Why I Love Spaceship Earth
On my first trip to Walt Disney World in the early 1980s, there were only 2 parks and a handful of hotels. Most out-of-town visitors stayed in hotels on International Drive and got buses from their hotels to Walt Disney World. On my first day, my family went to the Magic Kingdom and I was mesmerized. On day two, EPCOT Center, and my love affair began.
EPCOT Center in the 1980's was amazing. Rides like World of Motion (now Test Track) and Universe of Energy (becoming Guardians of the Galaxy) were literally full of animatronics. Communicore (former Innoventions) was jammed with things to do (I liked the backstage show where you got to see the giant servers that ran EPCOT). There was a much bigger Centorium (former Mouse Gear) full of cool souvenirs, and a World Showcase just waiting to be explored.
The daddy of them all though was Spaceship Earth, which has, to this day, remained my favourite attraction.
Hosted back then by Walter Kronkite (as was almost everything else), and it combined animatronics, with history (my degree is in history) and a ride in the "ball", it had all the elements to be my favourite. Years later my mother told me of her fear that there was a big drop at the end, I was too busy soaking in everything around me to even think about that.
Although the attraction has gone through changes over the years (Kronkite was replaced by Jeremy Irons, who was replaced by Dame Judi Dench) and some scenes changed (I want Tomorrow's Child back), it remains a testament to the talents and determination to make Walt's dream of EPCOT a reality.
I'm personally sad to see the drainage issues at Spaceship Earth, and deep down, I'm delighted that we didn't get "our shared experience" additions in the previously scheduled refurbishment.
Although Spaceship Earth needs some care and attention, it will come. Then, seeing the attraction flanked by lucite pylons at the entrance fountain and Dreamers Point behind it will be a fitting reminder of the past, present, and future of the park.