Spaceship Earth, Epcot’s park icon, opened on October 1, 1982 as part of Epcot Center’s opening day. Taking over 26 months to build, this attraction is truly an engineering marvel. Giving an overview of the history of communication, this 16-minute ride’s story was written by Disney Imagineers and author Ray Bradbury.
This geodesic sphere, weighs close to 16 million pounds, is 18 stories tall, supported by 6 pylons that are dug 120 to 185 feet into the ground and is still not the largest attraction in Epcot! Did you know that the entirety of Spaceship Earth could fit inside the tank at The Seas with Nemo and Friends!? Wow!
Spaceship Earth is an Omnimover attraction, which means that it runs on a ride system that is a constant track that can slow or stop as needed to accommodate any and all passengers needs. Have you experienced these Omnimover tracks coming to a very slow crawl? That’s not a malfunction, the attraction is slowing to maybe allow an easier boarding for some guests. The Omnimover system was developed by WED Enterprises (notice the initials??) in 1968 and is still being used at Disney parks all over the world! These Imagineers’ goal was to provide a ride system for guests and to create a boarding area controlling the line of sight for their guests, keeping vital parts of the ride track hidden, or anything else that could detract or spoil the attraction’s story.
The Imagineers again had the guests in mind when designing Spaceship Earth and wanted to make sure that their design would not drench guests standing under the attraction, during one of Florida’s frequent rain storms. They installed a drainage system that collects rain in between each of the triangles that covers the outside of the sphere. The rain water is then piped to the Fountain on Nations fountain.
There are reportedly five Hidden Mickey’s inside this attraction. Have you found them? Here’s an example of one…
Now you know a bit more about this classic attraction. It’s a must do for us on each of our visits to Epcot.
Magic everyday, Darcie