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November 16, 2013

Magic Kingdom - Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin


As much as I detest the growing number of defunct attractions at Walt Disney World, this is one I don't get too mushy about. The area that is now home to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin has formerly been home to If You Had Wings (72-87), If You Could Fly (87-89), and Delta Dreamflight/ Take Flight (89-98), before becoming Buzz Lightyear's recruiting grounds in 1998. Personally, I am way too enamored with the current version to be too sappy over the past. Yes, it's really that cool!


I'm sure I'm not alone in the theory that being IN a video game would be pretty cool. That's essentially what Space Ranger Spin is! Guests load, two at a time, into their Space Cruisers as Buzz explains their role in this galactic face-off with the evil Emperor Zurg. Your Space Cruiser stays in continuous forward motion, but it also imparts 360° rotation capabilities that you control! Each cruiser is equipped with a joystick to control rotation, as well as two laser guns and digital scoreboards (one for each rider), all located on a panel in front of you.
These scoreboards keep track of how many Zurg targets you hit. To save the universe, you have to tackle those targets!! Aim for the bright, encircled "Z" targets that are peppered everywhere along the ride path - in font of, behind, and even above you. You'll know your aim is true as you watch that score jump. Your score can provide a sense of accomplishment, a little healthy competition, and even a Space Ranger ranking! Check the official scoreboard at the end of your mission to see where you rank.
 
This is another attraction that offers a fun, on-ride photo. While I don't often promote these (I find them to be overpriced and often horrid), the Buzz photo is worth considering. It's rare to find an on-ride photo on an all-ages ride, and this particular ride seems to lend itself to pretty amusing photo captures. Be on the lookout for that photo flash at the Zurg capture scene! At this point, your Space Cruiser will not allow you to use the spin feature, so don't fear the back-of-the-head shot.
The Buzz Lightyear ride lasts about four minutes, and the ride length varies greatly. It really is just a hit or miss situation. It moves fairly continuously, as does the ride loading process, and the majority of the queue is indoors. The queue has some fun, worthy elements along the way, so if the line isn't too long, just wait it out. Fastpass is available for a bail-out, though!

For those who want a leg up on the competition, scroll past the pic below for scoring pointers and "secret" insider tips. This is the equivalent of a cheat or spoiler, though.... so continue beyond the following photo at your own risk!


Okay, so you're like me. You get your space boots kicked each and every time you get challenged to this one, right? Or... you just want to wow your family by finding the 100,000 point-er! I'm here to help. Some of the highest point targets are very well hidden - an added challenge to the truly competitive who just NEED to hit "Galactic Hero" status. A few pointers to help you get the advantage and be the family hero.  
  • Aim for the centers of the targets.
  • The targets that are in "hidden" locations, distant or in motion are higher in point value.
  • The room that includes surrounding space projections is still part of the game! Aim at the spaceships!
  • The back of the left hand on the robot in the first room contains a 100,000 point target, as does the "claw" on the ceiling of the same room, near the transition to the next scene.
  • Aim for the top of the volcano in the second room for a booming blast of points!
  • In the third room, find Zurg at a control podium. Hit the target at the base of this for 100,000! 


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