Are you planning a visit to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom soon?
Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of the space-themed Astro Orbiter (arguably the most photogenic ride in the park), and want to learn more!
Well, you’ve come to the right place! As it’s perfect for children, families, and Disney adults alike, Astro Orbiter is undeniably popular.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Astro Orbiter attraction!
What Is the Astro Orbiter?
The Astro Orbiter is a popular rocket spinner ride located in five different Disney theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom park in Florida.
In this space-themed ride, you’ll sit in mini-rockets and whizz through the air while orbiting a central sun and weaving through planets!
The first variation of the Astro Orbiter was opened in 1956 and was called the Astro Jets. Since then, the attraction has remained a family favorite and continued undergoing many exciting modernizations.
In 1994, the attraction was officially reopened with its current name during the unveiling of the new “Tomorrowland”.
Where Is the Astro Orbiter Located?
Though the Astro Orbiter is located at five different parks, we will be discussing the Astro Orbiter at the Magic Kingdom Park, located close to Orlando in sunny Florida.
The Magic Kingdom Park is known for its Cinderella Castle, a life-sized recreation of the Disney castle that’s undoubtedly one of its most iconic attractions. With its lively atmosphere, the park succeeds in inspiring whimsicality in children and adults alike!
Inside the park, you can find the Astro Orbiter in the center of Tomorrowland.
Tomorrowland is a stylized section of the Magic Kingdom park that was originally themed to depict a futuristic universe.
As the future has come to fruition, Tomorrowland acts more as a fantastical time capsule of yesterday’s take on today than an up-to-date vision of the future. Some like to describe it as “retro-futurism”.
Tomorrowland is to the right at the intersection after the main entrance. However, you won’t need to worry about getting lost, as there will be plenty of signage leading you to the attraction!
Astro Orbiter Experience: What To Expect
Astro Orbiter Queue
The queue for Astro Orbiter uses an elevator to reach the attraction’s platform.
You will see people lining up for the elevator near the Electric Umbrella restaurant. Make sure you join the correct one because the queues for the PeopleMover and the Astro Orbiter are pretty close.
On average, there is a moderate waiting time for the Astro Orbiter as the ride only has a limited capacity. During popular times of the year, the wait can last for almost an hour!
Unfortunately, there’s no Lightning Lane for this ride. If you want to try it, you really have to wait.
While you’re waiting, you may want to snap pictures of this photogenic attraction. Don’t forget your camera!
Astro Orbiter Seats
Following the space theme, Astro Orbiter seats are placed inside a miniature model rocket. The rocket can hold up to two passengers, with one in the front and one in the back. Unfortunately, you can’t sit together side by side!
Since the seats are not fully enclosed, your head and arms will be in the open air. Taller people might find the seats cramped and uncomfortable, as you’re basically squeezing yourself into a small, tight space.
Astro Orbiter Ride
The Astro Orbiter boasts impressive views of Tomorrowland and the surrounding Magic Kingdom!
During the ride, you’ll be seated in your own rocket ship that revolves around a central sun.
There will also be a lever in front of you that you can use to control how high you fly during the experience.
If there’s one thing that Astro Orbiter gets right, it’s the immersive experience. This lever feature makes you feel like you’re piloting your own rocket through space!
A fair warning, however: The Astro Orbiter is the tallest and fastest of the park’s raised carousel rides.
Still, because of the views (and the fact that the park is gorgeously illuminated at night), the Astro Orbiter offers a one-of-a-kind, mesmerizing sight.
As a fun fact, the Astro Orbiter travels approximately 1.2 million miles per year!
Astro Orbiter Ride Time
The ride time for the Astro Orbiter is approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds. Though the ride time may seem short in comparison to the queue, the view makes it all worth it.
Besides– being on a speeding rocket for too long might cause motion sickness to the average rider!
Astro Orbiter Accessibility
You’ll have to take an elevator to the Astro Orbiter platform. If you’re in a wheelchair or ECV, you’ll need to be transferred to a rocket during the ride.
Astro Orbiter Health and Safety Advisories
While Tomorrowland isn’t known for its thrills, it scores points for being a very family-friendly space!
Your primary concern with this ride is its nerve-wracking height and the risk of motion sickness; the Astro Orbiter soars as high as 80 feet in the air and spins as quickly as 11 rotations per minute.
You can expect that the forces in this ride to be stronger than in similar attractions such as Dumbo or The Magic Carpets.
As an additional warning, certain parts of the outdoor queue for this ride aren’t shaded. Make sure you bring hats and bottled water and apply sunblock before lining up!
Astro Orbiter Age And Height Restrictions
There are no age, height, or weight restrictions for the Astro Orbiter. However, children under seven years old should be accompanied by a guardian who is at least 14 years old.
Since there are no age restrictions, you can even ride with your baby!
Astro Orbiter Other Restrictions
Besides children under seven years old needing to be accompanied by a guardian, this ride has few other restrictions. Since the attraction is outdoors, the ride does stop operating if weather conditions are unfavorable.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Astro Orbiter?
Since the ride’s queue has a tendency to grow quite long, it’s best to visit this ride early in the morning or late in the evening. Off-peak months are also the best times to visit!
If you’re still at the park after dark, the view at night is quite impressive thanks to the multiple pretty lights. You’ll also get to see the whole park glittering at night.
And if you manage to time it correctly, you’ll also be treated to an impressive 360-degree view of the fireworks display from the Astro Orbiter!
Fortunately, fireworks displays happen every night at Magic Kingdom. The display starts between 8 and 10 pm, depending on the season.
If you check Disney’s park calendar, you’ll be able to find out the exact time that the fireworks display will start!
The Bottom Line On The Astro Orbiter
The Astro Orbiter has been a family favorite and Disney classic since the fifties. The space-themed ride takes riders on an exciting, interplanetary orbit around the “sun” high up in the air!
Although the queue might be long at times, the ride’s view is well worth the wait. It’s even more impressive at night when the entire park is lit up and dazzling. Whatever the case, you’ll be sure to have a surreal and unforgettable experience!
Since the Astro Orbiter doesn’t have age, height, or weight restrictions, anyone can enjoy the attraction. However, you should definitely exercise caution if you have a fear of heights or are susceptible to motion sickness.
Most importantly: Make sure to have fun, space cadets!