Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is an attraction that is located in Walt Disney World Resort at the Magic Kingdom theme park. The ride is an interactive motion ride that allows guests to shoot targets while moving between various Buzz Lightyear scenes. Each target that guests hit earns them points that are displayed on a screen. The objective is to earn the most amount of points possible and become a Galactic Hero. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin features a vehicle that can hold up to two guests. The vehicles are on a track and continuously move without stopping. Each guest sits in front of a laser blaster that is shaped like a blimp space ship.
There are also other versions of the ride at the various Walt Disney Company theme parks around the globe. This article focuses on the version of the ride that is at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World is located just outside of Orlando, Florida in the city of Bay Lake.
Above photo of the front of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin by David Aughinbaugh II and NavFile.
Location – Magic Kingdom
The attraction is located in Tomorrowland near the east entry point of the land. When traveling from the center of the park and the Partners Statute, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin can be found by continuing across the bridge into Tomorrowland and then making a left at the main hub area (where the Astro Orbiter is). The ride is highly visible due to the signage that is used for the ride.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin takes guests through a story that has them helping Buzz Lightyear stop Zurg and his team from stealing crystallic fusion cells (also known as batteries). The entry point for the ride is at the front door; however, guests are directed to a queue area that starts right outside of the attraction’s building. After navigating the outside queue, guests then enter the indoor queue that has artwork for the ride.
At the boarding area, a Cast Member (Walt Disney team member) asks guests how many people are in their group and then directs them to board the attraction’s vehicle. Guests board a moving ride vehicle or car that is in the shape of a circle or oval. The vehicle is called the XP-37 Star Cruiser. The ride vehicle is constantly in motion and guests have to walk on a moving walkway and then jump on the ride.
Once onboard, the front table of the vehicle moves toward the riders and locks. The front table contains controls to spin the vehicle, the laser blasters, and the score display. As the vehicle moves, guests are then introduced to the story and can start shooting targets and earning points. There are numerous targets that are in each of the scenes that the ride car travels through. Some of the targets have high point totals and are the secret targets that allow guests to quickly get to the highest score (999,999). Some of these secret targets are discussed in our upcoming tips and secrets page.
When at the end of the ride, guests are presented with a chart of ranking levels based on the score that they achieved. The rankings are the following:
0 – 1,000 Star Cadet
1,001 – 10,000 Space Scout
10,001 – 100,000 Ranger 1st Class
100,001 – 300,000 Planetary Planet
301,000 – 600,000 Space Ace
600,001 – 999,998 Cosmic Commando
999,999 Galactic Hero
Above photo of the ride vehicle for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin by The Walt Disney Company. Used under the fair use provision.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin opened its doors to the public on October 7, 1998. The attraction was inspired by the Pixar film, Toy Story 2. In that film, the evil emperor Zurg plays a major role in the movie. Toward the end of the movie, Rex ends up taking out Zurg by accidentally knocking him off the edge of the elevator. Rex starts the sequence in the movie by saying “Buzz you could have defeated Zurg all along. You just have to believe in your self!” Rex then spins as he does not want to see Zurg blast Buzz and hits him with his tail. Zurg falls off the elevator and Rex responds by saying “I did it, I finally defeated Zurg!”
With inspiration from that movie, Walt Disney Imagineers built Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The attraction replaced the Take Flight and Delta Dreamflight attraction that was housed in the same building. That attraction was launched in June 1989 and replaced the If You Had Wings attraction that was sponsored by Eastern Airlines.
At the beginning of 1996, Delta stopped sponsoring the ride and Walt Disney World transitioned to a call the ride Dreamflight and then Take Flight. In 1998, Take Flight was closed to begin construction on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin Opening Day
On October 7th, 1998, the “Buzz ride” was opened up to guests. Information on opening day is very limited as we have not found any reports on how it went and if there was a special opening day ceremony.
The above photo of the entrance area for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin by Matt Wade on Flickr. Photo has been enhanced by NavFile and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.
Buzz Lightyear Roller Coaster
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is not a roller coaster; however, it is an interactive moving attraction. The ride uses a track system to move the car that you travel in. The car contains a moving table that contains the controls that guests use to spin the vehicle and to shoot targets. The table has two laser blasters that are used to hit the targets that are part of the ride.
There is no Buzz Lightyear Roller Coaster that exists across the entire Walt Disney Parks portfolio.
To learn more about Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, please see the other articles that are contained the article menu.