Mission: SPACE

August 15, 2003
Official Soft Opening

All Ears® Reporter Dotti Saroufim was in Epcot and talked to folks as they completed their Mission in Space!

Folks were asked:

** to rate the ride on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being "awesome."
** if they'd ride the ride again. If the answer was yes, they were asked if they'd ride a second time without waiting for their bodies to recover.
** if they came to Epcot today because of Mission: Space


Alan Berni and Kevin SmithAlan Berni, Kevin Smith (pictured) - also Mom and Dad Berni

Both 18 years old, from Long Island, NY. They rated the ride between 4 and 5, and would go on "again and again and again, all day long." They said that they didn't feel a wait was needed between trips.

There were two adults with them. Both rated the ride a 5, but one adult came off "woozy."

The Funk Family

Funk Family from Fort Meyers, Florida

Garrett Funk is 7 years old and gives the ride a 4 after his second trip. Mom gives the ride itself a 4 or 5, but her experience on the ride a 2. She said it's just not her "cup of tea" and didn't like when it feels as if all the air pressure is sucked out of cabin.

4 Guys from Nashville

Stephen W. Phillips, Chad Ravert, Jim Hennessey, Bill King

From Nashville, TN, and all in their 20's and 30's. All enthusiastically rated this ride, their 2nd time, as a high 5. They came to WDW especially for the opening this weekend and even made T-shirts to celebrate the occasion.

Cathy from North Carolina

Cathy gave the ride a 5, but gave her experience only a 2 due to feeling queasy. Would she do it again? Yes, maybe, I don't know. Would she do it again right away? No way. She took Dramamine, but was still dizzy.


Tim Vollink and Will HamiltonTim Vollink, Will Hamilton

Ages 23 and 25, from South Carolina.

Both gave the ride a 4, only because they expected more due to all the hype. They'd both ride again, they both would ride immediately, and they came to WDW especially to ride Mission Space.

John and Pete, ages 14 and 15, from Boston, MA

Both gave the ride a 3, saying it wasn't as intense as all the hype made it out to be. Both would ride again and both would ride again immediately. One was a bit dizzy, one not. (Update: After three more rides, they admit that the more they rode, and the more they rode with loud and enthusiastic friends, the more they liked the ride. They also say that lifting your head and looking around, a guarantee to cause dizziness, made the ride more exciting. Okay..we'll take your word for it, guys.)

Russell FamilyRussell Family from Tewksbury, MA

Five of the six family members rode, the children ranging from 7-14 years old. Mom gave the ride a 5, but her experience only a 2 (motion sickness). The 10-year-old daughter gave the ride a 5, but her experience a 3. She felt sick and dizzy afterwards, but would definitely go on again if it was guaranteed she "wouldn't get sick." Everyone else, including the 7-year-old, gave the ride a 5 and would go back again right away. The 14-year-old daughter, an aspiring astronaut, loved the ride and the hands-on activities afterwards.

Sneak Preview 4/22/03 -- I just got to preview part of this attraction, and was it amazing! While the Imagineers were tight-lipped about the ride itself (we couldn't even view the pre-show video, since it gives away too much of what the ride is like, I guess), we could walk through the pre- and post-show areas. I was able to talk to one of the lead developers for about 15 minutes alone, then he gave the tour of the interior. Mike, who is the executive director of attraction programming, would only say that the ride "shakes, rattles and rolls", will last 5-7 minutes, and that your mission is to go to the polar ice cap of Mars. The only example he would give of what occurs during the ride is that one of your tasks might be to eject the solid rocket boosters. He also I asked him specifically about the "spew factor" we've been hearing so much about, and he said they had done extensive testing on that and he felt pretty confident that the vast majority of the public would NOT get sick now on the ride. Even though we couldn't ride, or take pictures of the interior, we did have an opportunity to experience all the activities in the post-show area.