November 21, 2016

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

The Spaceship Earth is a large Geodesic Dome at the main entrance of Epcot theme park and one of the most recognizable landmarks on Disney property. The Spaceship earth ride gives guest a quick history lesson on communications. The ride takes you through 40,000 years of communications.

Many of this tips/tricks came from various internet sources that I have collected over the years, including hiddenmickeys.org and various Disney Unix sites.

Fun Facts about the Geodesic Dome

  • The Spaceship Earth Geodesic Dome is 180 feet taking up 2,200,00 cubic feet of space the outer surface is composed of 954 triangular panels and
  • weighs 155 million pounds.
  • The Spaceship Earth Geodesic Dome isn't the world largest, that honor goes to a pair of Industrial buildings in Northern Mexico 732 ft long and 260 ft wide. Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka Japan is the largest single structure Geodesic Dome: 709 ft. Spaceship Earth doesn't even appear in the top ten largest Geodesic Dome structures list.
  • It took 2 years to build Spaceship Earth.
  • The Prism Fountain behind the turnstiles is actually run-off water from Spaceship Earth.
  • Spaceship Earth has special panels in it the suck in the water when it rains so that it does not drip on guests.
  • Hidden within the panels covering the Geosphere are 17 perfect five-pointed stars
  • One of the coolest places in FutureWorld is under Spaceship Earth. It's shape and the shops to either side create a venturi that causes the slightest breeze to accelerate. (Not a good place to have an open umbrella!)
  • If Spaceship Earth were a golf ball, the person using it to play golf would be approximately 1.2 miles tall to be in proper scale!

Fun Facts about Spaceship Earth

  • Spaceship Earth is the most popular attraction in the world. More people pass through the ride every year than any other attraction.
  • The tour of Spaceship Earth takes 15 mins.
  • The term "Spaceship Earth" was originally coined by Buckminster Fuller, in his 1969 book, "An Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth." Buckminister Fuller also invented the concept of the Geodesic Sphere, which is the type of structure that the "Spaceship Earth" ride is housed in. (The books makes for a great read before you visit the park.)
  • When Space Ship Earth originally opened, all the cars had to be replaced due to a bad design. Each night they would take several cars out of the ride and replace them with refurbished ones. This took some time to complete. In fact, it was so bad that the mechanism that turns the cars around on top of the ride wasn't working and they had a cast member physically turning each car around. You can still see a cast member at the top of the Spaceship Earth ride.
  • Most of the male audio-animatronics in Spaceship Earth are former presidents. When the Hall of Presidents was first made, they made detailed molds for the faces of the presidents. Then when Spaceship Earth was built, they used the same molds and put different hair, costumes, make-up, etc. to create the different characters.
  • The vehicle audio system is an infrared system beamed to the vehicles as they pass by the transmitters.
  • The ride is now narrated by Dame Judi Dench, at one time it was narrated by Walter Cronkite (19864 - 1994).
  • In the scene where the teenage boy is communicating with the girl: if you listen carefully, you'll notice that the boy is speaking in English and hearing the girl in English. The girl is speaking in Japanese and hearing the boy in Japanese as well.
  • At the end of the Spaceship Earth Ride while traveling backward, right before passing the city landscape and passing underneath the fiber optic wires that are overhead, there are several scenes showing people communicating via video phone at remote locations. The more distant part of these images are produced by the classic "peppers ghost effect", what is being reflected is really one story above you to your left as you are coming down.
  • Originally sponsored by the Bell Systems, then in 1984 it was sponsored by AT&T (After the breakup of baby bell)
  • Since 2005, Spaceship Earth has been sponsored by Siemens.
  • Ride closed early 1986 and reopened on May 26, 1986, after the first major renovation. This is when Walter Cronkite became the official navigator. The last major renovation was in 2008 during the fourth major update.
  • Spaceship Earth celebrated 30 years on October 1st, 2012.

Hidden Mickeys!

There are a lot of Hidden Mickeys around here. Here are some known ones:

  • On the mural at the entrance, there is a mammoth. At the top right of the picture, Mickey's face is in sideways profile along the top of the mammoth's back.
  • On the left side of the car you pass the scene with the monks transcribing documents. The second monk is sleeping. If you look back as you pass him you can see an ink blot in the shape of Mickey in the upper right-hand part of the document.
  • When the car is moving through the Renaissance period, there is an artist to your left painting a still-life of some grapes. All the grapes are outlined in black, except a cluster of three, which are outlined in white, making a clear Mickey head.
  • We want to point out the window behind Mona Lisa in the Renaissance section has a lot of big and small circles in it. Every now and then they form perfect Mickeys.
  • Alarm clock (on the dresser) in the teenage boy's bedroom, you can see a hidden Mickey

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