Disney's Astro Blasters
A guide to getting high scores and bringing five year olds to jealous tears.

Blasting away to fun and happiness My favorite part of Disneyland is Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland (the line is always short, it's interactive and fun), but everybody gets random scores because they don't know how it works. Here's how it works. Enjoy and get your initials/picture on the high score board for the day. Or don't - I just thought I'd try to help and spread the love. Get a high score, make your friend look like a scrub, whatever makes you happy. Plus you know I like to put data together in one place for easy access... this is the best and most complete set of consolidated data about the subject that I'm aware of. Further information is great/appreciated, of course - send along to zachd at microsoft dotty com.

How to get a great score at Disneyland's Astro Blasters
In order: Triangle, diamond, square, circle. There's a chart just before you get in the carts that does NOT have any numbers or text, just shows those in order (left to right). If you don't know what you're looking at, it seems pretty random. Evidently in Tokyo Disney the chart actually tells you the point values, but not in Disneyland.

ZURG! is 50,000 points. There's a VERY small target hidden in the middle of his chest where the cowl would meet. It's extremely hard to hit, but worth it. You can sometimes see the ambient light glint off of this target, which can make it easier to find and hit.
Triangles are 10,000 points. Those are typically hidden or hard to get to. They're on the back-side of robot's hands, in jack-in-the-boxes you have to shoot open, behind moving objects, etc. The (very) easiest one is behind the final moving Zurg - and then after that goes out of reach there's one in a jack-in-the-box RIGHT behind you. (Seriously, it's seamless, turn around quick.)
Diamonds are 5,000 points. They're fairly hidden but there are lot more. The dark tunnel with the flashing red targets is full of them.
Squares are 1,000 points. They're everywhere.
Circles are 100 points. They're REALLY everywhere. They're also pointless to shoot, really, unless they open something, because ... what a waste of time. Hit one triangle and you've just hit 100 circles.
The You Suck Bonus If you fire six times without hitting anything, you get a 100 point bonus. The reason that's important is that you might have thought you hit something but you didn't really. As a gag, you can shoot nowhere five times and then shoot your friend for 100 pts.

==Important notes==
* The left side of the cart is MUCH better positioned than the right. It's probably worth an extra 50000 -100000 points.
* Keep firing once you hit a target. It's worth that much EVERY time. So once you hit a triangle, keep firing as fast as you can.
* The guns suck. Start firing at the walls as soon as they turn on so you can figure out how your dot aims relative to the gun position.
* All the guns always have a flashing red target/scope light (flashes every second?), so you will get confused by everybody else's. Adapt. Even the empty gun in *my* cart threw me off a bunch of times. If you're riding by yourself, put the other gun down on the seat. Seriously.
* I don't know how much the glowing targets are worth. Doesn't seem to be worth much. You activate those with the lame online game. Then if the live player in the ride shoots them, that gives the online guy an opportunity to get "huge" bonus points.
* If the ride breaks down, KEEP FIRING.
* You can turn the cart with the little stick, but generally: why? If you're with somebody, turn the cart 10-15 degrees left and both seats will have good positioning.
* If you manage to crack the top 50(? may be top 100) instead of saying "score" above your score, it'll say Rank. I didn't know about this until I got "Rank 42", which was definitely exciting. So of course I had to try again, and did much better. Yay!
* If you go early in the day, you're much more likely to crack the top 50. Duh, of course, but -- why not try? Plus if you stay at a Disney hotel, you get to go in an hour earlier than everybody else, which means you're pretty much guaranteed top 50. *thumbs up*
There are further notes on scoring + hidden triangles here.

==Triangle locations (verified at Disneyland)==
* On the back of the robot's hand in the first room
* behind the spaceship that waves back and forth
* on the back of the circling aliens in the Alien Volcano room. you have to be a little lucky to be able to shoot at it - if you do get a shot, STAND UP and you'll be able to shoot over the obstructing closer alien and shoot at it some more. This is the only time in the entire ride you should need to stand up.
* in the jack-in-the-box after the volcano in the Alien Volcano room
* two hidden triangles in the walls of the black "speed" tunnel (this is also where your picture will be taken)
* Behind the right of moving Zurg's shoulder in the final room (this is the easiest one to hit in the entire ride)
* In a jack-in-the-box behind you in the final room after you pass to the other side of Zurg, turn the cart to hit it

The picture gets taken in the dark hallway that has the red flashing targets. I had a beastly pose at the end of the ride because I didn't know where the picture was taken. Oh well. =) It's free to send the picture to yourself at Disneyland.

Highest daily score I've ever seen (so far) is 7.x million. Highest all-time score is 11.5 million. For most people, you won't be able to go over 700,000 unless the ride slows down to let on people in wheelchairs.
High scores are credited to "LGM" (little green men) until you sign in and give your initials at the post-ride email screen.
Disneyworld's version has mounted guns. Sucks to be them.
They built the Disneyworld version first, then the Tokyo version, then the Disneyland version. So either Tokyo or Disneyland should be the best - I liked the Disneyland version best, but only had time to go on Tokyo Astro Blasters once.
A supposed Disney employee said that space cruisers 25-30 tend to go the slowest (they're exactly opposite the wheelchair cruisers, I guess?). I don't know if that's true, but -- FWIW.
The online game supposedly ties in with the theme park game, but I have only tried it offline so far. It kind of sucks.
There is indeed at least one Hidden Mickey.

Score Status Board
+999,999 - L7 - Galactic Hero
600,001-999,999 - L6 - Cosmic Commando
300,001-600,000 - L5 - Ranger 1st Class
100,001-300,000 - L4 - Space Scout
10,001-100,000 - L3 - Planetary Pilot
1,001-10,000 - L2 - Space Ace
0-1,000 - L1 - Star Cadet

==Disneyworld: Secret Targets== (information from Mike, thanks!)
The Disneyworld Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom is a pale shadow of Astro Blasters. The guns are fixed and the firing mechanism is via push-button instead of trigger. But! If you do end up going, aim for the secret targets:

  • 100,000: Outside of the Boxing Robots (Box-o-Bots) right hand
  • 100,000: Hanging claw (right after the Box-o-Bot on the opposite side before you enter the next section)
  • 100,000: Bottom of Zurg's ship
  • 50,000: Hidden chest targets on the two moving Zurgs (JUST beneath the tiny target on his chest, in between the chest plates)
  • 25,000: Top of the Volcano
  • 25,000: 2 Hidden Targets in the "Zurg Escapes" Portion on either side of the entrance to the next room.