[Disney Vacation Planner]
|At A Glance
||The landmark emblam of EPCOT
houses a slow but good educational ride attraction, that looks
at how communication has changed through time.
The Geosphere that is the focal point, and symbol, of
the Epcot park is known as Spaceship Earth, and has been in place
since the park opened on October 1st 1982.
It is 165 feet in diameter, and weighs approximately 16 million
pounds, or 7.28 million kilos, and is supported 18 feet above
ground by six legs each of which is sunk 100 feet into the ground.
Note that it's a Geosphere and not a Geodesic Dome
as many people confuse it with. It's outer skin is made up from
954 triangular aluminium tiles with a sandwiched polythene core,
and it's one of the few man-made items in Florida that is visible
from a plane flying down either the east or west floridian coast.
Located within the dome itself is the SpaceShip Earth Ride.
Sponsored by AT&T, and built with the collaboration of the SciFi
author Ray Bradbury, it is a 14-minute seated (and sedate) ride
that traces the history and development of communications on Earth,
from the days of Cro-Magnon man (30-40,000 years ago) up to date
through the use of plenty of Audio Animatronics.
On 29th May 1986 a new narration by Walter Cronkite was added
to the ride, and this was replaced during renovations in 1994
with a naration by Jeremy Irons, with the ride reopening on 23rd
November 1994. At around the same time the scenery was much improved,
but the music took a turn for the worse and is now relatively
Included in the scenery and narration are cave paintings, the
development of written language, the Phoenician merchants, the
Roman highway system, the great libraries in the Muslim lands
that maintained so much knowledge during Europe's dark ages, Guttenburg's
printing press... and on and on to today's digital communications
networks spanning the globe.
Overall it's an attraction that's well worth visiting, and not
only that but it's educational at the same time.
The best times to visit are probably first thing in the morning,
when the crowds are all heading for the likes of the Test Track,
or in the early evening as the park's visitors are starting to