Tour of the Universe was the best ride this 1980s kid ever took

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I think the captain was drunk. He never did make it to Jupiter.


Man, that must have been a sweet ride depending on the quality of the graphics used. I went to Disney for the first time last year, and Star Tours was one of the few rides I went on multiple times. It made my geeky old heart squeal like a little girl each time.

EDIT: Ah, apparently I went on the sequel of the ride, which opened in 2011, so it wasn’t quite the same as the original Star Tours. Still hella fun for me.


“Tour of the Universe”, and the destination was Jupiter? That’s like billing a journey from your arrival gate at La Guardia to the airport food court as a 'Tour of North America".

Must’ve been influenced by watching Klaatu say that he’d come “…250 million miles” in the original ‘Day the Earth Stood Still’.


I applied for a job here as a teenager but didn’t get it, despite showing up in my best cyberpunk clothes (a biker jacket from Hercules surplus on Yonge St decorated with circuit boards from Active Surplus on Queen St) and explaining that I was a budding science fiction writer.

I had friends who DID get jobs there, and they swore that the top perk for employees was sneaking into the sims after hours to have sex (”If this spaceship’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’).


A decade later, the ReBoot motion platform ride was much better with less elaborate hardware: The result of lots more R&D on how to fool the senses. (Every now and then, I’d peek to see how little the platform actually moved to get the effects.)

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Ah, yes, I remember insisting this be a stop on every trip to Toronto my family took from the other side of the lake. That little RP decontamination sequence was probably my first exposure to performance walkthroughs like haunted mazes and the like. I wish I still had the souvenirs.


It’s the journey, not the destination.


I really wanted to ride this as a kid, so I dragged my whole family there. I enjoyed the flight, but it made my dad seasick; he came close to passing out, and had to close his eyes and put his head down. I guess it worked as intended!


I went on it a few years later with my oldest nephew, when it was retooled as “Cosmic Pinball”, and it was just as much fun, although my nephew, who was about 9 at the time got kind of nauseous, and scared.

A friend of mine was attending a science-fiction or comic-con in downtown Toronto, and he went with a bunch of people dressed as Klingons in full warrior gear to wander around the area. They ended up going into Tour of the Universe - some of them had been there before - and towards the end, when you were getting near to the “ride” part, there was a door that would slide open, and there’d be a tour guide or some official standing there, who’d start talking and take you on the final part of the tour.

The Klingons stood in front of that door and made themselves look as intimidating as possible. When it opened, the tour guide looked at them, blinked, and launched right into his spiel… in mock-Klingon.


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