Representing the fascinating and dynamic journey that man has undertaken in communications, Spaceship Earth began on October 1, 1982.
Guests who visited the geospheric attraction in the mid-1980s were entertained by the voice of legendary CBS journalist Walter Cronkite, who narrated the attraction for nearly a decade.
The attraction was revamped in 1994 with narration by actor Jeremy Irons, along with a new theme from the show’s story: Communication bridges the barriers between us; new musical score; show lighting upgrades; re-enactment of some of the historical scenes; newly created scenes; high definition virtual classroom and vignettes of future communications; and laser-powered special effects.
In July 2007, Walt Disney Imagineers began the third reimagining of Epcot’s visual and thematic centerpiece. Reopening this month, Spaceship Earth now gives Guests the opportunity to imagine their future and discover how each generation of humanity has shaped the future of the next generation and how the spirit of innovation has taken people from the caves to the cosmos. . The adventure eventually leads to the top of the geodesic dome, where the Visitors arrive in the present.
The attraction has been transformed with new show scenes, lighting effects, costumes, set decorations and a new narrator, Academy Award-winning English actress Dame Judi Dench. Additionally, a new musical score, conducted by Emmy Award-winning composer Bruce Broughton, features a 63-piece orchestra and 24-voice choir, and infuses each scene with musical styles and instruments appropriate to the time period.
This was no easy task, according to Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) Senior Show Producer Bob Zalk. Making the music for the new scene flow smoothly as the vehicles travel from one time period to the next was extremely difficult, he said.
The first time we toured the attraction accompanied by the new music, we were blown away. Bob says that he was especially excited to work on the Spaceship Earth project now because the ride was one of his first projects back in 1981.
Personally, I feel like I’ve come full circle as an Imagineer because I worked on Spaceship Earth as a sound engineer with WDI in 1981, he said. It’s like getting back with an old friend. On a personal note, I feel great about taking on the challenge of taking this classic iconic attraction and making it better without compromising the story and elements that made it great to begin with. Jeff Woy, project manager for Facility Asset Management, said his group touched almost every part of the building during the project. We work both onstage and behind the scenes, partnering with WDI, he said.
We installed a new catwalk system to make it easier to adjust lighting, made improvements to animation, show lighting, props, special effects and [added] new entry and landscape lighting package. Behind the scenes, we replaced all major air conditioning system components and upgraded various facility security systems and ride components, including the control system.
The revamped attraction also features a new after show presented by Siemens. As Guests embark on the time travel experience, they are invited to visit Project Tomorrow: Inventing the World of Tomorrow, where interactive exhibits bring to life the ideas and technologies that Siemens is developing to help make the world a better place. better place for the future. The space is full of fun, interactive games and displays showcasing innovative technologies. Here guests step into the world of tomorrow and glimpse the future of medicine, transportation and responsible energy management around the world.
The reimagined Spaceship Earth retains the rich elements that make this iconic attraction a classic experience enjoyed by generations, said Epcot Vice President Jim MacPhee. From the enhanced scenes and post-show game offerings to the interactive element that allows Guests to imagine their own visions of the future, Spaceship Earth helps Epcot enthusiasts discover how one generation can influence and inspire the next.
This enhancement is another exciting opportunity for us to make Epcot an even more vibrant and family-friendly park. Since Spaceship Earth opened more than 25 years ago, an estimated 300 million Guests have experienced the attraction.