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Astro Orbitor

Opened

November 28, 1974 (as Star Jets)

Land

Tomorrowland

Vehicle capacity

24

Astro Orbitor is a rocket-spinner attraction featured at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World. It features rockets spinning around a central monument, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, but faster and higher in the air.

History[]

No form of the attraction existed in the Magic Kingdom until 1974, three years after the park's opening, when Tomorrowland underwent a massive expansion including the creation of Space Mountain, a new location for the Carousel of Progress, and the WEDWay PeopleMover. Star Jets was considered the focal point of Tomorrowland due to its soaring, spinning rockets and central location.

This version of the attraction was based on the Disneyland version, in both location (on top of the PeopleMover platform) and in style (both feature a large Saturn V rocket). However, the attraction vehicles were different than any other previous form, as they were much larger and featured a flatter back-end and larger tail fins. Each of the twelve open-air vehicles was attached to the central axis by a 20 foot arm. The vehicles held up to two passengers who circled round and round, 80 feet above the ground, while controlling their ascent and descent with a metal control stick.

In 1994, the attraction was re-designed and re-opened as the Astro Orbiter, part of the complete renovation of the park's Tomorrowland section. The attraction featured a highly stylized iron-work tower in lieu of the center rocket, along with various planets on the outside of the attraction, to appear as if the rockets were weaving between the planets. The ride at the Magic Kingdom does eleven rotations per minute and averages 1.2 million miles a year. In the narration for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the ride is referenced as the "League of Planets Astro Orbiter."

Incidents[]

On October 9, 2011, a fire broke out in the centerpiece of the attraction structure. Authorities reported that the fire was caused by a light bulb that shorted out and started to smolder. The incident occurred shortly after the park had opened for the day, and no guests were aboard the ride when the fire was discovered. The attraction re-opened the following day.

Sources & External Links[]

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