Magic Kingdom

Friday, April 07, 2006

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin is a popular attraction featuring characters from the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story at the Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland theme parks. Both attractions opened in 2005. It has also resided at Tokyo Disneyland as Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters since 2004, and will open at Disneyland Paris as Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast in 2006. The ride premiered at the Magic Kingdom in 1998 as Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. There is also a version of it in Walt Disney World's DisneyQuest under the name Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, but is a different ride system. The attractions use a third-generation Omnimover system, and are combination of a shooting gallery and a dark ride.

The backstory of the ride revolves around the attempts of Evil Emperor Zurg to steal the "power supplies" (i.e., batteries) used to power the space vehicles of the "Little Green Men." Participants are "Star Command" raw recruits sent to defeat Zurg. The queue area is awash in the chartreuse, white, and bright blue hues of Buzz Lightyear himself. Since Buzz Lightyear is a toy, the attraction is cleverly scaled to give the illusion that one has just been reduced to the size of an action figure, featuring such detail as giant, exposed Phillips screw heads and an explanation of the interactive phase of the ride that resembles a toy's instruction sheet, only on a gigantic scale. An Audio-Animatronic Buzz Lightyear figure and giant Etch-a-Sketch provide explanation of the "mission." The Buzz Lightyear figure utilizes both the latest Audio-Animatronic technology combined with an innovative video rear projection system for Buzz's face, resulting in one of the most lifelike Audio-Animatronic figures in Disney theme park history.


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