Astro Orbitor

July 1967

Astro OrbitorThe Astro Orbitor is the only Disneyland ride that has changed location more than once. The ride first opened in March of 1956 as the Astro-Jets. The Astro-Jets was renamed "Tomorrowland Jets" in 1964, removed in 1966 for a short (and well earned) vacation, reopened in 1967 as the Rocket Jets in a new location high atop the new People Mover attraction, closed in 1997 for a complete face lift and the installation of an electrical power system to replace the noisy (and somewhat hazardous) hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines, and reopened in May of 1998 in its current location at the entrance to Tomorrowland.

Rocket JetsDuring its Rocket-Jets phase, this attraction was one of the tallest in the park, due to the height of the pedestal on which it stood. Guests had to reach the attraction via an elevator, causing a bit of a traffic snarl that was the stated reason for the ride's eventual relocation. What Disneyland officials won't tell you is that one of the real reasons the Rocket Jets were moved was that their high-speed circular motion tended to -- to put it mildly -- upset people's stomachs, and more height equals (ahem) more range.

The current Astro Orbitor is an example of a ride with a name that should have been run through a spell-check program. It is rumored that Imagineers had originally designated the attraction name as "Astro-Orbiter," but that the secretary who took the notes at that meeting got the spelling wrong -- and because that secretary was Michael Eisner's nephew, nobody had the guts to correct him.

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