Spaceship Earth - Epcot

Florida Guide > Disney Parks

Everyone will recognise the giant ‘golf ball’ - the icon which is central to the Walt Disney World’s Epcot. It is impossible to miss it as you approach the park, as the white, glinting geosphere rises 180 feet from the ground, and with the addition of the wand in Sorcerer Mickey’s hand, it reaches 240 feet! Does everyone know what is inside this magnificent structure? I had no idea, on my first visit to the park, that it contains the ride called Spaceship Earth, which is the story of communication through the ages, and into the future.

Underneath the sphere there is quite a long queuing area for this gentle, slow moving attraction, but don’t be put off by it as the line moves along quickly. This is because the cars that take you through the experience move continuously. When you arrive at the start of the ride you step onto a circular moving platform and then walk over to take your seat in one of the cars which are constantly moving along.

The ride starts off by climbing fairly steeply so your seat will slightly recline as this happens. The commentary (by Jeremy Irons) which accompanies the entire ride is played through speakers which are in your headrest, and there is accompanying music which adds to the atmosphere. The first animatronic scenes that you pass through are the cave paintings of Cro-Magnon man, and then you move on to the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Ancient Greeks and then the Romans and so on through all the major influences and developments in communications until we get to the present day and a vision of the communications of the near future. When this ride was first built, the designers’ vision of the future of communication was probably beyond their wildest dreams but now, years later, we are beginning to catch up, and the future it depicts is not as unimaginable as it used to be!

When you have travelled through the past and reached the present day you will have reached the highest point of the ride, and as the individual cars on the ‘train’ slowly revolve 90 degrees, you are turned to face a wonderful ‘sky’ full of stars and planets. Then the cars continue to revolve until you are travelling backwards as you begin your descent through the scenes of the future and tunnels of light and stars. If you notice smells in the air as you travel through history, this is not accidental. Disney has used ‘Smellitizers’ to add to the experience in some of the scenes!

The ride lasts for about 12 minutes, and is either an excellent way to break yourself in gently to a day at Epcot, or to enjoy a welcome rest from some of the more frantic offerings in the park.

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