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Disney Vinylmation in Space: Vinylmation Figures Take a Long Journey Aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis

posted on April 29th, 2011 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


When NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom carried the first memento into space when he took a roll of dimes with him on his Mercury flight in July 1961, he started a tradition at NASA that carries on 50 years later.

The customized Mission:SPACE-inspired Vinylmation floats inside Space Shuttle Atlantis

To celebrate and inspire exploration, NASA astronauts have carried items into space that they have a unique interest in – items that are then brought back to Earth and placed on display in hopes of inspiring future explorers and achievements.

Disney Parks was honored to be part of STS-132 in May 2010, aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on its mission to the International Space Station (ISS). STS-132 Commander Ken Ham requested that two very special (and quite small) “guests” join the six-person crew on Atlantis’ 32nd flight – two 3-inch-tall Vinylmation figures.

Commander Ham and his wife, Michelle, are avid athletes and runners who have participated in several endurance races in the “runDisney” series. And with its proximity to Cape Canaveral, Walt Disney World has been a vacation stop several times for the couple between missions.

(And here’s another fun fact: Commander Ham served as the Pilot of STS-124, the 2008 mission of Space Shuttle Discovery that had another Disney Parks “special guest” aboard – a 12-inch-tall Buzz Lightyear toy. Buzz, who always dreamed of going to “infinity and beyond,” spent more than 15 months aboard the ISS before returning to Earth and being feted with his very own ticker-tape parade in Magic Kingdom Park. Joining Andy’s famed space ranger in the gala parade was legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin.)

The two 'Very Important Vinylmations are now on display at D-Street in Downtown Disney West Side for Guests to see. The customized Mission:SPACE-inspired Vinylmation, looks to the Earth as it floats inside Space Shuttle Atlantis The customized Mission:SPACE-inspired Vinylmation floats inside Space Shuttle Atlantis
The 'Create-Your-Own' Vinylmation, with artwork created by the astronauts aboard STS-132, floats inside Space Shuttle Atlantis The 'Create-Your-Own' Vinylmation, with artwork created by the astronauts aboard STS-132, looks to the Earth as it floats inside Space Shuttle Atlantis Disney Parks Blog author and Merchandise Communications Manager Steven Miller places one of the well-traveled Vinylmations in the display case at D-Street.

Two Vinylmations were aboard Atlantis – the Mission: SPACE-inspired figure from Park Series #3, and a “Create-Your-Own” blank figure that we invited the astronauts to decorate. Prior to the flight, the Mission: SPACE figure was customized by a Disney artist to honor STS-132 and the astronauts. The astronauts then added their own artwork to the “Create-Your-Own.” When the pair came back, we began making plans for their display in the special V.I.V. (“Very Important Vinylmation”) Case at D-Street at Downtown Disney West Side here at Walt Disney World.

The 'Create-Your-Own' Vinylmation, with artwork created by the astronauts aboard STS-132, floats inside Space Shuttle Atlantis.

On your next visit, we invite you to stop by and take a look. They definitely are record-holders as the Vinylmation figures who have travelled the farthest distance from Walt Disney World!

We’re honored to have these Vinylmations on display for everyone to view. We hope they inspire the same achievement, creativity and exploration that NASA intended when Lt. Col. Grissom carried the very first mementoes into space as he piloted Liberty Bell 7 nearly 50 years ago.

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9 Comments 1 Reply

1

Brook from NY on April 29th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Very cool!

2

Virginia from CA on April 29th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Beyond awesome! I’m now trying to figure out what Disney goodies I want to take with me into space.. assuming we launch into Tomorrowland-like transportation anytime soon. Hey, a girls gotta be prepared! ;-)

3

Heather on April 29th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thank you for this story. I know what I’ll be looking for when I visit Downtown Disney tonight!

 

Gary Buchanan on May 1st, 2011 at 8:21 am

I hope you had a chance to see them. Thanks to Steven Miller and the great Cast at D-Street, the Vinylmations look right at home in the special display case at the front window. Our two tiny Atlantis “passengers” are standing next to the certificates they received to commemorate their historic journey.

4

Paul from OH on April 29th, 2011 at 6:25 pm

This is simply amazing! Disney goes everywhere!!!! I will go by D-Street and take a picture of them next time I am there.

5

Christopher on April 29th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Wow, very cool.

6

Shawn on April 29th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Very nice! Fun pictures :)

7

Luis on May 1st, 2011 at 3:52 am

WOW! Those pictures are so cool! I just made it my background. That’s going to be a hard picture to top!

8

Sheryl on May 1st, 2011 at 11:58 am

Where is Buzz Lightyear kept that went to “infinity and beyond”? I would love to visit him also!

9

Claire from MD on May 1st, 2011 at 1:08 pm

What a great story…we were at Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of STS-132, but had no idea that a Disney Vinylmation was also onboard! Will have to make a stop at DTD next time we visit WDW to see this special STS-132 vinylmation!

9 Comments