Disney, P.I.

About the Column

As a Disney detective, Debra Peterson always packs her 'mickifying' glass. Her cases often take her to poorly lit, sparsely peopled, but still well-themed areas of Disney World, where she counters shenanigans with snark, and sometimes silliness, but most of all with keen insight and insouciant style. You're invited to accompany Debra each week as she solve baffling mysteries and pursues adventure. Quick, now, the Mouse is afoot!

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FROM: Disney P.I. Published As Uncovered

Scoring High on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Debra pulls out her gat - okay, laser gun - and blasts away at them bums - okay, evil aliens - in Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Psst! Wanna know how to achieve a high score? Follow Debra down the mean streets and maybe she'll tell you.

One of my favorite places in the Magic Kingdom to prowl between cases is Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. It's a perfect spot for some clandestine target practice to keep my private eyes sharp.

This intergalactic space shooting gallery couldn't provide a better cover for on-the-job practice. Plus, it never hurts to be aware of the surroundings when you're in Walt Disney World. Since Buzz Lightyear is all about noting details, I ride here often.

Several tips for hitting the top score on Buzz Lightyear have adjusted my aim and honed my eye for Disney details. I share them with favorite clients who might want to save the universe themselves or reach the ride's 999,999 maximum points.

(Truth be told, I've yet to actually fire my Disney P.I.-licensed handgun. And I suspect it's designed to shoot H20.)

Junior Space Rangers, Take Charge

I made a couple of rookie mistakes in the beginning. I rushed through Buzz Lightyear's queue, not paying attention to instructions. So I didn't realize the objective was to defeat Emperor Zurg and his evil forces in order to become a Galactic Hero.

Luckily, I'm a quick study. I figured it out once I saw the XP-38 Space Cruisers with laser cannons attached.

My early scores would have been higher had I'd known a few simple things:

  • The clear objective is to hit those orange "Z" thunderbolts - the Z stands for Zurg - found throughout the attraction's scenes. Different targets have different values.
  • The 4-1/2 minute ride favors both speed and accuracy - no bullets to reload - so take aim repeatedly, especially at high-value targets. And if the ride stops, keep firing!
  • Test the laser cannon before the ride's first room. A few practice shots in the dark will help you get the feel of your friendly weapon.
  • Each cruiser has the ability to rotate during the game, and the person who controls the joystick can determine the prime targets. Volunteer to pilot the two-person space cruiser.

It's All About Zurg; or Know Your Targets

After I took more time to assess my game situation, I learned that some "Z" targets are worth more than others. Just like informants.

  • Triangle targets are worth 10,000 points.
  • Diamond targets = 5,000 points.
  • Square targets = 1,000 points.
  • Circle targets = 100 points.

It doesn't take a P.I.'s training to deduce there are many more circle targets than diamonds and triangles. Nor that it's worth seeking out the rare beauties to earn that higher score.

click an image to expand:


Buzz Lightyear recruits Junior Space Rangers.


Battle robots and evil Emperor Zurg with a laser cannon.


Save the universe, become a Galactic Hero.

Word on the street is that it's also smart strategy to aim for "Z" targets that are smaller, farther away, moving, or partially obstructed. The harder the target is to hit, the higher the score. And the more bragging rights.

Don't Take The Easy Space Flight

After consulting some of my most reliable Disney informants, including Samantha McNesby (code name: Walt Disney World writer, About.com) and Amanda Tinney (code name: Disney Every Day), I later learned some targets are worth extra-high values. Think of them as Buzz Lightyear's "Most Wanted" of the Zurghunt.

Looking for the big score? Try some of these targets:

  • The first room has a giant orange Rock 'Em - Sock 'Em robot (called the BoxoBot) with moving arms. Hit the "Z" on the inner side of the left hand for 100,000 points each.
  • There is a giant claw in the transition between the first two scenes. Spin the cruiser to face backwards, aim for the target, and earn another 100,000 points.
  • In the second room, filled with a horde of alien life forms, aim for the volcano at the back. The top target is worth 25,000 points each and a hot eruption (of the volcano).
  • In the battery room, attempt to hit the bottom batteries. Doing so will knock them over and earn 50,000 points.
  • When facing Zurg and his claw-like spaceship, aim for its bottom (underneath the "pitiful" taunt) and earn 100,000 points each hit.
  • The Emergency Escape Hatch, a black-hole tunnel that uses video images of stars and spaceships, offers targets worth 100,000 points. Track the spaceships until they hover and a "Z" target appears on their bodies. It will look like a black spot.

Set a Goal for Promotion, Galactic Hero!

After leaving the Emergency Escape Hatch, all Space Rangers should get ready for exposure in the next-to-final room. A flash indicates you've been captured on camera, conveniently available for purchase at the ride's exit. Don't worry about losing covert status, though. Hunched over a laser cannon and looking intently for "Z" targets, you'll look like any other guest.

Accept Buzz's congratulations in the final scene, then check the status board for your score:

  • 0 - 1,000 points: Star Cadet
  • 1,001 - 10,000: Space Scout
  • 10,001 - 100,000: Ranger 1st Class
  • 100,001 - 300,000: Planetary Pilot
  • 300,001 - 600,000: Space Ace
  • 600,001 - 999,998: Cosmic Commando
  • 999,999: Galactic Hero

With all the time I've traveled the galaxy on Buzz Lightyear - thank the lucky stars for Disney FASTPASS - I fancy myself hitting the top score soon.

That hasn't happened yet... for reasons beyond my control. The space cruiser keeps turning, spinning me round and round when I'm not paying attention to the joystick. I also suspect my laser cannon needs a silencer.

Target practice makes perfect, or so I'm told, and I improve with each spin around the universe. I'm confident that capturing Zurg is well within my grasp. Disney, P.I., Galactic Hero. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Until next time, consider me on the case.

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