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Spaceship Earth Introduction


S.E. Script - Cronkite Version

"Tomorrow's Child" Lyrics

S.E. Script - Current Irons Version

Global Neighborhood


Fact Sheet

Concepts & Construction

'Spaceship to Tomorrow' Article

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Spaceship Earth Logo

This version of the Spaceship Earth attraction opened on November 23, 1994.The information on this site may not be reproduced in any form on the Internet without express written permission from EDC.

Passing directly beneath the remarkable structure, we proceed up a short ramp passing two posters, a sign, and a large mural before entering the pavilion. The two posters on either side of the entrance queue show a painting of Spaceship Earth with stars in the distance behind it. Both say "Ride the Time Machine from the Dawn of Civilization to the Beginning of Our Tomorrow. SPACESHIP EARTH." The sign which is along the right side of the ramp reads "Spaceship Earth is a slow moving attraction that explores the history of human communications. Since travelers will be transported to the furthest regions of our solar system, the attraction is not recommended for those who experience anxiety in dark, narrow or enclosed spaces." The mural depicts astronauts working on a satellite with Earth in the distance. Surrounding them are smaller images of cavemen, the Egyptians, the Romans, Gutenburg and his printing press, and modern day people. These announcements are heard as we near the entranceway:

Male Announcer: Please take small children by the hand and look down as you step onto the moving platform. The platform is moving at the same speed as your time machine vehicle.

Female Announcer: Please take small children by the hand and watch your step onto the moving platform. The platform and your time machine vehicle are moving at equal speed.

Male Announcer: The moving platform is traveling at the same speed as your time machine vehicle. Please take small children by the hand, look down, and watch your step onto the platform.

Once in the small room, we board blue, constantly moving "time machine" vehicles. Another announcement continuously plays over speakers in the room.

Male Announcer: Your time machine doors will close automatically. Please keep your hands and arms inside your time machine vehicle and remain seated throughout your journey.

Female Announcer: The sliding doors on your time machine will close automatically. Please remain seated and keep your hands and arms inside your time machine vehicle during your journey.

Male Announcer: Your time machine doors slide closed automatically. Please keep your hands and arms inside your time machine vehicle and remain seated while traveling.

The doors close and we hear the introduction.

Female Announcer: AT&T welcomes you aboard Spaceship Earth. Journey with us now to the dawn of recorded time as we explore the amazing story of human communication.

The vehicle enters a dark tunnel and rises sharply upward. A starfield appears and we hear soundbites from famous people such as Susan B. Anthony's "We ask equality be guaranteed ...", JFK's "Putting a man on the moon," and FDR's famous line "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Along the walls, light surges up colored "wires" towards the top of the tunnel. As we near the top, we see a projection of purplish clouds and an occasional lightning bolt as Jeremy Irons begins his narration.

Jeremy Irons: Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. And for a brief moment, we have been among its many passengers. From the very beginning, we have always sought to reach out to one another ... to bridge the gaps between us ... to communicate.

Once at the top of the tunnel, images of early human pioneers (men with spears or holding rocks) and mammoths are projected onto a large screen. Every few seconds the images ripple with a wave and then reappear. We then enter a cave and see a Shaman (medicine man) with a fur cape and antlers on his head. Two men sit around the fire listening to the Shaman. His large shadow is reflected by the fire onto the cave wall. A woman is also listening while working with a fur. On the far right wall, a man and a woman are painting a message on the wall. The drawings are similar to those found in the Salon-Niaux cave in Ariège, France (circa 10,000 B.C.).

Jeremy Irons: Across a lonely, hostile planet, our early ancestors spread out in search of food and shelter.

Cave Scene

Jeremy Irons: With the development of language came a vital key to our survival. For the first time, we could share and learn from one another. We bonded together in small tribes and prospered. No longer isolated, no longer alone.

Moving into an Egyptian temple (representing 1567 - 1085 B.C.), a man on the left is making paper out of papyrus. On the right, next to an elaborate entrance to a building (the archways are decorated with hieroglyphics), a man stands high upon scaffolding carving a ventilation hole near the top of a tower. Further ahead on the left, an Egyptian pharaoh is dictating a message as a scribe copies it onto the new paper. His wife is seated next to him while a servant fans them.

Jeremy Irons: Ages later, the Egyptians invented the first written communication - a complex language of hieroglyphic pictures and symbols. With the creation of papyrus scrolls, came the world's first piece of paper. Now, without ever leaving their palaces, pharaohs could deliver proclamations and decrees to subjects across the land.

In the Phoenician scene (9th century B.C.), two ships meet in the ocean to exchange goods. Another man on the larger ship (behind the smaller ship) holds a rope that is connected to the smaller ship so that both ships stay together. Fog surrounds the ships. Smoke rises from small torches at both ends of the larger ship. To the right of us is a wall showing the ocean going to the horizon and stars above.

Jeremy Irons: Phoenician merchants established the earliest commercial highways trading goods and information at distant ports of call. To aid in record keeping, they created the first common alphabet and shared this new tool across the Mediterranean.

Up next on the right, is the Greek Theater. Two men wearing masks are performing "Oedipus Rex" written by Sophocles circa 428 B.C. Another man holding his mask is standing towards the back of the scene probably waiting for his part to come up.

Jeremy Irons: In ancient Greece, the spoken word was elevated to a fine art. Philosophers debated with one another in plazas and storytellers found a new forum for personal expression. The theater was born.

Ahead on the left, a young Roman man holds the reins to a two horse-drawn cart. The man (dressed as if he is in the Roman army) who arrived in the cart is now exchanging information with another man (dressed in a toga). The man holding the reins is standing on the ground with the horses, the army man is standing one step up, and the man in the toga is standing one step up from there on a marble platform. He is between four large columns, two on each side. Smoke rises from two small fires in metal pots/stands on both ends of the scene. In the back is a painted wall showing the streets of Rome. An animated horse-drawn cart with a man riding in it dashes out of one street and off into the distance. The sounds of drums can be heard.

Jeremy Irons: The mighty Roman empire bridged three continents with a vast system of roads; the fastest information highways the world had ever known. East, west, north, and south - all roads led to Rome.

We then see a building in ruins with smoke rising from it. The smell of the burning building fills the air.

Jeremy Irons: But these same roads were turned against Rome by invaders whose destruction left ages of knowledge and wisdom in the ashes that would become the Dark Ages.

Jeremy Irons: But all was not lost. For far across the land, from Cairo to Cordoba, Jewish teachers and Islamic scholars continued the quest for knowledge. In libraries of wisdom, they debated ideas and shared new discoveries with all who would listen.

In the Islamic Empire scene, on the right, four men sit around a table on pillows on the floor discussing topics. One man has two books right next to him and another has a wooden book holder that holds the book open to a specific page. On the left is a library with some books on the shelves (they aren't stacked full). Two men (one standing, one seated on pillows on an elevated platform) are reading. Standing up high on the balcony on the right is an astronomer looking at the stars through a quadrant (which is an exact replica of the real thing). Further ahead on the left, two Benedictine Monks (11th and 12th-century) are seated at their desks copying text. The one on the right has fallen asleep at the job. His chest rises and falls as he breathes in and out.

Jeremy Irons: In western abbeys, Monks toil endlessly in lonely isolation copying ancient books of wisdom and revelations for future generations.

Jeremy Irons: Finally, from the depths of the Dark Ages came the Age of Enlightenment: the Renaissance. And with this era, came a powerful new invention: the moveable type printing press.

On the left, two men are working with a large wooden printing press. Johann Gutenberg is studying a piece of paper that just came off the press (1456).

Jeremy Irons: Scientists, explorers, and scholars spread their discoveries in books and essays. Poets, musicians, and artists fueled by the passion of the age created timeless works of beauty and majesty.

Here in Renaissance Italy (1500s), on the right, one man is reading a book to two listeners on the steps. Also, two musicians are playing just beyond in front of a closed doorway. An Italian town can be seen through the columns and arches in the background. On the left, in an artist's studio, we see a man mixing paint, another painting some fruits (with a bowl of fruit as a guide), and another chiseling marble to create a statue. Sketches of the female subject are on the wall behind him and to the left of him is a small statue that he also uses as a guide. Further ahead and up on the left, we see Michelangelo painting the Sistine ceiling while laying on his back high upon scaffolding. Below, the stained glass church windows are illuminated with black light. The same song that the Italian musicians were playing continues, only it is now played on an organ. To the right, is a conveyance system that allows buckets of paint to be hoisted up the scaffolding to Michelangelo.

Jeremy Irons: On this wave of inspiration, we sailed into a bold, new era of communication bringing an explosion of tools and technologies which would bridge people around the world as never before. And as our appetite for information and knowledge grew, the world began to shrink.

Now we move into the Age of Invention (19th and 20th centuries). First we see a large steam powered printing press (by William Bullock in 1863). Just like Gutenberg inspected his printed paper, a man stands in front of the press and inspects a newspaper that was just printed. Nearby, on a street corner, a boy stands with a stack of New York Daily papers calling out to try to sell them.

Newspaper Boy: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Radio, telephone links two continents. Read all about it. Telephone crosses Atlantic. Get your evening paper here!

On the right, one man is dictating a message and the other is using a telegraph to send the message. Through the window and door behind them, we can see train tracks crossing the plains to the mountains in the distance. On the left, is a switchboard that three women (two seated, one standing) are operating. Behind that are several windows that represent homes and apartments throughout the town. Fiber optic telephone lines stretch from the switchboard across poles to the homes. We can hear conversations coming from the shadows of people in some of the windows.

On the right, is a woman in a ticket booth. Above that and also spanning above us is a lighted "Cinema" sign. Three screens to the left of the booth show scenes from an old black and white movie about a guy on a runaway trolley ("Stop that trolley!" is one of the captions), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). The screen showing the old movie is surrounded by red curtains and gold trim to look like the fancier theaters of its time. Back on the left is the WDP radio station (WDP is, of course, short for Walt Disney Productions). A man and a woman inside the sound booth are live on the air acting out a story. A man outside the booth is checking sound levels and directing. To the right of that is a radio tower with a red light blinking on top. On the wall behind it is a painting of another radio tower in the distance. Surrounding its red light are drawings of the radio waves spreading from the tower. Just beyond that is a family (mother, father, and daughter) sitting in their living room around the TV. The mother changes the channel using a large (by today's standards) remote control. Three other TVs hang on the wall up behind the family TV. The TVs are playing Ozzie and Harriet, the 1964 NFL Colts vs. Browns Championship Game, and Walt Disney introducing an episode of Wonderful World of Color.

Video Conferencing

Jeremy Irons: Today, we possess the ability to connect with one another instantly anywhere on the planet.

Ahead on the left, we see a boy laying on the floor of his typical American room using his computer. He is talking with a Japanese girl through the computer. Everything he says is translated into Japanese for her to understand and everything she says is translated into English (except once when she says "Jason, you are one cool dude" in English). In Sept., 1999, the videos were updated to include a written translation showing both languages (and the AT&T logo). Before, the languages were only heard.  She plays a video clip of her baseball game for him to see. Fiber optics zip from his room up and across the ocean to her room in Japan showing the transfer of the information. She is sitting on the floor of her home in Japan with a similar computer to the boy's.

Kaiko (?): Jason, do you want to see my team's winning run?

Jason: Cool. Launch it over.

Kaiko (?): OK, Wait.

Jason: Kaiko (?), it's you! Excellent! I knew you were a star.

Kaiko (?): Oh, no. ...

Missing lines here ....

Jason: Yeah, I can see. Hey, check this out!

Kaiko (?): Launch it over.

Jason: Hold on a second. There, ....

Missing lines here ....

Jason: Wait, wait. Watch this. (hit) Yes!

Kaiko (?): Oh, Jason. You're master of [ ? ] too.

Jason: You were right. You won the match.

Jeremy Irons: A new communications supernetwork is being built before our eyes. Spaceship Earth glows with billions of interactions carrying news and information at the very speed of light.

Fiber optic lights then transfer the information to a large sphere representing Earth. We pass through a sphere (that has little fiber optic lights jumping from city to city and sometimes across continents) into a tunnel that surrounds us with lights blinking and whirling past. The sounds of jumbled conversations joins the music.

(1.4 MB) Jeremy Irons: But will these seemingly infinite communications become a flood of electronic babble? Or will we use this power to usher in a new age of understanding and co-operation on this, our Spaceship Earth.

The music picks up to a crescendo as the vehicle makes its way out of the tunnel. At this point, we are at the top of the geosphere and the vehicle turns 90 degrees to the right. We see the stars and planet Earth in the distance. The vehicles then turn another 90 degrees to the right so that we are now moving backwards. Slow moving clouds are projected right above us.

Female Announcer: Attention travelers. Please remain seated. Your vehicle is rotating backwards for your return to earth.

Jeremy Irons: Physical distance is no longer a barrier to communication. Today, the entire world is our next door neighbor. Our news is their news, their news ours. We share our hopes and concerns with the whole planet. We truly live in a Global Neighborhood.

We pass below a large TV screen that displays news clips from around the world. Every 10 seconds or so, the image switches to a different anchor from a different part of the world. In October 2000, the video images were updated to remove references to President Clinton and include images from the 2000 Presidential Debates with candidates Gore and Bush.

Jeremy Irons: Wondrous new tools will help us learn more about ourselves, each other, and the planet we share. Spaceship Earth will become our virtual classroom.

Up to the left of the vehicles, a large screen sits behind a teacher and three students. They are discussing several ideas and as each is mentioned, it appears on the screen by use of a computer.  In September 1999, the video image was updated to include the English words being spoken and included two smaller video conferences with classes in Madrid and Brazil.

Teacher: The assignment was to create an Earth spider.

Girl 1: We need some way to explore it.

Boy: How about a flying car?

Girl 1: Try a flying butterfly?

Girl 2: It could be a bee.

Boy: Ever see bees building a hive?

Girl 2: Okay, let's make a beehive.

Teacher: Why not try a dragonfly?

Girl 1: What for?

Teacher: For a space shuttle.

Girl 2: Awesome!

Girl 1: First we need to shorten his wings.

Boy: And change his body shape.

Teacher: Let's see what you can do with an alien planet.

Boy: Mars!

Girl 1: Let's have a robotics bee vehicle.

Girl 2: Yeah, to move through the bee's hive.

Boy: Those are fireflies!

Teacher: This is excellent.

Girl 1: We're going in!

Girl 2: We're underwater!

Boy: There's no water in space.

Teacher: The assignment was to create an Earth spider. (loop)

Jeremy Irons: As we greet the 21st century, yet another revolution in communication is upon us - as profound as all the progress that has come before. By using our new communication tools to build better bridges between us, we will discover we all share the common bonds of hope and sorrow, dreams and joys.

On the right, we pass clouds, a star field, and an occasional lightning strike. The vehicles, still descending backwards, pass four dioramas each depicting how telecommunications will help people around the world stay closer together. The first one shows a girl talking with her mom via video phone. The daughter is sitting in bed with her father's arms around her shoulders. The mother is in another place like a hotel.

Mother: Goodnight, sweetheart.

Daughter: Goodnight, mommy, I miss you.

Mother: I miss you too.

Daughter: Can you sing my song one more time? Please?

Mother: Of course.

Mother & Daughter singing: Hush a bye
Don't you cry
Go to sleep
Our little baby (loop)

Dr. Nap receives her diploma while her grandparents are watching her via video phone from their home.

Professor: Juanita Nap, Doctor of Clinical Psychology and class valedictorian! (clapping) Congratulations Dr. Nap.

Dr. Juanita Nap: Thank you, Professor, and thank you all my fellow classmates. This means so much to me! And especially to grandma and grandpa who couldn't be here! I did it! I did it! Thank you. (loop)

The third diorama shows a pregnant mother in a hospital bed. A nurse is assisting the woman's doctor (who is at another location but is directing the nurse via video phone) with taking a sonogram. The mother's husband stands next to their son as the boy is talking to his mother's doctor.

Tommy: Can we you see, Dr.?

Doctor: Well, this is not exactly what any of us expected.

The doctor shows the sonogram of the womb and they see that there is more than one baby.

Tommy: Is my baby brother okay doctor?

Doctor: Surprise Tommy, your baby sister is doing just fine. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. [Hawkins?], you have beautiful, healthy baby twins on the way!

Tommy: When will they be here?

Doctor: Let me take a look. I think you'll only have to wait another three more months. (loop)

The last diorama depicts an archeologist showing his fellow scientists what he has found at the site.  This screen was also updated in September 1999 like the other ones earlier in that it contains both the English and Spanish translations.

Man: From the hologram, it looks like a full mandible.

Eddy: It is. Except for this. How'd you like to get bit by a set of these babies! Their cranial structure's almost perfect!

Woman: Es increible. Felicidades, Eduardo. [It's incredible. Congratulations, Edward.]

Man: Great, Eddy. It's more than we ever hoped for.

These four dioramas are followed by two small sculpted scenes. The first shows a person in a cave reviewing diagrams and the second shows a woman in the jungle. Both are sending information through the network to the vast, fiber optics filled, modern city on the waterfront beyond. Fiber optic lights spread away from the city up and over the vehicles.

Jeremy Irons: Since the dawn of recorded time, communication has revolutionized our lives and changed our world. We now have the ability and the responsibility to build new bridges of acceptance and co-operation between us; to create a better world for ourselves and our children as we continue our amazing journey aboard Spaceship Earth.

The fiber optic strands join into one line of lights that curves from the upper left over us and around a model of Spaceship Earth on the right. That line ends with little points of light coming out of it. From there, three solid lines that criss-cross above us change colors as we continue to work our way to the base of the geosphere. Those lights end at a sign that has the AT&T logo and says "Bringing people together anytime, anywhere."

The original final announcement went like this:

Female Announcer: AT&T thanks your for traveling with us. At AT&T, we are dedicated to bringing people together providing you with easy access to each other and the information you want and need anytime and anywhere. We now invite you to sample the future of communication in AT&T's Global Neighborhood. Your vehicle doors will open automatically. Please gather your belongings and watch your step on the moving platform.

That was changed to the following sometime during late 1996/early 97:

Female Announcer: AT&T thanks you for traveling with us on the superhighway of communications. We are dedicated to bringing people together providing you with easy access to each other and the information you want and need anytime, anywhere. We invite you now to preview the future of communications at the AT&T Global Neighborhood. And then at Innoventions, discover how AT&T is turning tomorrow's visions into reality today. Your vehicle doors will open automatically. Please gather your belongings and watch your step on the moving platform.

That was changed to the following in November 1999:

Female Announcer (named @ [at]): May I have your attention please! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you are approaching the New Global Neighborhood. Now that you've seen the future, we invite you to experience it yourself. Soon your vehicle doors will open automatically, please gather your belongings and watch your step on the moving platform. Then, walk through the portal to AT&T's New Global Neighborhood and a whole new way to communicate. Come on, I'll meet you there!

A sign on the right read  "Entering the AT&T Global Neighborhood" until November 1999 when it was changed to "Entering the New Global Neighborhood."  Through the windows, we can see parts of the exhibit area.

One more section of dialog is sometimes heard whenever the ride stops because a guest needs assistance boarding or disembarking, or there has been a malfunction.

Female Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated in your time machine vehicle. We've had to make an unscheduled stop but will continue our journey momentarily. Thank you.

Or the announcement is this (the announcements alternate each time):

Male Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, our time travels have been momentarily delayed. Please remain seated. Your time machine vehicle will begin moving again at any moment. Please remain seated. We will resume our journey shortly. Thank you.

And then, when the ride is about to start up again:

Female Announcer: Please remain seated. Your vehicle will begin moving immediately. Remain seated please. Our travels are resuming now.

Upon exiting the vehicle, we then proceed down the ramp into the Global Neighborhood where we can see some of the latest technological advances in telecommunications through interactive exhibits.

Spaceship Earth Introduction | Spaceship Earth Script - Original ('82-86) | SE Script - Cronkite | "Tomorrow's Child" Lyrics
Spaceship Earth Script - Irons | Global Neighborhood | Spaceship Earth Fact Sheet
'Spaceship to Tomorrow' Article | SE Concepts and Construction Page


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