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Complete Guide to Astro Orbiter at Magic Kingdom

Complete Guide to Astro Orbiter at Magic Kingdom

Blast off on Astro Orbiter at Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland!

This retro space-themed ride is similar to attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, but is much faster and it gives you some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom and beyond!

Hold on tight as your spacecraft takes off, orbiting the galaxy. Control how high you fly by using the joystick in your ship, and don’t forget to enjoy the sights and sounds of Tomorrowland as you speed around.

Keep reading for our complete guide to Astro Orbiter.

Before we get too far into it, make sure you check out our guide on the Best Rides at Magic Kingdom for information on every attraction and show at Magic Kingdom.

Astro Orbiter Quick Facts

  • Location: Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom
  • Height req: None
  • Suitable for: Older kids and adults
  • Attraction length: About 90 seconds
  • Do we recommend? Only as a time filler
  • When to visit: First 2 or last 2 hours, Early Theme Park Entry or Extended Evening Hours
  • Lightning Lane available: No
  • Eligible for Early Entry: Yes
  • Eligible for Extended Evening Hours: Yes
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
  • Tip(s): If you ride at night, you get a fantastic view of Magic Kingdom.
  • Description: Hold on tight as your spacecraft takes off, orbiting the galaxy. Control how high you fly by using the joystick in your ship, and don’t forget to enjoy the sights and sounds of Tomorrowland as you speed around.

Location

You can find Astro Orbiter in the heart of Tomorrowland, near Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. It is in the Rocket Tower Plaza above the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

Here’s the location on the map:

astro orbiter location at magic kingdom

Download the PDF

magic kingdom park map

How to Ride Astro Orbiter

Astro Orbiter has a Standby Line. There is no Single Rider Line.

While Astro Orbiter is not one of the most popular rides at Magic Kingdom, the line can grow due to the boarding process (taking an elevator up to the ride vehicles).

astro orbiter tomorrowland

You shouldn’t make this a top priority, but only ride as a time filler — or at night for great views of the park.

Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels and select other hotels can also take advantage of this ride during Early Theme Park Entry or Extended Evening Hours.

Do I need to use Genie+ at Astro Orbiter?

Genie+ is not offered at Astro Orbiter.

Rider Switch/Child Swap

Astro Orbiter does not offer Rider Switch, since that service is typically reserved for rides that have a height requirement.

Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.

You can learn more about Rider Switch via our handy guide.

What to Expect when you Ride

Queue

The majority of the outside queue is on the ground level. While there aren’t any interactive elements, it is unique in that you have to take an elevator to board the ride.

astro orbiter queue

Once you get to the front of the ground-level line, a Cast Member will direct you onto the elevator that takes you up two stories to the attraction.

You will exit the elevator and enter a shorter queue to board your rocket ship. 

Ride Vehicles

On the Astro Orbiter you’ll ride a colorful rocket with a joystick that allows you to go up and down.

astro orbiter ride vehicle

Each vehicle fits two guests, one in front and one in back. If you are riding with little ones, seat them in the front.

Make sure you buckle your seatbelt because this ride is fast!

Accessibility Information

Guests in wheelchairs or ECVs must transfer to the ride vehicle.

astro orbiter

Motion Sickness

Even though Astro Orbiter isn’t one of the big thrill rides at Disney World, it is high up and you spin around in a circle. This combination may cause some people to feel ill or dizzy.

If you are prone to motion sickness, we have a helpful guide on the rides that may aggravate it.

On the Ride

If you prefer to experience Astro Orbiter without spoilers, you may want to blast over this section.

The Astro Orbiter is a rocket-spinner, aerial carousel-type attraction, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

astro orbiter elevator

However, when you ride Astro Orbiter you are two stories up and you will really feel as if you’re blasting off as this ride goes much faster!

astro orbiter lit up at night

Use your joystick to adjust the height of your rocketship to either stay on the same level as the boarding platform or take off higher to zoom past planets and to see some amazing views of the Magic Kingdom and the surrounding area.

Is Astro Orbiter Kid-Friendly?

Yes, Astro Orbiter is kid-friendly. But, keep in mind that it is much higher than The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Plus, it spins a bit faster making it more appropriate for older kids and adults.

We have a full guide on several other things that might scare little ones at WDW.

Strollers

Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World, including Astro Orbiter. Instead, you’ll need to leave your stroller in the designated nearby stroller parking area.

History

Before becoming Astro Orbiter in 1994, this Tomorrowland space flight attraction was known as the Star Jets, which you can see below.

The Star Jets first opened in November 1974, when Tomorrowland was expanded to include the new Space Mountain, the Carousel of Progress, and the WEDWay PeopleMover, now known as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

The ride vehicles were modeled after the Apollo-Saturn rockets and propelled guests up to 60 feet above the park.

vintage astro orbiter photo

On January 10, 1994, Star Jets closed in order to undergo a complete makeover as part of the New Tomorrowland.

vintage astro orbiter at night photo

The attraction re-opened on April 30, 1994, as the Astro Orbiter. A highly stylized iron-work tower replaced the original center rocket and planets from the solar system were added so guests would feel as if their rockets were weaving between them. 

Other Fun Details

  • Astro Orbiter rotates at 11 rotations per minute. That means that it completes one full rotation in less than 6 seconds!
  • The attraction operates all day every day, except during inclement weather. This means that the attraction rotates an average of around 1.2 million miles a year. 
astro orbiter at night in tomorrowland
  • When you ride Astro Orbiter, you are circulating at one of the highest points in Tomorrowland. This is why Astro Orbiter gives guests one of the best views in the Magic Kingdom! You’ll also see Disney’s Contemporary Resort and other areas that are close by. While the view is great during the day, it is even stunning when the park is lit up at night.
  • From 1994 to 2009 the narration for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover referred to the ride as the “League of Planets Astro Orbiter.”

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