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Orbitron - Machines Volantes

Il sole non si muove

Let your imagination soar to new heights, as you fly your very own rocket ship around an ornate galaxy of spiralling planets, inspired by the sketches and dreams of the great visionary Leonardo da Vinci.

Da Vinci changed our understanding of the universe by proclaiming "Il sole non si muove" - "The sun does not move", and explaining the system of how the planets move around the sun itself.

And so, at Orbitron - Machines Volantes, you join the swirling planets for a circular flight around the central axis of the galaxy.

Aerial carousel of guest-controlled rocket ships.

  • Opening Date

    12th April 1992

  • Attraction Type

    Aerial carousel

  • Duration

    1 minute 30 seconds

  • Capacity

    2 Guests per flying machine, 12 flying machines

  • Suitablility
    • Children 3-7
    • Children 8-12
    • Young Adults
    • Adults
    • Seniors

Trivia

  • A spinning carousel of rocket ships was always the centrepiece of other Tomorrowlands around the world, but coming to the retro-futuristic world of Discoveryland, Walt Disney Imagineering knew they needed to give the classic attraction a whole new look. Out went the 1950s NASA-style rockets and in came 1930s Art Deco-influenced "machines volantes", inspired by classic Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon comic strips of the period. Instead of a static white space shuttle as the centrepiece, a spinning study of bronze, brass and copper-coloured planets recalls historic astronomical instruments and observations by great visionaries such as Leonardo da Vinci.
  • The reimagined attraction was so successful that it in turn served to replace the Astro Orbitor at Disneyland in California which inspired it. For California's New Tomorrowland project of 1998, an almost identical copy of the ride was constructed and built at the entrance of the redesigned land, though both its location — cluttering the previously expansive entrance plateau — and its retro-futuristic style — out of sync with other, more 1950s and '60s influenced details in the land — failed to convince fans of the original Tomorrowland. In 2009, the attraction was given a refurbishment with many of the bronze and copper details replaced by modern silver and blue, altering the previously period-specific look.
  • The attraction was sponsored by Banque Nationale de Paris (and the subsequent merged group BNP Paribas) for ten years from its opening in 1992 up until 2002, one of the resort's most important original partners.

The spinning planets move in the opposite direction to the rockets, giving the impression they are travelling at twice their actual speed

Tips

  • Due to its prominent position in the middle of Discoveryland, queue times rarely dwindle for Orbitron, though you can get more out of your experience by riding at night time — a truly out-of-this-world experience as the neon lights all around go whizzing by!

Advice

  • Not suitable for children under 1 year of age
  • Transfer required. Must be accompanied in order to assist in transfer to the ride vehicles, which have deep, bench-style seats with limited back support.