Buzz Lightyear in Mathmagicland

Mr. Buzz Aldrinicus Lightyear is an elite Space Ranger, with pop-out wings, wrist laser cannon, and a swooshing helmet. He has bilingual modes, multiple sound effects button, and a box that transforms into his ship. But when it comes to numbers, the poor guy is more lost than a Brazillian tour group at the FastPass machine.

Buzz Lightyear as Tron
But to be fair, how many tour groups can rock a Tron costume like this?

First of all, he seems to completely misunderstand the concept of infinity. We’ll forgive him that. It’s not easy to grasp the idea of something that never ends (unless one has tried to sit through Finding Nemo the Musical). Heck, when I was a kid, I thought the sideways eight was simply the international symbol for sacking Steve Young. But sometime in middle school, I think I caught on. Yet there is Buzz, claiming an impossible standard of personal excellence as if it were the volume nob in Spinal Tap.

To say Buzz Lightyear struggles with arithmetic is like saying Lights Motors Action wrestles with subtlety. Let’s put it this way. When Disney had the chance to make a classic short film teaching kids about math, they had their choice of stars between a top-flight intergalactic space ranger and a rabid duck who refuses to wear pants. They went with the duck.

Pictured: Elementary mathematics. Or, graduate-level courses at Star Command.

Look, Buzz Lightyear knows how to do one thing, and he does it well. He shoots stuff. Buzz Lightyear makes his living behind the trigger. When Chuck Norris and Jack Bauer get together for drinks, they tell Buzz Lightyear jokes. Buzz is single-handedly responsible for turning the first-person shooter genre into a theme park attraction.

This is a ride by, for, and about Buzz Lightyear, so it must be kept simple.

Step 1: Point your gun.
Step 2: Depress trigger.

If you can master this complex scenario, you too can score points like a planet-hopping Space Ranger. Buzz even drew a helpful sign to explain it to you:

The sideways N is the international symbol for sacking Nitrogen. Or is that supposed to be a Z?

But bless him, the chubby little astronaut managed to botch even this. It’s not immediately obvious, but Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin is a game with several targets, all of which have various point levels. Simply depressing the thumb button for a few seconds will automatically score you a minimum of 100 points, even if you never hit a target.

If you do hit a target, you will get more points, which come in 100-point denominations. So how the heck did Buzz get the score posted in the sign? It’s physically impossible. Which makes me think Buzz Lightyear can’t add, or Space Ranger Spin is the Tomorrowland equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru. I guess we know why he thinks his catchphrase is so clever.

Admiral Kirk played Space Ranger Spin three times himself. His final solution was, shall we say, unique.

Comments (12)

  1. @Katie R., now that you mention it, I’d bet real money that you’re right. It definitely sounds suspicious. Good catch!

  2. 07-23-70? Sounds like some Imagineer was leaving his/ her signature on the attraction in the form of a significant date!

  3. Melissa can always be counted on to bring the funny! I must remember these.

  4. @Stephen, I’m glad someone got my Star Trek II reference!

  5. @Mr. Lincoln, there are indeed several hidden targets with higher point values. I guess the point I was trying to make is that they are all divisible by 100 (at least at WDW, where this sign appears). Which makes the “example” score a mathematical impossibility.

    As a side note, I think the targets at DL are more fun and accurate than the WDW version. But WDW has the spinning, so it’s a little better, IMO.

  6. @Trish, that’s a great point! Mathmagicland is somewhat bioluminescent. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Mathmagic land in the parks?

  7. Buzz Lightyear is so bad at math he thinks multiplication tables are what women give birth on.

    Buzz Lightyear is so bad at math he thinks a cosine is something you need for a car loan.

    Buzz Lightyear is so bad at math, if you ask him what an acute triangle is, he says, “They all look pretty cute to me!”

    Buzz Lightyear is so bad at math he thinks cardinal numbers is a gambling ring in the Vatican.

    Buzz Lightyear is so bad at math, if you ask him to find the circumference, he says, “I don;t know; I’m not Jewish!”

    Buzz Lightyear is so bad at math he thinks a fraction is the kind of traction they put you in when you beak your leg.

  8. Buzz Lightyear doesn’t believe in the no-win scenario.

  9. …and at least in the Ca version there are different point values for each shape. Triangle is the highest, then diamond, square, and a circle is the lowest point value.

    Also, when a target is lit up it’s worth more too.

  10. There are secret targets in the ride worth lots-o’ points! That’s how the high scores are achieved.

  11. Aldrinicus?!

    And is it me or does Mathmagicland look like it may have inspired Pandora?

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