spacecraft.
There’s a focus on launching and reentering the atmosphere, so it certainly feels otherworldly and slightly strange.
What Are the Different Levels in Mission: SPACE?
There are two different levels in Mission: SPACE and these are GREEN and ORANGE.
GREEN lets you orbit the Earth, while ORANGE involves venturing further out to Mars.
The ride uses the same aspects of motion simulation, but GREEN doesn’t have the same G-Force and spinning motion.
GREEN is far milder than ORANGE (almost ridiculously so!) and ORANGE spins you in a chamber that creates 2.5Gs of force.
That’s quite a lot of force on the body for a theme park ride.
GREEN does move, but it tilts and blows air at you instead which creates the feeling of movement without the G-Force.
Is Mission: SPACE Scary?
I’ll be honest with you and say that I personally find Mission: SPACE scary.
I don’t particularly enjoy the feeling of weightlessness and pressure from the G-Force and I don’t love enclosed spaces.
And that’s a lot of what this ride is all about.
Now, it totally gives you an accurate glimpse into what space travel might be like, and budding astronauts will adore that.
But if you get easily motion sick and don’t feel like spinning around with the help of a centrifugal arm?
Well, it’s not going to be the best thing in the world.
A lot of people that ride the GREEN mission say that they handle it without much of a problem as it tilts.
But the ORANGE mission is a whole other ball game as the G-Force is actually quite intense (I’ll get into that!).
I’d say that it was way more thrilling than it is scary as the theming is exciting and there’s nothing mentally scary here.
But the physical impact of the ride on the body during AND after you ride should make you think twice.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m absolutely NOT trying to put you off here and think it’s a fabulous ride for some people.
For me personally though, the motion sickness factor and the enclosed spaces are just too much for.
If you’re traveling with children, they also might find the concept of the buttons slightly scary.
You don’t actually need to control them, but kids might think that not doing this means something will go horribly wrong.
And when you’re also dealing with major motion and things potentially going awry in space, that can be super scary!
A Deep Dive on Ride Experience for Mission: SPACE
Now that I’ve given you a basic overview on whether Mission: SPACE is scary, let’s take a deeper dive.
I’d say that the main stressful aspects of this ride are the enclosed space and the ride exerting G-Force on the body.
When you combine these things, it’s a recipe for motion sickness and claustrophobia.
Obviously not everyone struggles with motion sickness, but it’s something you’ll want to seriously consider before riding.
I struggle just being in the passenger seat of a car, so I’m quite prone to motion sickness.
And for that reason, the ORANGE version of Mission: SPACE almost destroyed me (seriously, I almost left EPCOT!).
That’s not to say that you’ll struggle in the same way as me, but I simply found the G-Force and movement too intense.
The GREEN section of the ride was fine though, so let’s weight up WHY I might have felt that way!
Theming and ideas
In the Green Mission: SPACE ride, you’re orbiting Earth on a simulated space flight where unexpected things occur.
You get a feeling of lifting off and zero gravity without feeling quite as nauseous from the spinning.
On both rides, you enter a space capsule in the International Space Training Center.
For each ride, there’s a group commander, a pilot, a navigator, and an engineer (although you don’t actually need to do much!).
The capsules are small for both versions of the ride and you’ll bounce around a bit on GREEN before coming back to Earth.
I wouldn’t say it’s an entirely easygoing experience, but it’s a lot easier on the stomach than ORANGE.
There’s not a huge difference in the storylines here, but the ORANGE ride uses a centrifuge to spin you.
Otherwise, it’s the same space-based theming that you’ll be dealing with!
But I will mention that both space capsules face a couple of issues (without any spoilers) that might frighten younger kids.
You never feel like you’re at risk, but there’s a “threat”, if you will!
In terms of speed, the only ride you need to worry about is ORANGE as you’ll be spinning at 35 mph.
Although GREEN moves, it’s basically bopping around to simulate the events you’re seeing on screen.
There’s minimal (if any!) G-Force and you won’t experience the same intense pressure from the ORANGE version.
I’d say the story makes you feel like you’re moving relatively quickly, but the physical movement is minimal.
With ORANGE, you ARE spinning quite quickly to exert appropriate G-Force on the body that a mission to Mars would cause.
This is partly because the ride is trying to replicate what it’d feel like to be in a rocket accelerating against gravity.
There are absolutely no drops in Mission: SPACE as it’s a motion simulator ride that focuses on spins and tilts.
But honestly, there’s enough motion to make you feel as though you’re accelerating toward space.
And this might be too much for some people.
In terms of a dropping feeling, I’ll say the entire ride feels relatively similar to Star Tours.
So, if you can handle that I’d say you should have no issue with the stomach flopping in Mission: SPACE.
Just be warned that it’s significantly more intense in terms of making you feel nauseous than any rollercoaster.
G-Force is absolutely one of the top things that makes Mission: SPACE scary.
It often causes headaches, motion sickness, and nausea in people without a strong constitution for spinning.
And I’d say that’s most people!
I’d say that this is far more prominent in the ORANGE side than the GREEN side, but you’ll get a small amount on GREEN.
I’ll also say that you’ll spot motion sickness bags on the ORANGE mission, which probably shows how intense it is.
You can try and watch the video screen very intently while keeping your head further back (closing your eyes makes it worse!).
But overall, you’re going to get a relatively major hit of G-Force from the ORANGE mission.
If you’re wondering why, it’s because there’s a large multi-arm centrifuge that creates a huge feeling of acceleration.
You’re not actually accelerating (as you don’t go anywhere!), but the pressure and tilting of the capsule creates this.
And for a lot of people, the abdominal drops and pressure on the body can be a lot.
I’d say that it’s a hugely elevated version of a rollercoaster drop or hitting a bump in the road.
There’s a distinctive feeling of being “launched” (which is the point of the ride!), and many people might hate this.
And as you’re being exposed to 2.5 times the normal amount of pressure you’re used to normally – it can feel intense.
That’s where the 2.5Gs comes in, folks!
The G-Force won’t cause you to rise out of your seat, but it’ll push you back and make your limbs feel heavier.
And if you’re not expecting that, it can certainly be scary.
There’s one moment of darkness in the right where your screen is covered in ice and then goes black.
It’s not major, but it’s something to think about if you struggle with darkness.
There’s enough light in both capsules to put you at ease, but it’s technically considered a dark ride!
I’ll be real and say that enclosed spaces are 100% part of what makes Mission: SPACE scary for some people.
The capsules are quite small and are enclosed with a video screen to recreate the feeling of being inside a rocket.
It’s accurate, but quite unnerving as you feel contained.
I’ll also mention here that you’ll have an over-the-head safety harness that can make you feel even more constricted.
I won’t say that it’s crazy claustrophobic, but it’ll be enough to make you feel uncomfortable if you struggle with tight spaces.
Oh, and this goes for both the GREEN and ORANGE missions – they’re both in tight chambers!
ORANGE tends to feel slightly smaller because you’re moving with more force and you get a pressurized feeling.
So, it’s worth bearing that in mind before boarding.
Who Should Not Ride Mission Space and Are There Any Restrictions?
You need to be at least 44 inches tall to ride Mission: SPACE, and I’d seriously think about letting young children ride.
Although there aren’t any age restrictions, the ORANGE mission can be extremely intense for youngsters.
I’d even say that any children under 10 should skip it completely as it just exerts a lot of pressure on the body.
It’s not dangerous per se, but you might have to deal with a very motion sick child if you choose to chance it.
It’s worth mentioning that the GREEN mission has a height requirement of 40 inches (which is why it’s less intense).
If you’re not entirely sure whether your kiddo will handle it, I suggest letting them try GREEN first.
The pre-ride warnings also state that you shouldn’t ride if you have:
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Back problems
- Neck problems
- Issues with motion sickness
- Are pregnant
The ride is 100% safe, but the overall motion, tilting, and spinning of this ride can be aggravate certain conditions.
How long is Mission: SPACE?
The entire simulation lasts for around 4.5 minutes from start to finish.
If you get motion sickness, this will feel like an incredibly long time – so, proceed with caution!
Has anyone passed out on Mission: SPACE?
Believe it or not, 25 people out of 194 riders passed out on the ride from June 2005 to June 2006.
It’s not honestly that common, but the newfangled ride was causing some serious motion sickness when it first opened.
I’m not sure whether the ride was seriously revamped to tone it down (as it’s still intense!), but passing out doesn’t really happen now.
Just make sure you drink plenty of water and sit down for a while after riding ORANGE.
Trust me, it’s worth doing.
Which Mission: SPACE is scarier?
The ORANGE Mission Space capsule is undeniably the scarier and more intense one. Don’t board the wrong one by accident, I beg of you!
What are the side effects of Mission: SPACE?
I’d say that the main side effects of riding Mission: SPACE are nausea, vomiting, and potential fainting spells.
These are relatively rare side effects (in the extreme sense!), but they’re possibilities that you might want to consider.
Is Mission: SPACE fat-friendly?
The Mission: SPACE capsules have seats that are individually separated with a shoulder safety bar.
This comes down over the chest and is designed to fit snugly.
For this reason, it can be a bit of a squeeze for plus-sized guests as it may pinch around the hips, chest, and shoulders.
I’d say that it accommodates most body shapes and sizes, but if you’re worried about the added pressure from the ride?
Just skip it!
How realistic is Mission: SPACE?
Mission: SPACE is surprisingly realistic and cobbles together actual scientific engineering with a fun premise.
You won’t quite get the same weightless feeling as you get actually traveling to space.
But the 2.5Gs of force applied to the body are about as close as you can get while you’re on Earth!
The you have it: the ultimate guide that should help you answer the question “Is Mission: SPACE scary?”.
If you have any further questions about riding Mission: SPACE, just get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to answer all of your EPCOT-related queries to get you travel-ready!
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Grace is the creator, editor, and sole writer for Pixie Dust and Passports – a blog that’s ALL about Disney! She’s made it her life’s mission to visit the Disney parks as much as possible and loves trying new snacks, grabbing the latest spirit jerseys, and rocking Loungefly bags. Oh, and she also holds a BA in History from UCL, which makes her a research and deep-dive enthusiast into all things Imagineering.