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Spaceship Earth Introduction


Attraction:

S.E. Script - Cronkite Version

"Tomorrow's Child" Lyrics

S.E. Script - Current Irons Version

Global Neighborhood


Extras:

Fact Sheet

Concepts & Construction

'Spaceship to Tomorrow' Article


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The information on this site may not be reproduced in any form on the Internet or any other medium without express written permission from EDC

This version of the Spaceship Earth attraction ran from May 26, 1986 to August 15, 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 to Spaceship Earth and invites you to explore the story of communications. And now, your host, Walter Cronkite.

The vehicle enters a dark tunnel and rises sharply upward. A starfield appears as Mr. Cronkite begins his narration. As we near the top, we see a projection of purplish clouds and an occasional lightning bolt.

Walter Cronkite: For eons, our planet has drifted as a spaceship through the universe. And for a brief moment, we have been its passengers. Yet in that time, we've made tremendous progress in our ability to record and share knowledge. So, lets journey back 40,000 years to the dawn of recorded history. We'll trace the path of communications from its earliest beginnings to the promise of the future.

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.

Walter Cronkite: We have reached the dawn of recorded time, an age when mammoth creatures roam the land. But with spoken language, the ancient hunters learn to work together and meet the challenges of this hostile world.

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.).

Walter Cronkite: In primal tribes, the skills of survival are passed on to new generations through the art of storytelling. Not trusting this knowledge to memory alone, our ancestors create a lasting reminder with cave paintings.

Cavemen Scene

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.

Walter Cronkite: Ages later, stories and knowledge are transcribed in complex pictures and symbols. Hieroglyphics mark the rise of written language and, soon with papyrus scrolls, the written word begins to travel out 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 fires in pots 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.

Walter Cronkite: The value of writing for accurate record keeping appeals to Phoenician merchants. They create an alphabet, simple enough for any to learn, and share this new tool at ports along 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.

Walter Cronkite: In classic Greece, the alphabet grows and flowers with new expression and a new stage of storytelling emerges. A stage on which we examine our world and ourselves. The theater is born.

Ahead on the left, a young Roman man holds the reins to a two horse-drawn chariot. The man (dressed as if he is in the Roman army) who arrived in the chariot 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.

Walter Cronkite: The Romans build a mighty system of roads - a long distance network to carry laws and tidings over a far-reaching empire.

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

Walter Cronkite: Glorious Rome falls victim to the flames of excess. Ages of knowledge are lost or forgotten in the ashes.

Walter Cronkite: But all is not lost, for Islamic and Jewish scholars continue to preserve ancient wisdom in noble libraries. In their travels, they record knowledge, and share their findings with cultures East and West.

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.

Walter Cronkite: In western abbeys, Monks toil endlessly transcribing ancient writings into hand-penned books of revelation.

Walter Cronkite: The dawn of the Renaissance brings a wondrous new machine, the printing press. Now books and authors flourish as never before.

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). 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. To the right, is a conveyance system that allows buckets of paint to be hoisted up the scaffolding to Michelangelo.

Walter Cronkite: The Renaissance, a time of renewed interest in the worlds of poetry and music, science, philosophy and art. Behold, the majesty of the Sistine ceiling.

Leonardo DaVinci painting the Sistine ceiling

Walter Cronkite: On this wave of inspiration, we sail into a bold, new era. An age of astounding inventions and ever increasing progress in communications.

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 "Extra! Extra! New York Daily!"

Telephone Operators

Telephone Operators Close-up

Walter Cronkite: With electronic communications, we can send messages instantly over long distances. Signals and voices criss-cross the nation. Radio and movies inform and entertain millions. Then television brings the world into our homes profoundly changing our perceptions of life itself.

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), another black and white movie showing two people dancing, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). 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. Four other TVs hang on the wall up behind the family TV. The TVs switch between Ozzie and Harriet, the 1964 NFL Colts vs. Browns Championship Game, Ed Sullivan and the Harlem Globetrotters, Walter Cronkite reporting, and Walt Disney introducing an episode of Wonderful World of Color.

Walter Cronkite: Instant communications create an ever-increasing flow of facts and figures. To manage this growing storehouse of information, we invent the computer. A revolutionary tool made practical by the tiny transistor.

Operators monitoring Network

On the left is a small 70s bedroom. A young man is sitting at his desk working on a desktop computer. Plain metal shelves stand against the far wall holding a few books and model airplanes. The next scene shows a more modern (mid-80s) office in which a woman is using at a computer at her desk while talking on the phone.

Walter Cronkite: Today, we're merging the technologies of communications and computers to store, process and share information. And we're creating a vast electronic network stretching from our homes to the reaches of space.

The Network Operations Center that monitors network lines and satellites is seen just ahead on the left. Three large maps are displayed and show how the system is operating at that moment. From the left is the state of Florida, the United States, and a view of the world looking down on the North Pole. A man is sitting below the maps monitoring the system. A woman is seated at another desk to the right of the man.

We then enter a tunnel in which lines of light whiz by overhead and on both sides.

Female Announcer: Attention Time Travelers. Your time machine is about to rotate for your return to earth. Please remain seated at all times.

Walter Cronkite: We have entered a wondrous new age, the age of information. A time of new promise and new hope for ourselves and Spaceship Earth.

At this point, we are at the top of the geosphere looking at planet Earth in the distance. The instrumental part of "Tomorrow's Child" is now playing. In the distance, we see Earth and all the stars of the universe surrounding it.

Walter Cronkite: Today, our search for understanding is unbounded by space and time. Centuries of information stand ready to reach us in an instant ... our link with the past ... our hope for the future.

Walter Cronkite: In the information age, our knowledge and tools of communication will continue to grow and improve. We'll discover new ways to share our ideas and dreams, to create a better world for today, tomorrow and tomorrow's child.

The lyrics to "Tomorrow's Child" begin to be heard at this point and the song plays throughout the rest of the attraction. Click here for the "Tomorrow's Child" Lyrics. To the right are several flat screens that have clouds of purple, blue, and red colors spiraling across them. The clouds look similar to the one at the beginning of the ride near the top of the tunnel. At the end of the first descent, on the right are more oddly shaped blocks of flat screens that are scattered across the room. Each one has a different video playing showing the outlines of children holding hands and of a person using a microscope, DNA chains, the universe, etc. Each block is connected with fiber optic strands that light up showing the transfer of ideas.

Walter Cronkite: Yes, tomorrow's child ... embodying our hopes and dreams for the future, a future made possible by the information age. The technologies of this new era will extend our reach, expand the capabilities of the human mind and help us shape a better tomorrow.

Descending further, the walls are filled with dots of light moving through lines crisscrossing each other resembling a circuit. Then both walls are covered by mirrors and the dots of light are equally spaced out looking like a peg board.

Walter Cronkite: Ours is a time of unprecedented choice and opportunity, so let us explore and question and understand. Let us learn from our past and meet the challenges of the future, let us go forth and fulfill our destiny on Spaceship Earth.

At the end of the tunnel is an overhead sign that reads "AT&T. Connecting you to the Information Age." As the vehicles rotate around so we are facing forward again, a sign on the right features the AT&T logo and reads "Explore the Information Age. Visit FutureCom. CommuniCore West." This last announcement is heard.

Female Announcer: The people of AT&T thank you for traveling through Spaceship Earth and look forward to serving you in the Information Age. For a look at today's Information Age technologies, we invite you to visit FutureCom in CommuniCore West. When the doors of your vehicle open, please gather your personal belongings and step out onto the moving platform up ahead. The platform and your vehicle are traveling at equal speed.

WorldKey Information Service terminals in Earth Station

Upon exiting the vehicle, we proceed to Earth Station, EPCOT's original Guest Relations. There, we make lunch or dinner reservations by talking to a human cast member via video monitors on the WorldKey Information Service. The cast member is able to hear and see us and is able to make reservations or answer questions. When the terminals are not being used for reservations, guests can get information on the different pavilions and where the shops, restaurants, and restrooms are located. (These terminals were moved just outside the new Guest Relations in Innoventions East in 1994 and were closed for good during the summer of 1999.)

Earth Station

Overhead, screens provide an overview of the EPCOT pavilions. Here, in this picture, World of Motion is featured. Hosts and hostesses at the information desk provide general information. AT&T's Employee Lounge is located on the second level of the building with a great view of the fountain and World Showcase Lagoon. Earth Station closed on August 15, 1994 and re-opened as AT&T's Global Neighborhood, a showcase of the latest communications technologies. Guest Relations is now located near Spaceship Earth in Innoventions East.

 

 

Earth Station in 1983

Special Thanks to Todd Becker for the picture of Earth Station above and to Bob Snowden for providing a missing line of dialogue in the script.

 


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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