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|At A Glance
||Housed in the East and West
buildings by Spaceship Earth, Innoventions contains a host
of great interactive and educational exhibits.
Innoventions opened on the 1st of July 1994 and replaced the
earlier Communicore pavillion, and has since been completely refurbished
in time for Epcot's Millennium celebrations.. Most if not all
people that know the former version claim it to be a big improvement.
Innoventions covers 100,000 square-feet of floorspace being split
into two separate buildings,referred to as Innoventions East and
Innoventions West. Over the years various companies have sponsored
exhibits including AT&T, GE, GM, Motorola, Honeywell, IBM, Apple,
Silicon Graphics, and Lego. Today the theme for both East and
West buildings is "The Road to Tomorrow". A theme echo'd
by the layout of the two buildings, and the way guests are guided
around the exhibits by following a pre-marked route in the form
of a carpeted "road", (complete with yield and stop
signs), guided in part by Tom Morrow 2.0 (The TechnoGuide to the
In its earlier incarnation, Innoventions East contained attractions
based more around a home theme, whilst Innoventions West had a
more future and entertainment theme, with featured attractions
like the Sega games centre. Innoventions wass also home to three
restaurants (Electric Umbrella, Pasta Piazza Ristorante, and Fountain
View Espresso & Bakery) along with three shops (Centorium, Art
of Disney Epcot, and Field Trips), and finally Epcot Guest Relations.
These days there is far less of a home vs future distinction,
with both East and West housing exhibits relating to the home,
future methods of communications, and the various ways that technology
could be seen to be making life easier.
The first exhibit encountered in Innoventions East is Forests
For Our Future in which guests are invited to take a trip
through an interactive forest and visit a field research outpost
where they will discover how the latest technology is supposedly
being used to help sustain some of the world's forests. Forests
or Our Future also features the game of "Total Tree-via",
and is sponsored by the Technical Association of the Pulp and
Next on the road through Innoventions East is the whimsical Innoventions
Internet Zone (sponsored by Disney.Com) in which various interactive
shows and play stations let children explore the future possibilities
of online games, including a game of "virtual tag" with
their favourite Disney characters. Children can also send a video
E-Mail clip of themselves to friends back home.
Following the Internet Zone is the Communications Dream Forum
presented by Motorola, in which guests can journey into a
future worl of "freedom through communications" hosted
on a giant high definition screen. After the presentation guests
exit into the "Reality Lab"
The House of Innoventions is next, sponsored by Panja
- another one of Disney's previews into the smart home of the
future, complete with Internet fridge and a robotic pet dog. Hopefully
this exhibit will be refreshed a little more frequently than similar
exhibits in the past, that have started to really show their age
after a while.
The Web Site Construction Zone comes next, presented by
GO.Com, where guests can use the virtual construction site to
build their own family homepage for the worldwide web.
Future Cars sponsored by General Motors show off some
ideas for advanced transportation vehicle of the future, including
cars powered by fuel cells and various all-electric vehicles.
Finally in Innoventions East is the Look into the Future
exhibit, where interactive screens designed to look like windows
present various design prototypes that combine everyday products
with advanced technologies.
The frst exhibit encountered in Innoventions West (after the
Tom Morrow character) is the Networked Living exhibit,
sponsored by IBM. This provides IBM's view of the future of computing
and the Internet, though no doubt Microsoft would have a thing
or two to say about the IBM vision. Within the exhibit guests
can travel on IBM's "PlanetRider" experiencing some
reasonably advanced voice recognition software along the way,
and even sending an Internet postcard.
The second exhibit in Innoventions West is the Ultimate Home
Theatre Experience presented by Lutron, where guests will
not suprisingly find the latest in home theatre technologies,
including High Definition television, advanced lighting controls
and some pretty impressive surround-sound hardware as well.
Beautiful Science comes next, sponsored by Monsanto (they
of the G.M. food controversy), where guests can find out what
Monsanto are doing to help solve world food and health problems
(note - what they are doing, not HOW they are planning to do it).
Video Games of Tomorrow sponsored by Sega allows guests
to "catch a glimpse of the next generation of video games"
in the form of a Dreamcast console, though again this is pretty
much old-hat by now since the Dreamcast is a pretty common home
console these days.
Medicine's New Vision presented by the Radiological Society
of America aims to show how medical breakthroughs will change
the way people in the next millennium (now the current millennium)
view medicine. After the main presentation guests can play some
of the interactive games in the exhibit like "Cell Slam".
The penultimate presentation is by AT&T, titled The Broadband
Connection it's a whimsical game show where a telephone, television
and computer come to life to explore the world of broadband communications,
hosted by the surrel presenter "Chip Digital".
The final presentation in Innoventions West is The Knowledge
Vortex presented by Xerox. Here guests get to look ahead to a
time when paper will be replaced by an electronic form, or a large
book full of information can be stored on a device no larger than
a postage stamp.
The area in between the two buildings continues the theme with
talking trashcans, a giand marble sphere that 'floats' rotating
on a gently rising fountain of water (and can be turned by hand!)
and at night fibre optics embedded within the concrete floor make
Innoventions one of the most breathtaking areas of the park.
Every fifteen minutes at the Innoventions Plaza Fountain located
in between the two Innoventions Buildings, a spectacular water
display is put on, choreograhped to music. This is aprticularly
impressive at night, when the fountain also features a stunning
lighting display. It's one feature of Epcot that shouldn't be
missed under any circumstances!
The Innoventions West building closed on 15th October 1987 for
a major rennovation, with parts of the building reopening in mid
It's worth noting that although the majority of the attarctions
are free to use, some of the manufacturers, notably Sega charge
for their use (as in any arcade I suppose). That said it's quite
easy to spend a couple of hours leisurly looking around.
Prior to the recent Millennium refurbishment, The attractions
located at Innoventions included:
Innoventions East Side
- Bill Nye, the Science Guy
- General Electric
- Honeywell's House of Innoventions
- General Motors
- Disney.com Internet Zone Powered by Gateway
- Electric Umbrella (Food Service)
- Centorium (Shop)
- Art of Disney Epcot (Shop)
- Guest Relations
Innoventions West Side
- Silicon Graphics
- Pasta Piazza Ristorante (Food Service)
- Fountain View Espresso & Bakery (Food Service)
- Field Trips (Shop)
- Coca-Cola Ice Station Cool (Exhibit/Shop)