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Mission to Mars was an attraction at Disneyland in California and at Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

History

The attraction was originally named Rocket to the Moon when it opened in 1955, along with the Disneyland Park itself. The ride was refurbished to Flight to the Moon in 1967. In 1975, the destination was changed to Mars because humans had already been to the Moon. During that time, the attraction was considerably dated.

The attraction was initially sponsored by McDonnell Douglas. After the sponsorship ended, logos referring to the company were removed from the attraction, but the outline of the stylized vertical stabilizer in the McDonnell logo still remains part of the former building's facade.

Plot

Pre-show

The show was designed in cooperation with NASA and was basically a revised and updated version of the previous attraction Flight to the Moon. Guests would now be launched on a spacecraft into space and then approach the surface of the red planet Mars.

Guests would first enter a viewing area known as Mission Control, which was modeled after a typical mission control center with chairs and control panels for about ten seated Audio-Animatronic "technicians" whose backs were to the audience as they moved their heads and arms. Facing the audience was the Audio-Animatronic flight director Mr. Johnson. He would then talk and show film clips to explain how humans had made numerous advances in space travel and manufacturing in microgravity, and also learned how to deal with the effects of space. The lecture was interrupted once per show by an intruder alarm caused by a large bird crash-landing near the spacecraft launch pad.

Main show

After the pre-show, guests would move on and finally board their spacecraft. Inside was a circular theater with stadium-like seating with circular flat screens on the ceiling and floor. During the mission, guests could look at the views from outside the spacecraft from either of these screens. There were also side screens that showed film clips or graphics. "Third Officer Collins" was the tour guide, and discussed the mission as the spacecraft explored space and Mars. Eventually, the ship was damaged, possibly by a volcanic eruption, and the ship had to quickly head back to Earth. The seats in the attraction would simulate the vibrations and G-forces from "Hyper-space" during take-offs and landings by filling up with compressed air. Finally, the spacecraft landed safely back on Earth and Officer Collins would then urge guests to return and visit again. As he explained, "there's a lot more to see on Mars".

Disneyland

The attraction at Disneyland closed on November 2, 1992, having it first removed from the most visitor documentation by 1991. One reason behind the closure was that the controversial attraction ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was to open in the building as part of CEO Michael Eisner's ambitious "Disney Decade". Along with Alien Encounter, The Timekeeper and "Plectu's Fantastic Galactic Revue" would have opened in the radical and richly-detailed "Tomorrowland 2055" concept.

However, the "Tomorrowland 2055" project was cancelled in early 1993 when the Disneyland Paris project suddenly found itself in almost a billion dollars' debt. Michael Eisner started cutting costs around the company, and was not happy with the estimated cost of the "Tomorrowland 2055" project, though he had liked the idea. Start of construction on Disneyland's New Tomorrowland was changed from Fall 1994 to Spring 1997, but Alien Encounter, The Timekeeper, and Plectu's Fantastic Galactic Revue never opened. The building remained unused until it officially opened as a restaurant, called Redd Rockett's Pizza Port part of Disneyland's New Tomorrowland on May 22, 1998.

Magic Kingdom

Mission to Mars closed at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on October 4, 1993. It reopened as the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter as part of Magic Kingdom's New Tomorrowland on June 20, 1995. Alien Encounter closed on October 12, 2003 and was replaced by Stitch's Great Escape!, an attraction based on the 2002 Disney animated film Lilo & Stitch which opened on November 16, 2004 and re-tooled many elements from Alien Encounter in a more light and comical context.

Videos

Mission to Mars WDW - Ultimate Anniversary Tribute

Mission to Mars WDW - Ultimate Anniversary Tribute

Restored Mission to Mars upper scanner 16mm film with in-ride Audio

Restored Mission to Mars upper scanner 16mm film with in-ride Audio

Restoration of upper-scanner film

See also


v - e - d
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Main Street, U.S.A.
Disneyland RailroadMain Street CinemaThe Disney GalleryGreat Moments with Mr. LincolnDapper DansMain Street Vehicles
Adventureland
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki RoomIndiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden EyeJungle CruiseTarzan's Treehouse
Frontierland
Big Thunder Mountain RailroadPirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer IslandMark Twain RiverboatSailing Ship ColumbiaGolden Horseshoe Saloon
Fantasyland
Sleeping Beauty CastleAlice in WonderlandCasey Jr. Circus TrainDumbo the Flying ElephantIt's a Small WorldKing Arthur CarrouselMad Tea PartyMatterhorn BobsledsMr. Toad's Wild RidePeter Pan's FlightPinocchio's Daring JourneySnow White's Scary AdventuresStorybook Land Canal BoatsPixie HollowSword in the StoneSleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

Seasonal: It's a Small World Holiday

Tomorrowland
Astro OrbitorAutopiaSpace MountainStar Tours: The Adventures ContinueDisneyland Monorail SystemStar Wars Launch BayBuzz Lightyear Astro BlastersFinding Nemo Submarine VoyagePush the Talking Trash Can

Seasonal: Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy

New Orleans Square
The Haunted MansionPirates of the Caribbean

Seasonal: Haunted Mansion Holiday

Critter Country
Splash MountainNew Adventures with Princess Tiana (Coming Soon) • Davy Crockett's Explorer CanoesThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Mickey's Toontown
Chip 'n' Dale's TreehouseDonald's BoatGadget's Go CoasterGoofy's PlayhouseMickey's House and Meet MickeyMinnie's HouseRoger Rabbit's Car Toon SpinMickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway (Opening in 2023)
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's RunStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Current Entertainment
Magic HappensFantasmic!

Seasonal: A Christmas Fantasy ParadeDisney's Celebrate AmericaHalloween ScreamsBelieve... In Holiday MagicFantasy in the Sky: New Year's Eve SpecialVillains Dance Party

Former Attractions and Entertainment
The Walt Disney StoryAladdin's OasisSwiss Family TreehouseBig Thunder RanchMike Fink Keel BoatsNature's WonderlandMickey Mouse Club TheaterAutopiaSkywayAriel's GrottoDisney Afternoon Avenue20,000 Leagues Under the SeaRocket Rods Circle-Vision 360° (America the BeautifulWonders of ChinaAmerican Journeys) • Rocket to the MoonThe World Beneath UsHouse of the FutureSubmarine VoyageFlying SaucersAdventure Thru Inner SpaceCarousel of ProgressAmerica SingsInnoventionsSuper Hero HQStar ToursRocket JetsBeauty and the Beast Live on StageThe Magic, the Memories and YouPeopleMoverStarcadeMagic JourneysCaptain EOHoney, I Shrunk the AudienceStar Wars: Path of the JediThe Disney GalleryDisneyland Dream SuiteCountry Bear JamboreeToon ParkMain Street Electrical ParadeLight MagicPaint the NightAmerica on ParadeFlights of Fantasy ParadeAladdin's Royal CaravanThe Lion King CelebrationHercules Victory ParadeMulan ParadeMotor Boat CruiseViewliner Train of Tomorrow

Seasonal: Rockin' Space MountainHyperspace MountainCountry Bear Vacation HoedownCountry Bear Christmas SpecialWalt Disney's Parade of DreamsPixar Play ParadeMickey's Soundsational ParadeFrightfully Fun ParadeThe Hunchback of Notre Dame Topsy Turvy CavalcadeParade of the StarsBelieve... There's Magic in the StarsFantasy in the SkyImagine... A Fantasy in the SkyMagical: Disney's New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical CelebrationsRemember... Dreams Come TrueTogether Forever: A Pixar Nighttime SpectacularJingle CruiseDisneyland ForeverMickey's Mix Magic

Resorts
Disneyland Hotel


v - e - d
Magic Kingdom-logo
Main Street, U.S.A.
Walt Disney World RailroadMain Street VehiclesDapper DansNight of Joy
Fantasyland
Cinderella CastleIt's a Small WorldPeter Pan's FlightMickey's PhilharMagicPrince Charming Regal CarrouselDumbo the Flying ElephantThe Many Adventures of Winnie the PoohMad Tea PartyThe Great GoofiniCinderella's Royal TablePinocchio Village HausSword in the StoneSeven Dwarfs Mine TrainAriel's GrottoUnder the Sea: Journey of the Little MermaidBe Our Guest RestaurantEnchanted Tales with BellePrincess Fairytale HallPete's Silly SideshowThe BarnstormerCasey Jr. Splash and Soak Station
Adventureland
Swiss Family TreehouseThe Magic Carpets of AladdinWalt Disney's Enchanted Tiki RoomJungle CruisePirates of the CaribbeanPirates LeagueA Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas

Seasonal: Jingle Cruise

Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland SpeedwaySpace Mountain • Stitch's Alien Encounter Character Greeting! • Astro OrbiterTomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMoverCarousel of ProgressBuzz Lightyear's Space Ranger SpinMonsters, Inc. Laugh FloorPush the Talking Trash CanTRON Lightcycle / Run (Opening in 2021)
Frontierland
Splash MountainNew Adventures with Princess Tiana (Coming Soon) • Big Thunder Mountain RailroadTom Sawyer IslandCountry Bear JamboreeFrontierland Shootin' Arcade
Liberty Square
The Hall of PresidentsLiberty Square RiverboatThe Haunted MansionMemento Mori
Current Entertainment
Festival of Fantasy ParadeMickey's Royal Friendship FaireHappily Ever AfterMove It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street PartyOnce Upon a Time

Seasonal: A Frozen Holiday WishDisney's Celebrate AmericaMickey's Boo To You Halloween ParadeA Totally Tomorrowland ChristmasMickey's Once Upon a Christmastime ParadeMickey's Most Merriest CelebrationHocus Pocus Villain SpelltacularDisney's Not So Spooky SpectacularMinnie's Wonderful Christmastime FireworksVillain Cursed Caravan

Former Attractions and Entertainment
Mickey's Toontown Fair (Donald's BoatMickey's Country HouseThe BarnstormerMinnie's HouseToon Park) • Mickey Mania ParadeMain Street Electrical ParadeCelebrate A Dream Come True ParadeCinderella's Surprise CelebrationCinderellabrationThe Magic, the Memories and YouWishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney DreamsMike Fink Keel BoatsThe Muppets Present... Great Moments in American HistoryDavy Crockett's Explorer CanoesCircle-Vision 360°SkywayMission to MarsExtraTERRORestrial Alien EncounterIf You Had WingsDelta DreamflightPixie HollowThe Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management)Shrunken Ned's Junior Jungle BoatsThe Legend of the Lion KingMickey Mouse Revue20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine VoyagePooh's Playful SpotSnow White's AdventuresSnow White's Scary AdventuresMagic JourneysMr. Toad's Wild RideThe Walt Disney StoryPlaza Swan BoatsAdmiral Joe Fowler RiverboatStitch's Great Escape!

Seasonal: Disney's Magical Moments ParadeDream Along with MickeyCelebrate the MagicHappy Hallowishes • Holiday Wishes • Celebrate the Holidays • Country Bear Vacation HoedownCountry Bear Christmas SpecialVillains Mix and Mingle

Resorts
Disney's Contemporary ResortDisney's Grand Floridian Resort & SpaDisney's Polynesian Village ResortDisney's Wilderness Lodge
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