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Original Exit Mural

Fact Sheet

Concepts & Construction

"New Horizons" Lyrics

"There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" Lyrics

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Horizons Logo

Formerly Presented by G.E. Logo

Horizons was presented by General Electric from October 1, 1983 to September 30, 1993. It remained open without G.E.'s sponsorship until Fall 1994. The pavilion reopened in December of 1995 without any company's sponsorship. Horizons closed forever January 9, 1999. Site work began on August 5, 1981 and actual construction began in January of 1982. Deconstruction of the pavilio began in April 2000.

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Horizons Fact Sheet

  • Horizons was developed under the working name Century 3. The name referred to the United States entering its third century of existence. A reference to the Century 3 name can still be found in the attraction written on the small yellow space shuttle in the beginning of the Brava Centauri section. The second working name was Futureprobe. More information about this can be found on the Horizons Concepts and Construction page.
  • The Horizons pavilion covers three acres.
  • In the desert farm scene, a machine called a smellitzer fills the air with the scent of the fresh oranges.
  • 177 miles of fiber optic strands were utilized in Horizons. That equals a total of 932,425 end points of light. 21,000 of those points are in the cloud wall at the beginning of the ride. Behind the sand-blasted acrylic clouds, the fiber optics were placed into hand-drilled holes. The majority of the fiber optics were in the transition walls before and after the OmniSphere Theater. Unfortunately, those haven't worked in years.
  • 3,700 tons of steel went into the pavilion. That's MORE than the amount of steel in Spaceship Earth. The steel support columns are 78 feet high and 24 inches in diameter. The roof of the building is made of a 5-ply turncoated steel.

Alex Taylor - Designer of futuristic plants
Alex Taylor - Designer of Futuristic Plants ©Disney

  • With biotechnology now a reality, Imagineers had the challenge of creating the plants which would be present in the future habitats. Alex Taylor was put in charge of dreaming up the new plants seen on the Mesa Verde balcony and in the desert farm. "Circuit Egg Ivy" grows in a kinked and twisted pattern resembling an electronic circuit. "Pepcumbers" are a cross between peppers and cucumbers. "Flavor Grapes" grow in clusters of different colors and flavors. "Pinanas" are a combination of pineapples and bananas and "loranges" are a lime/orange hybrid. In the desert farm scene, the theoretical fruits being grown are loranges, which smell like oranges and grow towards the outside of the trees to make it easier for the robots to harvest.
  • The highest point that the ride vehicles reach is in the Space sequence when they are about 65 feet off the ground.
  • Each ride vehicle weighs about 3,000 pounds.

Ride Vehicles
Horizons Ride Vehicles

  • Two examples of WDI-created futuristic technology are the "Aeolean Harp," which catches the wind to produce music, and the "Golden Glow," which uses bioluminescence like a firefly to produce a neon glow.
  • The scene with the rocket sticking into the side of the moon is based on a scene from French filmmaker Georges Méliès' "Le Voyage dans la lune" (1902).
  • OmniSphere Theater:
    • The projection systems for the OmniSphere presentation utilize large-format 70mm film. To further increase the quality of the images, the film is run horizontally to allow for an even larger frame size.
    • Theater walls are 3 feet thick.
    • First use of computer animation (DNA chain, space shuttle docking) in Omni format.
    • First use of computer animation of Earth (Landsat) in Omni format.
    • First Imax micro-photography of crystals and computer chips.
    • The film was created by Eddie Garrick.
    • First time two Omni screens were connected together. This combined screen is 240 feet wide and 80 feet high.
    • Music by George Wilkins
      Synthesizer played by Michael Boddicker
      Pipe Organ played by Richard Bolks

Tom Fitzgerald and his Audio-Animatronic look alike, Tom II

  • The man who plays the "beachboy" on the video screen and provides the voice for the Audio-Animatronic "beachboy" is Tom Fitzgerald, one of Imagineers on the Horizons design team (and now VP of Theme Park Productions). The character's name is, appropriately enough, Tom II.
  • Original plans called for announcements like "Will the owner of a blue and white Hovercraft, License number 204413, please return to your vehicle. You are in a no hover area." to play in the background along with the "New Horizons" song in the FuturePort. Also, the narration at the beginning of the ride originally was going to be from Mission Control and then the ride would meet up with the family.
  • The model built for the rotating Space Colony film (the one where the Wife says "Now there's the new frontier.") was constructed as an 8 foot sphere. 8,000 miniature lights were built into the model. A 19mm Kowa lens was used to film the interior of the model.
  • The "Choose Your Tomorrow Finale":
    • The model used in the filming of the desert finale scene was 32 feet wide and 82 feet long. 5,000 miniature trees were produced and placed on this model. It was the longest continuous sequence ever filmed with miniatures. The film was produced in an empty hangar at the Burbank airport.
    • The scale of the models for the three finales varied from 1 inch to 1 foot (1/12th scale) down to 1/100th scale.
    • Each film is 40 to 45 seconds long. The 35mm film was transferred to videodisc for rear projection on the GE Talaria PJ-5055 video projectors.
    • Each individual screen that moves along with each vehicle is 6 feet wide and 5 feet high. These move along in front of the real screen which is in an arc with a 34.5 foot radius. It is mostly composed of Lexan - a polycarbonate of clear plastic.
    • The underwater sequence was show "dry for wet." This means that smoke filled the set and created the illusion of moving through water.
    • The space sequence was filmed on Stage 3 at The Walt Disney Studios.
  • GE technology was used throughout the pavilion.
    • GE's Talaria® light-valve TV projectors are utilized for the finale movie sequence.
    • The ride vehicles are made of Lexan® polycarbonate.
    • The vehicles are powered by GE motors and drive systems.
    • GE control devices are located throughout the building.
    • There's GE lighting inside and out of the pavilion.
    • GE's Gemlink® video transmitter system, GE mobile radio applications, and new uses for GE silicones are also used.

Horizons Postcard
Horizons Postcard ©Disney


Capacity: 2,784/Hour
Show Time: 14:45 Minutes
Cycle Time: 15:00 Minutes
Maximum Number of Vehicles: 174
Spare Vehicles: 10
Seats per Vehicle: 4
Ride Length: 1,346 feet (410.3 m)
Ride Speed: 1.5 Feet/Second (0.457 m/s)
Dispatch Interval: 4.8 Seconds
Type Load/Unload: Moving belt
Queue Capacity: 696
Pavilion Square Footage: 136,835
Surface Area: approx. 37,000 ft2
Audio-Animatronics: 54
Props: 770
Sets: 24
Video Monitors: 4
Video Projectors: 9
Video Playbacks: 13
Film Projectors: 12
Special Effects: 50

This information courtesy "EPCOT Field Guide" (© The Walt Disney Company) and "EPCOT Center: A Profile" (© 1982 Walt Disney Productions) among other sources.


Also visit this Intercot page for a video ride-through of Horizons:

Horizons Script Page 1 | Script Page 2 | Script Page 3 | Script Page 4
Horizons Exit Mural | Concepts/Construction Page | Horizons Fact Sheet
"New Horizons" Lyrics | "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" Lyrics

Return to: Horizons Introduction | EDC Gateway

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Created July 20, 1996 / Last modified November 19, 2001

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