Inside the Ride

Inside the History of Spaceship Earth at EpcotIt’s been a week since Epcot ® celebrated its 30th anniversary and everybody here at Orlando Fun Tickets is still excited about the monumental celebration we thoughts we’d take a look back at one of Epcot’s most iconic structures and oldest rides – Spaceship Earth.

One of the most recognizable structures at Walt Disney World ®, Spaceship Earth is not only the iconic and symbolic structure of Epcot ® but also is a 13-minute dark ride that shows guests how advancements in human communication have helped to create where we are today. The attraction is a timeline from the origins of prehistoric man to the dawn of the 21st century and includes scenes from Prehistoric Caveman, Egyptian Temple, Roman Roads, Jewish and Arab Scholars, Renaissance Artists, Steam Press, Telegraph, Radio, Cinema, Mainframe Computer and much more.

Designed by the help of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, Space Ship Earth is a complete sphere supported by three pairs of legs. The massive structure, which looks like a giant golf ball, is 18-stories high and took 26 months and 40,800 labor hours to build. It was one of the original attractions that opened when Epcot did on Oct. 1 1982.

On that day, the attraction included ride vehicles that moved into the structure through a lighted tunnel enhanced by a fog machine, and then ascended on a spiraling track through the dark. Lawrence Dobkin was the narrator and was accompanied by a simple and quiet orchestral composition. In keeping with the times, it has gone through several renovations since then.

In 1986, the Space Ship Earth was given a slight makeover. The attraction’s opening added twinkling lights to the tunnel to depict stars. The fog machines were removed and famous news journalist Walter Cronkite became the new narrator with an updated script. A new theme song called “Tomorrow’s Child” was composed for the ending of the attraction, which was also redesigned with projected images of children to fit the theme of “Tomorrow’s Child.”

Eight years later Spaceship Earth underwent its third and biggest renovation, which took three months and included the removal of three scenes (a computer in a boy’s bedroom in the 1980’s, a woman’s office of the 1980’s and a network operations center in the 1990’s) and the addition of one giant scene of a boy and a girl communicating over the internet between America and Asia. Actor Jeremy Irons was the new narrator and a new orchestral composition was composed for the beginning, middle and end. The ending was completely redone with the removal of the Space Station scene, a new projectile image of Earth in the planetarium and replacements of the 1982 and 1986 ending scenes. The attraction re-opened on Nov. 23, 1994.

Today, Spaceship Earth has a yet another new score composed by Bruce Broughton and new narration provided by actress Judi Dench. In 2007, the giant Mickey wand and Epcot signage that was placed on the sphere in celebration of the millennium was removed and restored back to its original exterior.

To continue to celebrate Epcot’s ® 30th anniversary and ride one of it’s oldest rides look for discounted tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.