Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin vs. Toy Story Midway Mania (by Brandon, age 13)

In all of Disney World, two outstanding arcade-like rides can be visited.  Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, and Toy Story Midway Mania is found in Pixar Place at Hollywood Studios. In both attractions, guests move guns around to shoot targets.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, the older of the two, is based off of Buzz’s battles against the Evil Emperor Zurg, his arch nemesis.  In the queue line, space cadets are read their “combat assignments” and shown pictures of the planet to which they are going.

Once guests reach the end of the queue line, they board their space ship.  Each shuttle has two laser guns and a control stick in the center that allows the ship to move in a complete circle, letting guests aim at targets in any direction.  Up to two people can ride in each shuttle.

Moving through various rooms, passengers shoot targets on props with the laser blasters.  While some of the higher, farther, hidden, and moving targets are worth far more, most are valued at five thousand points.  My family and I have found two 100,000 point bull’s-eyes.  These jackpots are located on the back of the orange robot’s left hand near the beginning of the ride and later in the middle of a claw on the ceiling.

Brandon on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

At the end of the ride, players receive different ranks based on their scores.  If a person gets a score of 999,999, they have maxed out and are awarded the title of Galactic Hero, the top ranking award in the game.  Once my brother maxed out.  Later, when Grandpa was on his own, he also earned the title of Galactic Hero. After telling a cast member, Grandpa received a special button.  When my brother saw the button, he wanted it too; therefore, we returned and asked for it.  The cast member not only gave him the button, but also handed him a unique certificate.  My brother told Grandpa, yet he never went back to claim it, even though he wanted it.

This attraction is unique because it has real targets as opposed to ones on a screen.  Also, the lasers are fun weapons to shoot with.  However, the triggers, which are on the top of the gun, can tire people’s thumbs out.  Even so, this game is fun for all ages, even my grandparents who once rode it for over an hour nonstop.

Fun and exciting, Toy Story Midway Mania challenges players also.  The line before the attraction includes Toy Story pictures, giant building blocks, and oversized, classic toys.  Near the end of the line, Mr. Potato Head talks to riders, sometimes even cracking a joke.

After waiting in line, guests sit back-to-back in four-seated cars with two people on one side and two on the other.  On the bar in front of each seat rests a gun with which guests shoot the targets by pulling a rope back and forth repeatedly.

Riders must wear 3D glasses on this attraction because guests aim at a screen.  Throughout this attraction, players shoot virtual tennis balls, pies, darts, and rings at various targets.  The more challenging targets give guests higher points for hitting them.  At the end, Buzz and Woody congratulate the players, showing them their scores along with the top three of the day and the best score of the week.

Brandon and his dad on Toy Story Midway Mania

This one-of-a-kind, 3D attraction with giant replicas of treasured toys feels like a video game that all will enjoy.  However the trigger that guests have to pull to fire virtual objects is a rope with a ball on the end.  Players must pull it rapidly and repeatedly to fire, which can tire their arms or wrists after one round.

Challenging, yet fun, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Toy Story Midway Mania are both exciting attractions that people of all ages will appreciate.  My family members disagree about which ride is better.  Of the two, I think I prefer Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin primarily because the targets and props are real, not virtual.  However, I still am undecided about which is truly my favorite.  These attractions are two of the most popular and all-around exciting rides in all of Disney World.  Regardless of the wait time, everyone should certainly visit these fantastic attractions.

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