Spaceship Earth, The Icon of Walt Disney World Epcot. An 18 Story Geodesic Sphere is instantly recognizable globally. It’s also the home of a 15-minute dark ride “Time Machine”. Did you know there have been 4 different versions of the attraction since it opened with the park in 1982? Read more, and Listen to this weeks Disney Nerds Podcast to hear them ALL!!! Then let us know which one you like best!! It will be the topic of a future show. The 15 minute ark ride details advancements in human communications, tracing all the way back to prehistoric man. From pictures on cave walls, tot he creation of the alphabet, the printing press and modern communications.
This episode of the Disney Nerds Podcast features audio from all 4 versions of the attractions:
Vic Perrin (1982-1986), Walter Cronkite (1986-1994), Jeremy Irons (1994-2007), Judi Dench (2007-present).
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Here is a consolidated Timeline for Spaceship Earth. (This will be a topic of a future show)
- October 1, 1982: Spaceship Earth opens with the opening of EPCOT Center. Sponsored by the Bell Systems The narrated by Lawrence Dobkin
- May 26, 1986: Attraction reopens from first major renovation. AT&T is now the sponsor, having signed on in 1984. New narration by Walter Cronkite Finale music changed to Tomorrow’s Child.
- August 15, 1994: Closes for second major renovation. “Home computer”, “Office Computer”, “Network Operations Center”, and “Space Station” scenes removed. New final scenes installed and replace old final scenes. Earth Station closes. Tomorrow’s Child ending removed.
- November 23, 1994: Attraction reopens. New ride narration by Jeremy Irons New ride score by Edo Guidotti. The Global Neighborhood replaces Earth Station.
- September 29, 1999: The Mickey Mouse arm holding a wand is dedicated with “2000” over Spaceship Earth.
- November 24, 1999: The Global Neighborhood is replaced with The New Global Neighborhood, a new exhibit space serving as a hands-on playground for Spaceship Earth’s post show.
- May 2001: The Mickey Mouse arm holding a wand is changed to say “Epcot” over Spaceship Earth.
- January 1, 2003: AT&T sponsorship ends.
- April 2004: The New Global Neighborhood is removed and the area is boarded up. AT&T references removed.
- November 2005: It is announced that Siemens AG will sponsor Spaceship Earth for twelve years.
- April 11, 2007: Major changes coming to Spaceshih Earth are announced.
- April 25, 2007: The new exhibit space in Spaceship Earth’s post show called Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future opens.
- July 5, 2007: Epcot Vice President Jim Macphee announces the removal of the wand structure in time for the park’s 25th anniversary on October 1, 2007.
- July 9, 2007: Closes for a fourth renovation. Removal of the wand structure begins.
- August 24, 2007: Removal of the wand structure completed.
- December 2007: Guest previews of fourth edition begin.
- February 15, 2008: Fourth edition opens to the general public. New narration by Dame Judi Dench
- March 4, 2008: Spaceship Earth is rededicated.
- October 1, 2012: Spaceship Earth and Epcot celebrate their 30th anniversary.
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