Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (a.k.a. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast or Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, depending on the park) are a series of Tomorrowland shooting dark rides based on the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 2 at Disney Parks around the world. Although each ride may have a different name (as seen on the infobox to the right), all share the same plot and major characters. As each form of the attraction appeared, new technology has allowed the guest to better interact with the ride and even connect with personal computer users.
The attractions use a third-generation Omnimover system and are a combination of a shooting gallery and a dark ride. The first ride featured laser guns that were not movable, but later versions featured the guns that are held in a holster and movable with the exception of a cord to keep them in the vehicle after the ride has ended. In 2005, the Walt Disney Company premiered a home version of the ride in the form of an internet video game that allows users to connect with guests at the parks. The scores of each guest from the dark ride are tallied with the internet gamer and increase the points won. There was also an attraction at Walt Disney World's DisneyQuest with the name "Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters", where players rode and controlled cars while shooting balls at each other. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin was named the 2004 Disney Magazine Reader's Choice Award winner for Best Magic Kingdom Park Attraction for Young Kids.
The back story of the ride revolves around the attempts of Evil Emperor Zurg (voiced by Frank Welker in Space Ranger Spin and Andrew Stanton in Astro Blasters) to steal the batteries (known as "crystallic fusion cells") used to power the space vehicles of the "Little Green Men" (voiced by Jeff Pidgeon and Debi Derryberry). Participants are "Star Command" raw recruits sent to defeat Zurg. The queue area is awash in the chartreuse, white, and bright blue hues of Buzz Lightyear himself (voiced by Pat Fraley, who did the voice for all Buzz Lightyear attractions). Since Buzz Lightyear is a toy, the attraction is cleverly scaled to give the illusion that one has just been reduced to the size of an action figure, featuring such detail as giant, exposed Philips screw heads and an explanation of the interactive phase of the ride that resembles a toy's instruction sheet, only on a gigantic scale. An Audio-Animatronic Buzz Lightyear figure and giant Etch-a-Sketch (Disneyland) and/or View-Master (Disney World) provide the explanation of the "mission" to destroy Zurg's secret weapon with your blasters. While his body is audio-animatronic, Buzz's face is actually a screen with a projection of computer animation, allowing better lipsync and more expressive features, making him look like a more realistic representation of the character from the films.
"Astro Blasters" and "Space Ranger Spin" are equal parts shooting gallery and dark ride. Visitors board an Omnimover space vehicle featuring two laser pistols and a joystick. The pistols are used to shoot laser beams at targets of varying point values. Targets that are hit while lit up will produce much higher scores. A digital readout on the dashboard shows the player's score. The joystick allows full 360-degree rotation of the vehicle to assist in aiming. During the ride, if the ride slows down or completely stops (this is a result of either a handicapped guest or a ride breakdown) during the ride, this allows for "bonus points" as the pistols and targets do not turn off. There are 4 different shaped targets which are worth different amounts of points: round (100 points), square (1,000 points), diamond (5,000 points), and triangle (10,000 points).
At the conclusion of the ride, the digital score flashes L1, L2, ... L7, displaying the ranking or level achieved for the below scores:
- Level 1 Star Cadet: 0 – 1,000
- Level 2 Space Ace: 1,001 – 10,000
- Level 3 Planetary Pilot: 10,001 – 100,000
- Level 4 Space Scout: 100,001 – 300,000
- Level 5 Ranger 1st Class: 300,001 – 600,000
- Level 6 Cosmic Commando: 600,001 – 999,998
- Level 7 Galactic Hero: 999,999
At one point in the attraction, each visitor is photographed during gameplay and, at "Astro Blasters", has the option of sending an electronic postcard via e-mail at the exit queue. "Astro Blasters" photos include the player's score. If the score is in the top 100 highest of the day, the player's ranking is also included in the photo. The Top 10 players' scores are shown on the scoreboard at the exit queue, along with 3 letters that the person chooses to identify themselves. The top person gets their face posted on the screen. The Disneyland version once featured at-home play tied directly to the attraction itself via the Internet; however, this is disabled.
The installation at the Magic Kingdom utilizes an existing ride system by Arrow Development. The remaining installations use an omnimover system by Sansei Yusoki.
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- Characters from the TV series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command make cameos during the ride. In Florida, XR and Commander Nebula are in the hallway after the ride ends and Mira Nova is on the wall in the FastPass line.
- The Star Cruiser Ride Vehicles appear in Disney Infinity as a Power Disc. They also appear in Kingdom Hearts III, in which they are utilized as part of Attraction Flow, a game mechanic that summons Disney theme park rides as attacks.
- This was the first appearance of Zurg.