From Reuters... M:S Article New Disney space ride so real it's sickening Thursday, October 9, 2003 Posted: 10:38 PM EDT (0238 GMT) Current and former astronauts join Oak Ridge High School students to dedicate Mission: Space Thursday at Disney's Epcot Center. ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) -- Walt Disney World's newest attraction cost $100 million to build and delivers a remarkable simulation of a rocket launch and spacecraft landing, right down to the nausea and brief moment of weightlessness. Mission: Space even has its own national television ad campaign, the first time Disney Corp. has done that for a single attraction, the company said. It could easily be the most expensive single attraction ever to open. It is also part of a trend that finds major theme parks spending like never before on new attractions. Expansion has always been part of the business -- you can't bring 'em back if you don't offer something new -- but the money being spent now is especially noteworthy since park gates have never recovered from the economic and security traumas of 2001. Vivendi's Universal Studios Orlando is dropping $100 million on three new rides based on Universal movie franchises -- The Mummy, Shrek and Jimmy Neutron -- and Disney plans to spend $75 million at its Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, on a Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The days when theme parks were giant cash cows driving profits for the corporations that owned them are over, and so are the days when parks had to compete only with one another. Now, theme parks have to compete against summer movie blockbusters, video game releases or anything with a big opening, said Brad Rix, Disney's vice president for Epcot, one of four parks at Disney World and the one hosting Mission: Space. "We've had to get a lot more sophisticated," Rix said. "When you get on Mission: Space, you get a physical experience that can't be simulated by a video game or summer movie. That's what we have to deliver." Mission: Space really is a giant leap beyond the dark-room rides and merry-go-rounds that were for years the staple of theme parks. The technology is the same used to train NASA astronauts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. A centrifuge delivers more than two Gs of force during the simulated liftoff, pinning guests deep into their seats while space views are projected through the windows of the simulated flight deck. "It felt very familiar," said NASA astronaut Dan Barry, who was on hand for the opening. "And just like the sims (simulators) we use to train, it's never a perfectly smooth ride." More than a few tourists had another experience familiar to many astronauts: Their first ride left them more than a little queasy. At one point, Disney workers had to send for more towels to clean the floor.