Spaceship Earth (by R Joy Helvie)
NOTE: Written in 2011 about January 2011 trip
I was 11 when I made my first trip to Walt Disney World; it was the only trip I would make until my trip earlier this year.
There was no Animal Kingdom in 1996, and therefore we had to choose two of three parks: Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios, Epcot.
I had been to Disneyland twice already, so I was gunning for MGM and Epcot. But my parents decided that MK and MGM would be our destinations. I was devastated. I really, REALLY wanted to go to Epcot.
While at WDW, my parents bought the awesome “Walt Disney World Explorer” CD. I still own it; I even just the other day installed Windows Virtual PC on my Windows 7 so I could run the game under XP. I LOVE WDW Explorer.
Anyway, being a kid with a big imagination, and only a few small pics to work from, and not really paying attention to the information given on the Spaceship Earth page, the following was what my childhood imaginings of Epcot were:
I was under the impression that the giant sphere that my adult self knows is Spaceship Earth was called EPCOT. I had heard about all the cool Innoventions stuff, and somehow had it firmly planted in my child brain that the sphere inside contained levels that featured all sorts of cool virtual reality stuff. Basically like what DisneyQuest looks like, only in a sphere.
As I grew older, I was less and less sure of this. I learned the real name of the sphere, but I have to admit:
Not until we were walking up to SE, when my friend started talking about it being a PeopleMover, did I truly understand that what lay inside was NOT what I thought. Seriously. I really did hold on to those childhood imaginings up until I entered that building.
But oh, what a MAGNIFICENT place! I grew up to be an English major and aspiring novelist, so to have a giant sphere full of a PeopleMover (my favorite kind of Disney ride) that told the history of language via awesome animatronics… Oh, I was in HEAVEN. And that finale at the top? MAGNIFICENT.
And Epcot in general, oh god, what an amazing place. My friends musta thought I was crazy. Here is what I tweeted just as we got there:
And seriously, it only got better from there. I think I was in line for Soarin’ when I tweeted that, but can’t quite remember.
Soarin’ was AMAZING. Spaceship Earth was AMAZING. Ellen’s Energy Adventure was FREAKING AWESOME. Living With The Land was FUN. The Living Seas was BEAUTIFUL.
I just couldn’t get enough. And OMG, Captain EO was back, and man, you have no idea how much I flipped out when we went to see it. I was OVERJOYED. This was my childhood coming back in a BIG WAY, because when at WDW in ‘96, not only did we not go to Epcot, but EO had already been closed down.
So, for me, this year’s visit to Captain EO was *20* years in the making. Possibly even 23, ‘cause I can’t remember if we went to EO when we were at Disneyland in ‘91 or if it was just during my first trip to DL in ‘88 (at the ripe old age of 3).