Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mission Space Race

When I go into the parks these days, I often go in just to get lunch at a particular spot, or just to sit in some cozy nook I fancy to write a letter or two and read for a few hours.

To be honest, I mostly skip the rides unless I'm in the park with friends.  The lines are so long, and I'm not always there long enough to get a fastpass, and anyways it isn't much fun standing in line by yourself!

However, there are a few favorite attractions that I do regularly make time for.  It's a Small World and Philharmagic I almost always pay my respects to when I'm at the Magic Kingdom.  Philharmagic especially has come to hold a special place in my heart - the music and the classic Disney characters, I just adore it!  And at Epcot I just love watching Impressions de France, the France movie.  I almost have it memorized by heart, I could just watch it over and over again!

But there are a few rides that I love that I'm actually surprised at myself for.  They don't have any princesses or lovely movies -- they're the competitive rides.  lol, or that's how I sometimes think of them.  If you've read my trip reports you know I can be pretty cutthroat on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin -- and that's one I ride fairly often, gotta hone my skills. ;)

But today's post is dedicated to another competitive attraction that I may love even more than Buzz, one that's maybe a little more hidden away.  I'm not even a huge fan of video games, that's more my brothers' arena, but this game I could play for hours:

To get there, you have to head here.  (Notice Stitch is out causing some havoc with Flower and Garden!).

No, it's not the Mission Space ride itself.  You'll see this game as soon as you exit the ride -- or, if you're like me, you'll just cut in through the gift shop to get straight to the action.

Yeah Baby.  It's Mission Space Race.

You know, that game that cast members are always begging people to play when they exit the ride?  There are two ways to play the game: the first is you can play as an astronaut, which means you'll use a joystick and stand up at the front near the screens.

There are only eight spots for astronauts, which isn't that many, but it's surprising how it's hard to find eight people willing to do it all at the same time.  You'll see some CM imploringly beseeching passers-by: "We need two brave astronauts to start our Mission Space Race game..."

Then some of the astronauts waiting will get decide not to wait, and the CM's voice will get even more desperate: "We need four brave astronauts to start the game....FOUR BRAVE ASTRONAUTS!"

lol.  I sit off to the side, admire the pretty stars on the floor, watch the people walking by, and feel sorry for the beleaguered cast member manning the microphone.  But I'm not here to be an astronaut.  I'm here for the other way to play the game.

Two words:  Mission. Control.

All those computers are for mission control people: there are at least 30 of them, so there are plenty of empty spots, you never have to worry about waiting.

Here's how it works: you get to pretend you're super-sophisticated like some pilot on the deck of the Enterprise, and press lots of buttons as fast as you can.  I. LOVE. IT.

The screen in front of you pops up with all the errors you need to fix.  You press the corresponding buttons until all the errors are fixed, then you upload it to the astronauts, and that counts as one "fix."

There's a cute little robot-y voice that gives instructions and count-downs and leads the game and occasionally makes snide remarks about how incapable humans are (LOL).  It used to be cast members reading the spiel, but now the robot does it.

There are two rockets racing each other to Mars in the game: Orion, the gold rocket; and Triton, the silver rocket.  There are astronauts and mission control working for each rocket, and the idea is the astronauts and mission control have to work together for their rocket to win.

Now I'm pretty darn convinced that it doesn't matter how many times your rocket gets a "boost" - I bet the computer randomly selects which rocket wins each time and it has nothing to do with skill.  But then, I'm always too busy to notice how my team is doing, because I'm busy trying to upload as many fixes as I can before the time runs out.

Some of my fellow Mission Controllers.  Usually they average age seven.  But I don't care.  They're still going down.

lol, what can I say, I warned you I'm competitive!  Most mission controllers average 15 or 20 or so fixes in the 6 or 7 minutes that the game lasts.  Me - I average 30.

What can I say?  I got skillz.  So far the absolute highest score I have been able to get is 33.  I swear that when you're going really fast and getting fixes uploaded quickly, the stupid computer makes the errors harder and harder so that you have to push more buttons before you're ready to upload.  But that could just be me.

Does it require very little skill to get a high score as Mission Control: yes.  Do I take great pride in my high score: heck yeah!

It's one of those cases where Disney takes you totally away from your real life for five minutes, and I feel like a kid.

And if I ever manage to break my high score of 33, don't worry, I'll let you guys know. ;)

1 comment:

  1. well I'll be! I have never heard of this!! Probably because we don't ride this ride! My oldest son will sometimes,but the rest of us would love this!! Thanks for sharing!!