The Astro Orbiter found in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, may not get much publicity, but it is home to some of the best views in all of Disney World.
In 1994 the Astro Orbiter replaced the former StarJets on top of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) Station as part of the major Tomorrowland redesign to become the fanciful version of the “Future That Never Was.”
Although the ride itself has similarities to the Dumbo ride, the major benefit is its rooftop perch. This gives the riders fantastic views of the Magic Kingdom when they “fly” their rockets to the highest position. The riders can reach heights of nearly 80 ft above the Tomorrowland walkways.
While rotating at 11 revolutions per minute on the 40 ft long arms, these 2 person rockets give the impression that you are flying much faster than you really are due to the nearby rotating planets and moons that are part of the structure.
Day or night the best part of the ride is the view. These are perspectives that you can’t get from anywhere else in the Magic Kingdom. Whether you are looking at Cinderella Castle, Space Mountain, or even the Contemporary Resort the perspective that you get from the Astro Orbiter is one of a kind.
Underappreciated Magic Kingdom Attraction
The Astro Orbiter rarely lands on anyone’s must see attraction list, but should be. Its major drawback is the same problem that plagues the Dumbo attraction, it cannot handle large quantities of people. With only 12 rockets that typically hold 1-2 people each, the lines can move very slowly. To avoid the crowds, plan on riding the Astro Orbiter near park opening or late at night, and see the Magic Kingdom from a whole new vantage point.