Not today, Zurg! Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, is both fun and games for all ages. With an infrared laser cannon, you’ll help fight Buzz Lightyear’s archnemisis, Zurg — and in the process, you’ll have the opportunity to become a Junior Space Ranger as you blast targets and earn points.
In fact, those who are best at the game might even end up walking away with the coveted Galactic Hero title.
To get ready for your space adventure — and learn our best tips for achieving that Galactic Hero status — keep reading for our guide to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
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.
Space Ranger Spin Quick Facts
Description: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is an Omnimover dark ride that is also a game at the same time.
While you travel in your ride car, you will use an infrared shooter to hit targets scattered throughout the game, trying to earn as many points as you can and beat Emperor Zurg before the ride is over.
You are also in control of whether (and how much) the ride spins around, which can help you earn even more points if you’re strategic about your movement.
Here’s the location on the map.
How to Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin has a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane. There is no Single Rider Line here.
Riding standby at this attraction with a low wait time is very doable, especially early in the day or right before park close. Though it’s not necessary to rush to the ride at rope drop, planning to join the queue sometime in the first couple of hours after the park opens will result in the shortest waits.
The longest wait at this attraction will be in the afternoon, but outside of the busiest times of the year, it typically won’t exceed one hour.
Do I Need To Use Genie+ at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin?
While Genie+ is available at this attraction, using your Lightning Lane selections for more popular attractions will likely be a more efficient choice.
During most of the day, the standby wait for Space Ranger Spin will likely be around 30 minutes, so it’s usually not necessary to make this ride a top priority when picking your selections.
Lightning Lane usually remains available for this attraction throughout the day, so it can be a great choice after you’ve hit all your top priority attractions or to stack with a Genie+ for a nearby headliner like Space Mountain.
For more advice on Genie+, be sure to check out our touring strategies for Magic Kingdom.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
Rider Switch, a service that Walt Disney World offers that allows adults to ride while another adult waits with a non-riding child, is not offered here. Usually, Rider Switch is used only at rides that have a height requirement.
What to Expect When You Ride
The queue for Space Ranger Spin is mainly indoors, but when there are longer waits, the line extends outside of the building.
Inside the building, the queue is themed to Star Command, and just before boarding, you’ll come face to face with an animatronic Buzz Lightyear who is pretty impressive to see, especially for kids and big Toy Story fans.
Buzz will explain your mission ahead: To defeat the evil Emperor Zurg, who’s trying to steal the “crystallic fusion cells” (or batteries) that power Star Command’s space vehicles.
Then, you’ll use a moving sidewalk as you prepare to board the ride.
The ride vehicles at Space Ranger Spin are Omnimovers — or vehicles that move continuously, even while you board, to accommodate a large number of guests quickly.
Each ride vehicle can fit at least 2 to 3 guests, depending if you have littles one with you. Keep in mind that there are only two laser cannons and two score-keeping displays in each car, along with one joystick that allows you to spin the vehicle as much or as little as you want.
There’s one pull-down lap bar for all riders, so if you’re riding with an infant, you will probably want to keep them on your lap for safety.
Guests using an ECV must transfer to a wheelchair for this ride. They will be able to stay in the wheelchair while riding in an accessible vehicle, boarding via ramp. One companion will be able to ride in the vehicle with them.
Handheld captioning and audio description are also available for guests with hearing or visual disabilities.
Your photo is taken on Space Ranger Spin, but not until the end of the ride. Pay attention to the room with the giant Emperor Zurg, because the camera is on him!
When you ride with a MagicBand or MagicBand+, your photo will automatically be uploaded to your My Disney Experience account. At the end of the ride, there’s also a touch point for those without a MagicBand to tap their park ticket or Memory Maker card. Your photo will then be added to your account.
You will have 45 days to download your photo, which is included in your Memory Maker purchase. You can also purchase the photo individually.
Guests purchasing Genie+ will receive digital downloads of their on-ride photos taken in the park on the day of their purchase, at no additional charge.
If your photo doesn’t appear in your app, you can visit the PhotoPass office in the park for help. In Magic Kingdom, it’s located inside the Town Square Theater near the front of the park.
Space Ranger Spin is a pretty tame attraction and moves slowly. Those prone to motion sickness might want to watch out for a brief section of the ride where you go through a simulated star tunnel. It can be helpful to close your eyes here.
There’s also a joystick in the ride vehicle that spins the car, but you can choose how much your vehicle spins (and even choose not to spin it at all).
For more information and tips, check out our guide on motion sickness.
On the Ride
Warning: There are spoilers ahead!
After you’ve received your mission from Buzz Lightyear and boarded your ride vehicle, you’ll want to have your hand on that shooter and get ready for action — the first targets come up quick!
After traveling through a dark tunnel, you’ll find yourself in space, surrounded by rocket ships, robots, aliens, and tons of batteries. Notice those black, orange, and green targets with the “Z” on them? That’s what you’re aiming for.
Each room you travel through will have a different theme. One minute, you’re surrounded by silly looking space creatures, the next, you’re inside the space ship with Zurg himself.
Toward the end of the ride, you’ll travel through the “emergency escape hatch,” or a tunnel of stars with plenty of opportunities to grab some last minute points.
Finally, you’ll celebrate Zurg’s defeat with another encounter with Buzz, and your final score will flash on the screen of your ride vehicle. A score of 999,999 is the highest you can get, and that makes you a Galactic Hero.
So how do you claim that elusive Galactic Hero status for yourself? Here are some tips that might help:
- Some guests find it helpful to hold down the trigger on the shooter the entire length of the ride.
- Go for targets with high points values. In the first room, that’s the giant robot — shoot his left hand for 100,000 points, and the claw on the right side of the ceiling for another 100,000 points.
- In the second room, the top target on the volcano is worth 50,000 points.
- When you see Zurg, hit the target on the bottom of his spaceship, under the word “pitiful,” for 100,000 points.
- You can hit all of the targets in the ride more than once, so keep shooting!
Is Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin Kid-Friendly?
Yes — this ride is a crowd pleaser with kids of all ages, especially Toy Story fans. It’s a slow moving, rather tame attraction, and even the spinning function is nothing compared to the kind of spins you’d experience on a ride like Mad Tea Party.
There’s a chance kids who don’t like the dark may not enjoy certain parts of this ride, though. For more help deciding what to ride and what to skip, check out our guide to things that scare little ones at Disney World.
You won’t be able to take your stroller in the queue with you, so it’s a good thing that there is ample stroller parking all over Tomorrowland. The area closest to Space Ranger Spin will be to the left of the ride’s entrance if you’re facing the queue.
Before walking away from your stroller, be sure to grab your valuables (like phones and wallets) and consider covering up your stroller with a poncho or rain cover, just in case one of those famous Florida downpours happens while you’re in the ride.
Following the massive success of Pixar’s Toy Story in 1995, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin opened in 1998 at Magic Kingdom.
As detailed by Undercover Tourist, before becoming an attraction dedicated to the beloved space ranger, If You Had Wings was housed inside the same building starting in 1972 using the same Omnimover ride system.
Initially, the ride was sponsored by Eastern Airlines and guests were able to experience the different cities that the airline flew to, like Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans.
But, when the ride switched to sponsorship by Delta in 1987, the attraction’s name changed to If You Could Fly. This attraction closed its doors in 1989.
The Walt Disney World iteration of this ride was the first to open worldwide, followed by similar versions in Disneyland in California, along with Shanghai Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland, though the ride in Hong Kong, which was called Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, has since closed.
Other Fun Details
- At the end of the ride, keep your eyes peeled for the Little Green Men near a Space Ranger with a mustache. Not only is there a hidden Mickey, but you can see Stitch in his stolen police spaceship outside the window.
- If you do manage to get a score of 999,999, you’ll earn the title of “Galactic Hero.” Let a Cast Member know in the store you exit into after getting off the ride and you’ll get a free “Galactic Hero” sticker. You might want to take a photo of your score to show a Cast Member, just to be safe.
- No, that’s not Tim Allen voicing Buzz on this attraction. Pat Fraley is actually voicing the animatronic here and sounds remarkably similar!
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