If you have yet to go to EPCOT, you sure do think that the Spaceship Earth is the whole of EPCOT. And why wouldn’t you? The 180-foot gigantic piece that looks like a planet in itself is the symbol of EPCOT. Curious about what is inside EPCOT ball? Let’s find out!
If you haven’t been here, it is only natural to think that EPCOT is as same as the planet-like structure we see from pictures. But the whole theme park is much more than this silver beauty. Well, that’s a tale for some other time, today is all about rewinding back to history.
Table of Contents
Walt Disney’s vision
EPCOT (is always in all caps) is actually the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The original idea dates back to the 1960s when an undeveloped land in Florida would be transformed into a city. The plan was to create a futuristic concept that did not materialize as Walt Disney passed in 1966.
At first, it was ideated as a planned city with autocratic rules and regulations. It would have a commercial and residential spaces transportation system – a world that Disney wanted for themselves.
While that didn’t work out, what did was Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971, and the EPCOT attraction that followed 11 years later.
Of course, it did not become residential spaces for any but your hotels for a day or two still count as a magical home, doesn’t it?
So, in a way, Walt Disney’s dream did come true, even if it wasn’t just how he had thought!
Creation of Spaceship Earth
With slanting anchors supporting the ball weighing 15,000,000 pounds, the structure is 165 feet tall. There are 11,324 triangle pieces across the ball, shaped to create the architecture of what we call the Spaceship Earth.
The round structure is a geodesic sphere built by a team of MIT engineers. Ray Bradbury, the renowned science fiction writer, lent his expertise to create this complex structure exquisitely.
If you are familiar with Florida rains, you’d be surprised that the ball can protect you from every drop of water. You wouldn’t find drops around the sphere as the architects ensured all the waters drain through an underground drainage system. And guess what? That is how the World Showcase Lagoon in EPCOT fills up!
Inside the EPCOT ball
It is time to take a ride inside the EPCOT ball, literally!
As your turn comes in to enjoy the attraction, you pass through the doors and take a seat.
Once you do, you will have a screen in front that lets you choose your preferred language. English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish are among the options.
Once you click on it, the rider knows you are inside and locks the doors so you are safely tucked in.
Once everyone takes their seat, it will be time for the ride inside the EPCOT ball to start moving. It will take you through a starry night with the intention of exhibiting what time travel looks like. In the background, you will hear a voice talking about going back to history to know how our world was created.
The past part
As the ride moves, you will experience the origin of how we believe the world started with human inhabitants. From the Stone Age to familiarizing ourselves with each other by living in teams, from creating paper from papyrus to Egyptian history, it has it all!
Human-like figurines enact the stories of the past to give us a theatrical feeling. There are Greek scholars showing how mathematics became famous and gave birth to the “high-tech life we enjoy today.”
Then, the story moves to the Roman Empire, the loss of the Great Library of Alexandria, and how Arabic and Jewish scholars had access to ‘backup’ of some of these learnings.
Slowly, modernity paves the way with technological advancements. From typewriting systems to newspaper printing, from the origin of cinema to worldwide communication, you can have it all inside EPCOT ball!
The futuristic part
The screen on your seat pops up a video of the presumable future in front of us. You will find your face on an aircar-like vehicle as you see yourself flying through the clouds.
You will also find yourself floating in space like an astronaut to explain how our world might look 30,000 years from now.
With that ends, the ride inside the EPCOT ball as you return to the exit zone.
Interesting facts about EPCOT ball
- EPCOT structure is the third largest free-standing geodesic sphere after Biosphere of Montreal and Eden Project
- The ball comprises two spheres, one on the interior and one on the exterior
- Richard Buckminster Fuller called this sphere the Spaceship Earth, and that’s how it got the name
- Egyptian hieroglyphics inside the scenes depicting that time are replicas of authentic hieroglyphics found by archaeologists.
- The human depictions inside the EPCOT ball look like real people due to the quality animatronics works done by Disney
- There are also figurines of famous people from the past that you can spot
- Spaceship Earth is around 15 minutes long, making it one of the longest rides at Disney
Do you know that there are many Hidden Mickeys inside the Spaceship Earth? If this interests you, you must watch out for places you find them.
Spaceship Earth represents EPCOT and is a must-try attraction to experience the essence of time travel. It is also educational and helps you tap into historical events that shape our world as it is today.
1. Is Space Mountain inside the EPCOT ball?
Space Mountain and Spaceship Earth are two separate attractions. Space Mountain is a part of Magic Kingdom, while Spaceship Earth is inside the EPCOT ball.
2. Does the EPCOT ball have a name?
Yes. EPCOT ball goes by the name Spaceship Earth, given by architect Richard Buckminster Fuller.
3. What does EPCOT contain?
EPCOT is a theme park that contains lots of rides, eateries and hosts food festivals every season. The ball is a part of EPCOT, called the Spaceship Earth, that takes you through a time-travel experience.