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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:
Once in the small room, we board blue, constantly moving "time machine" vehicles. Another announcement continuously plays over speakers in the room.
The doors close and we hear the introduction.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
We then see a building in ruins with smoke rising from it. The smell of the burning building fills the air.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Nap receives her diploma while her grandparents are watching her via video phone from their home.
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.
The doctor shows the sonogram of the womb and they see that there is more than one baby.
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.
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.
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:
That was changed to the following sometime during late 1996/early 97:
That was changed to the following in November 1999:
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.
Or the announcement is this (the announcements alternate each time):
And then, when the ride is about to start up again:
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
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Created October 1, 1996 / Last modified December 19, 2001