by Soarin’ Diva
All of us have probably had this thought as we walked into Epcot for the first time, “What the heck is that huge golf ball-shaped thing anyway?” Is it some kind of super fast roller coaster? Is it just a huge Disney store, luring patrons in to buy yet more souvenirs? Is it a super-sized model for the golf ball hit towards you in the Soarin’ ride? No, it’s none of these things. This is Spaceship Earth, one of the best, yet under-glorified rides at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resorts. The huge geosphere of the Spaceship Earth ball hovers a staggering 180 feet above the park.
Once you are seated, you are taken on a slow-moving, sixteen minute journey into the past. As you slowly glide past the amazing audio-animatronics scenes, you notice that each scene depicts a very important time in history. You begin your journey with the caveman era and the invention of fire. You will witness papyrus (the first paper)being invented by an unknown Egyptian. The alphabet is invented by none other than the Phoenicians, hence the title of this article. You will pass by an Italian Renaissance scene, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel being painted.
You will also journey through the Dark Ages and destruction of Rome. This is one of my particular favorite scenes, as Disney works their magic by tickling your olfactory senses with the smell of Rome burning. You will also witness the Age of Enlightenment, the invention of the printing press, man walking on the moon for the first time as seen by a family in their living room. The invention of the computer makes an appearance, as well as a home computer that appears to be large enough to make a home in compared to the computers we have today.
As you reach the top of the geosphere, your seat will turn backwards for your downward descent. At this time, the screen in the front of your seat will light up and you will be asked to select answers to various questions about your ideal vacation and home. This is an interactive activity to help you pass the time on your descent and will award you with a little treat at the end.
Spaceship Earth can be quite dark, which some children may not like, but is not a scary or loud ride for young ones. If dark places make them anxious, just hold their hand and make sure they stay seated.
A few tips that may interest you about Spaceship Earth:
It is actually composed of TWO spheres, the outer core houses the inner core which contains the ride.
Spaceship Earth contains a very unique gutter system. The panels you see on the exterior of the geosphere actually suction in rain water as it hits them and redirects the water around to the World Showcase Lagoon. Guests walking by Spaceship Earth won’t be hit by the raindrops.
Spaceship Earth is made up of a carbon-aluminum compound called alucabond. This compound is perfect for withstanding the hot and tropical Florida climate as well as being easy to clean.
If Spaceship Earth truly were a golf ball, expect the golfer to be a mile tall!
As you can see, there truly is a lot to learn from Spaceship Earth. Because this is a slow-moving ride, a lot of people pass right by in their quest for speed at Test Track, the desire to hang glide at Soarin’ or just taste some delicious samples and roam through the various countries in World Showcase. My family and I make it a point to ride Spaceship Earth every time we go to Epcot, though. I mean, come on, the “Epcot Ball” IS the main family picture shot of Epcot after all, so take a little time and stop in to learn a little about the history of mankind.
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