Buzz Lightyear attractions

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Buzz Lightyear attractions
Space Ranger Spin sign.jpg
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
NameBuzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
AreaTomorrowland
Coordinates28°25′06″N 81°34′47″W / 28.4183°N 81.5798°W / 28.4183; -81.5798
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateOctober 7, 1998
Opening dateNovember 3, 1998
ReplacedIf You Had Wings
If You Could Fly
Delta Dreamflight
Take Flight
Tokyo Disneyland
NameBuzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters
AreaTomorrowland
Coordinates35°37′58″N 139°52′44″E / 35.6328°N 139.8789°E / 35.6328; 139.8789
StatusOperating
Opening dateApril 15, 2004
ReplacedVisionarium
Disneyland
NameBuzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
AreaTomorrowland
Coordinates33°48′45″N 117°55′04″W / 33.8124°N 117.9178°W / 33.8124; -117.9178
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateMarch 10, 2005
Opening dateMarch 17, 2005
ReplacedCircle-Vision 360°
Rocket Rods (queue)
Hong Kong Disneyland
NameBuzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
巴斯光年星際歷險
AreaTomorrowland
Coordinates22°18′50″N 114°02′33″E / 22.3139°N 114.0425°E / 22.3139; 114.0425
StatusClosed
Opening dateSeptember 12, 2005
Closing dateAugust 31, 2017 [1]
Replaced byAnt-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!
Disneyland Park (Paris)
NameBuzz Lightyear Laser Blast
AreaDiscoveryland
Coordinates48°52′25″N 2°46′39″E / 48.8735°N 2.7775°E / 48.8735; 2.7775
StatusOperating
Opening dateApril 8, 2006
ReplacedUn Voyage à Travers le Temps (A Journey Through Time)
Shanghai Disneyland Park
NameBuzz Lightyear Planet Rescue
巴斯光年星际营救
AreaTomorrowland
Coordinates31°50′06″N 121°23′29″E / 31.835°N 121.3913°E / 31.835; 121.3913
StatusOperating
Opening dateJune 16, 2016[2]
General statistics
Attraction typeShooting dark ride/animatronic show in queue
ManufacturersSansei Yusoki
Arrow Development (Magic Kingdom)
DesignerWalt Disney Imagineering
ThemeToy Story
MusicRandy Newman
Vehicle typeOmnimover
Riders per vehicle2-3
Duration4-5 minutes
SponsorFujifilm (Tokyo Disneyland), Mattel (Walt Disney World) 1998-1999
FastPass+ available
Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair accessible

The Buzz Lightyear attractions (a.k.a. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, or Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, depending on the park) are a series of Tomorrowland shooting dark rides based on the 1999 and 2000 Disney/Pixar films Toy Story 2 and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins located at five of the Magic Kingdom-style Disney Parks (all except for Hong Kong Disneyland). Although each ride may have a different name (as seen on the infobox to the right), all share the same plot and major characters. As each form of the attraction appeared, new technology has allowed the guest to better interact with the ride and even connect with personal computer users.

The attractions use a third-generation Omnimover system, and are combination of a shooting gallery and a dark ride. The first ride featured laser guns that were not movable, but later versions featured the guns that are held in a holster and movable with the exception of a cord to keep them in the vehicle after the ride has ended. In 2005, the Walt Disney Company premiered a home version of the ride in the form of an internet video game that allows users to connect with guests at the parks. The scores of each guest from the dark ride are tallied with the internet gamer and increase the points won. There was also an attraction at Walt Disney World Resort's DisneyQuest with the name "Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters," where players rode and controlled cars while shooting "balls" at each other. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin was named the 2004 Disney Magazine Reader's Choice Award winner for Best Magic Kingdom Park Attraction for Young Kids.[3]

Mattel, having just transferred its sponsorship from the It's a Small World attraction thus in turn making that attraction sponsorless in nearby Fantasyland originally sponsored the Walt Disney World attraction from its opening to 1999 when all references to Mattel were removed from the attraction. The Disney World version has been without sponsorship ever since.

Plot[edit]

The back story of the ride revolves around the attempts of Evil Emperor Zurg (voiced by Frank Welker in the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin attraction and Andrew Stanton in the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction) to steal the batteries (known as "crystallic fusion cells") used to power the space vehicles of the "Little Green Men." (voiced by Jeff Pidgeon and Debi Derryberry) 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 (voiced by Pat Fraley, who does voice for all Buzz Lightyear attractions). 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 Philips 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 (Disneyland) and/or Viewmaster (Disney World) provide explanation of the "mission" to destroy Zurg's secret weapon with your blasters. While his body is audio-animatronic, Buzz's face is actually a screen with a projection of computer animation, allowing better lipsync and more expressive features, making him look like a more realistic representation of the character from the films.

Technical aspects[edit]

"Astro Blasters" and "Space Ranger Spin" are equal parts shooting gallery and dark ride. Visitors board an Omnimover space vehicle featuring two laser pistols and a joystick. The pistols are used to shoot laser beams at targets of varying point values. Targets that are hit while lit up will produce much higher scores. A digital readout on the dashboard shows the player's score. The joystick allows full 360-degree rotation of the vehicle to assist in aiming. During the ride, if the ride slows down or completely stops (this is a result of either a handicapped guest or a ride breakdown) during the ride, this allows for "bonus points" as the pistols and targets do not turn off. There are 4 different shaped targets which are worth different numbers of points: round (100 points), square (1,000 points), diamond (5,000 points), and triangle (10,000 points).

At the conclusion of the ride, the digital score flashes L1-L7 displaying the ranking or level achieved for the below scores:[4]

  • Level 1 Star Cadet: 0 – 1,000
  • Level 2 Space Scout: 1,001 – 10,000
  • Level 3 Ranger 1st Class: 10,001 – 100,000
  • Level 4 Planetary Pilot: 100,001 – 300,000
  • Level 5 Space Ace: 300,001 – 600,000
  • Level 6 Cosmic Commando: 600,001 – 999,998
  • Level 7 Galactic Hero: 999,999+

At one point in the attraction, each person is photographed during game play and has the option of sending a free electronic postcard via e-mail at the exit queue. The photos include the player's score. If the score is in the top 100 highest of the day, the player's ranking is also included in the photo. The Top 10 players' scores are shown on the scoreboard at the exit queue, along with three letters that the person chooses to identify themselves. The top person gets their face posted on the screen.[citation needed] The Disneyland version once featured at-home play tied directly to the attraction itself via the Internet, however this is disabled.[citation needed]

The installation at the Magic Kingdom utilizes an existing ride system by Arrow Development, originally constructed in 1972 for If You Had Wings. The remaining installations use an omnimover system by Sansei Yusoki.

History[edit]

Magic Kingdom[edit]

The Magic Kingdom's version of the ride, known as Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and the first version of the Buzz Lightyear attractions altogether is the third Omnimover ride to operate in Tomorrowland's south show building.

The layout and systems of the ride date all the way back to 1972. This space was originally home to If You Had Wings, an aviation themed ride sponsored by Eastern Airlines. Eastern Airlines dropped sponsorship of the ride for financial reasons in early June 1987. All Eastern themes were moved, and the ride was renamed If You Could Fly. If You Could Fly closed down in January 1989.

Six months after If You Had Wings/If You Could Fly closed down, the ride reopened as a completely redressed ride called Delta Dreamflight, sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Delta sponsored the attraction until January 1996, when, due to financial reasons and sponsorship of the 1996 Summer Olympics, they withdrew their sponsorship. The ride was renamed simply Dreamflight until June 1996 when the ride became known as Take Flight. Take Flight closed in January 1998 to be transformed into Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, which opened ten months later. Space Ranger Spin thus has a combination of the elements of its predecessors and all new scenes (the speed tunnel is the original speed tunnel from If You Had Wings and Delta Dreamflight).

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover dioramas[edit]

The installation of Space Ranger Spin also impacted the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, which runs through the south show building. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority, or TTA as it is often called for short, had opened in 1975 as the WEDway PeopleMover. At that time, If You Had Wings was the attraction occupying the south show building. Three diorama windows were also positioned on the track: two on the right and one of the left. These allowed the Mexico, Jamaica, and Trinidad scenes to be visible to riders on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in such a way as to hide all projectors, lights and other show support equipment.

The diorama windows were altered once more when If You Had Wings was transformed into Delta Dreamflight. This was done because the windows no longer correctly lined up with show scenes. The first window was replaced with backlit panels depicting the ride's barnstormer scene. Window two looked into the Parisian Excursion scene, from a viewpoint which heavily distorted the tableau's forced perspective. The third window would have had TTA riders looking directly into an extremely bright light and so was completely obscured with plywood and black fabric.

When the ride transitioned yet again into the current attraction of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in 1998, the first window was refitted with the diorama of the hair salon, and the second left open to look into the new attraction, though concern was expressed over the fact that this view allows TTA riders to look directly into banks of high-powered blacklights. At one point during Space Ranger Spin, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the TTA passing through the building.

Queue and pre show[edit]

The queue of the ride shows different pictures of Buzz Lightyear and the Little Green Men. It also shows the battery cells and pipes plugging into Star Command. Guests then pass the Buzz Lightyear animatronic (This version of the animatronic has his wings open and is not holding anything). After listening to what he has to say, guests then leave that room and board the XP 37. Attached to them are ion laser canons and a joystick to spin the cart.

Ride[edit]

The ride begins when the cart enters a room with four blue colored Astronauts holding guns aiming at a disco ball. The guests then enter the robot attack scene. An orange robot called the Box O Bot and a blue and purple robot called the Giganto bot are present in this scene as well as the dogbot and egg shaped green one called the Batterybot. The ride then slopes down a short hill into Planet Z. Guests will encounter many aliens including space chickens, space spiders, and others. There is also a green goo shooting Volcano. The guests then enter Zurg's fortress where they see a battery delivery. Zurg is in his spaceship which he dubs his Spiderbot. The next room shows the aliens showing the guests that Zurg has escaped. The next room is the projection tunnel where Zurg is shooting at guests. Guests can shoot him back as he will retreat than go back to normal. The final room shows Buzz Lightyear fighting with Zurg in the now destroyed Spiderbot. The Little green men help Buzz tear it apart. Then the unload area shows Buzz Lightyear thanking the guests while holding Zurg in the claw. Guests will then exit the ride into Store command where they can purchase a photo of them self on the ride.

Disneyland[edit]

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland

Disneyland's version of the ride is called Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Like the Magic Kingdom version at Walt Disney World, it uses infrastructure from previous attractions. Its show building originally housed the Circle-Vision 360° theater. In 1997, as part of a major makeover of Tomorrowland, the Circle-Vision theater was removed and the space became part of the queue for the now infamous Rocket Rods. The Rocket Rods, which were prone to breakdowns, ran from 1998 to 2000. This space was then unused until 2005, when Astro Blasters opened.

A key difference between this ride and its counterpart at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is that its laser guns can be removed from their mounts to allow for more accurate shooting (similar to Men in Black: Alien Attack). The laser guns at Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom cannot be removed from their mounts and have limited movement.

Queue[edit]

Astro Blasters has a lot more dialogue than Space Ranger Spin did. This ride's queue(as well as the other Astro Blasters/ Laser Blast) includes a walkie talkie with Buzz Lightyear on it reading his wrist communication device. The speakers provide backstory to the ride and how Zurg is attacking Green Planet, home of the Little green men. It also includes a picture of Zurg as wanted criminal number one. It has pictures of The green squadron leaving to attack. It also has posters describing the blasters and the XP 40 Star cruiser. In the Fast Pass line, there is a picture of Buzz Lightyear shooting a purple, green and orange colored alien. It also shows Lightyear leading a team of Space rangers as well as making a cameo for Princess Mira Nova(from the show Buzz Lightyear of Star command(BLoSC)). The guests enter the briefing room to see Buzz Lightyear(This animatronic has no wings out and is holding an Astro Blaster. The Astro Blaster has a timer for when Buzz does his talking. As he says his line about finding Zurg's robot,the astro blaster lights up and blasts it's laser at the Etch a Sketch wiping off the picture of Zurg. However in Paris,the laser can't keep up with the timer and the laser shines a little early.).The animatronic gives a one minute speech before a red alarm goes off signaling for the line to move along. The guest proceed down a long Corridor seeing the LGMs testing the Blasters. The guests than board the Star cruiser.

Ride[edit]

The Ride begins in the Robot attack scene with The Box O Bot, The Gigantobot (who have changed positions and coloring as in WDW's version, The Box O Bot was neon orange and was on the left side of the track and the Giganto bot was dark blue and purple and was on the right side of the track. Now Box o bot is just orange and is on the right and the Gigantobot has a red body and red ears. ) the dog bot(who has a lighter yellow) and the batterybot (who is now red and has a target on his nose[this variation is in Paris and in California while a similar version with a target on his forhead is in Tokyo and Hong Kong]) are all present during this scene. There is also a mini space Ranger in what looks like a X wing. The Guests enter Zurg's DreadNought down a hallway shooting batteries until you reach his laboratory. Zurg is shooting his "Zurgatronic Ion Blaster" (he dubbed it this in BLoSC). He is standing behind his now damaged Spiderbot. Guests are about to transition into the next room while robots are being electrocuted trying to land the DreadNought. The Guests enter Planet Z(In the France Version of the ride Buzz Lightyear says "Attention Space Rangers, you've landed on Planet Z! Be ready for anything.). Guests can shoot aliens including a call back to the pterodactyl that belongs to Sid Phillips in the First Toy Story Film. Before leaving Planet Z, Zurg is laughing in when he thinks he has triumph. He is about to shoot Green Planet. Guests then enter a light tunnel with Zs around it. The next room is similar to Space Ranger Spin. Buzz Lightyear is using his Astro Blaster to take down Zurg's Spiderbot. The Green Squadron are helping Buzz take down the ship. The final room has the LGMs signing the receipt to return Zurg to Al's Toys Barn. Zurg Promises revenge as the Green Squadron thank the guests. Buzz Lightyear thanks the guests. He tells them to put the Blasters where they belong and to check the score board. Guests exit the ride to Little Green Men's Store command.

Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland[edit]

Former site of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Hong Kong Disneyland

At Hong Kong Disneyland, the ride is also called Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and is a highly identical clone of the Tokyo version of the ride minus the queue. The Tokyo version is the original version of the ride and all of the ride's audio is in Japanese. In Hong Kong however, the Entire ride is in English and is only in Chinese for safety rules. Those two versions also featured a floating Planet Z out side of the space ship. Their version's cruisers are called XP 38. On March 3, 2017, Disney announced that the ride will be closing and would be replaced with an Ant-Man themed attraction titled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle!, making this to be the second Marvel themed ride at Hong Kong Disneyland. The ride closed on August 31, 2017. However, Tokyo Disneyland's version is still operating today.[1]

Disneyland Paris[edit]

At Disneyland Paris, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast replaced the Circle-Vision 360° production Le Visionarium, which closed in 2004. This version of the ride is much like the Disneyland version, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, except for the presence of a tribute to Le Visionarium: When you are in the robot attack scene at the beginning, if you look beneath the left arm of the Box-O-Bot, you might be able to see 9-Eye (the Circumvisual Photodroid from Le Visionarium) hiding there. However, it is an easy to miss tribute.

In the Paris version of the ride, the dialogue is the same but translated into French as well as English. In the queue, the Buzz Lightyear animatronic speaks English, as well as French for those who speak French, and don't understand English. Some areas of the ride provide both dialogues, but in the scene where Zurg's weapon is half-destroyed, it switches from English to French in a 6 dialogue loop as it does in the California version of the ride. This ride's cruiser is called the XP 41 calling back to the California version. This is also the version with the second longest indoor queue.

Shanghai Disneyland[edit]

The most recent version of this attraction is called Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue. It is more heavily based on the opening sequence of Toy Story 2, taking place on the planet where Zurg has his lair set up, and featuring the same style of robots as in the film.

Queue and Pre show[edit]

The Queue has the look of a Star Tours type attraction and is the longest indoor queue for all of the versions of the attraction. It looks like the International Space Station. The walls are covered with pictures of Buzz Lightyear himself. Video monitors are displayed on some of those walls. The monitors play videos of the LGMS,and Zurg with his new weapon. Buzz Lightyear will also appear on the screen fighting the robots. Most of the videos show the Star command space ship. Each ship has a red and green blaster on each side. After the queue, guests will walk into the room where the space cruisers are.

Ride[edit]

The Ride begins on a planet where the Little Green Men are helping guests take down the Zurg Bots. As well as Buzz being there using his laser. He is later seen fighting two of the robotic giants. Afterwords, the vehicles move into a mine where Zurg has been digging to get his weapon to fire at the planet. He sets up more robots as Buzz struggles to stop the Evil Emperor's mining. After a while, Zurg is defeated and swears he will get revenge. On your way out(like all the attractions) you see a scoreboard with the different scores from Level one to Seven.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hong Kong Disneyland to Close Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters on 8/31". The Geek's Blog @ disneygeek.com. August 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Smith, Thomas (January 12, 2016). "Opening Date Set for Shanghai Disney Resort, Disney's Newest World-Class Destination". DisneyParks Blog. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  3. ^ "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin | Disney Discount Tickets". www.undercovertourist.com. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  4. ^ "Secret Disneyland Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster Tips". howardyoung.hubpages.com. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)