Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin opened on November 3, 1998. The attraction replaced Take Flight, which was the final incarnation of a series of aviation themed attractions that had been located in Tomorrowland since 1972 (the other attractions being: If You Had Wings, If You Could Fly, Delta Dreamflight, and Dreamflight) . When creating Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Imagineers reused the old Take Flight track and ride system . Based on the adventures of Buzz Lightyear (from Disney's Toy Story), the attraction is part shooting gallery and part dark ride. Since its opening in 1998, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin has not seen and major changes.
The plot of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin begins in the queue. Here, guests will realize they have been shrunk down to the size of a toy, surrounded by details such as a giant Phillips screw-driver head and a wall-sized toy instruction sheet. The guests learn they are "Star Command" raw recruits.
At the end of the queue, an Audio Animatronic Buzz Lightyear and a "giant" View-Master give riders their mission. It appears that the Evil Emperor Zurg has been stealing the "crystallic fusion cells" (batteries) that were used to power the Little Green Men's Vehicles. Zurg is using the batteries to fuel his secret weapon which he will use to conquer the universe, and it is up to the Star Command raw recruits to stop him. Buzz tells guests that in order to defeat Zurg they must use their space lasers to shoot the targets marked with Zurg's insignia, a capital Z.
After getting their instructions, guests board their XP-37 Space Cruisers (the ride vehichles) and head off to find Zurg. Each vehicle has two space lasers but can fit three people, and all the vehicles run as part of an Omnimover system. There are dozens to potentially hundreds of targets in each room. Shooting the targets give guests points, with the objective of getting as many points as possible. There are four different shapes of targets, round (100 points), square (1,000 points), diamond (5,000 points) and triangle (10,000 points).
The first scene in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is the "Robot Attack" scene, where riders witness dozens of Zurg's robots stealing batteries. In this room many targets are located on Zurg's robots. For instance, if riders shoot the large orange robot on the left arm, they will get 100,000 points.
After witnessing the attack, the Space Cruisers travel to Planet Z, the home of Zurg. Here aliens of various shapes (including large snake like aliens) move around. In the sky, robots can be seen bringing batteries to Zurg's ship, and in the background volcanoes seem to be erupting. As the ships move on, the scene switches to the Robot Factory and finally to Zurg’s ship. Here, Zurg is creating his robots and bringing in the batteries to create his secret weapon. After shooting the targets in the factory, the Little Green Men lead guests out an escape hatch and into hyperspace. The hyperspace room differs from every other scene in the attraction. Here, Guests are engulfed by video screens which depict Zurg and the Space Rangers battling in space. The room is notable for having only one target.
After emerging from hyperspace, the Rangers finally face off against the Zurg himself. In a final scene it is shown that Zurg has been defeated, and the Little Green Men have gotten their batteries back. Buzz Lightyear congratulates guests for a great mission. In this room, guests photos are also taken, which are available for purchase in the attraction’s gift shop.
Guests riding Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Before unloading, guests can see what level their score falls in. The levels are:
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 – 999,999)
Level 7 Galactic Hero (1,000,000 +)
Although level 7 is listed as a possible level, it is impossible for guests to see a score higher than 999,000.