Spaceship Earth
Land Future World
Designer WED Enterprises
Attraction type Dark ride
Opening date March 1, 1982
Hosted by Larry Dobkin (1982-1986)
Walter Cronkite (1986-1994)
Jeremy Irons (1994-2007)
Judi Dench (2008-present)
Music Bruce Broughton
Vehicle type Omnimover
Vehicle names Time machines
Vehicle capacity 4 (2 per row)
Guests per car 2
Ride duration 16:00 minutes
Total height 180 ft (54.9 m)
Track height 163 ft (49.7 m)
Site area 109,375 sq ft
Diameter 165 ft (50 m)
Circumference 518.1 ft (158 m)
Volume 2,200,000 ft (62,000 m)
Weight 15,520,000 lbs (7,040,000 kg)
Number of tiles 11,324
Average angle of descent 20 degrees
Steepest angle of descent 39 degrees
Sponsored by Bell System (1982-1984)
AT&T (1984-2004)
Siemens AG (2005-present)
Spaceship Earth is the name of the iconic attraction at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

One of the most recognizable structures at the Walt Disney World Resort, it is not only the centerpiece and main focal point of Epcot, but also the symbolic structure and attraction that houses the basic fundamentals of the park. The 18-story geodesic sphere houses a 13-minute dark ride using the omnimover system that explores the progression of human communications from cavemen to the dawn of the internet and beyond.

Attraction Premise

  • Take a ride through time for a look at the landmark moments that made today’s communications technology possible.
  • Travel back to the dawn of recorded history, when early man painted his thoughts on cave walls, the Egyptians invented papyrus and the Phoenicians devised the alphabet. See ideas spread like wildfire with the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, Greek systems of mathematics and the inspiring works of the masters of the Renaissance. The wheels of time turn ever faster as we progress to the modern age of media communications, from newspapers announcing the end of the Civil War to the televised broadcast of the moon landing and beyond.
  • Lifelike Audio-Animatronics displays and the soothing tones of narrator Dame Judi Dench give you an inspiring history lesson on this leisurely, 16-minute Omnimover-style ride.
  • Upon your return to Earth and the present day, you'll have the chance to design the kind of future you want to live in using the touch screen in front of you. Answer several brief questions then get ready to see what your tomorrow looks like!


There have been four versions of the ride over the years.


The original version of Spaceship Earth debuted on October 1, 1982, on the opening day of EPCOT Center. Though there are some disagreement and no official crediting, the original narrator is commonly believed to be Vic Perrin. This version of the ride ran until 1986.


The second version of Spaceship Earth opened in 1986, featuring Walter Cronkite as the narrator.


Jeremy Irons, voice of Scar in the 1994 Disney classic The Lion King, was the narrator for the third version of Spaceship Earth, which debuted in 1994.


The current version of Spaceship Earth officially opened in February 2008, after a soft opening in December 2007. Judi Dench is the narrator.

Attraction timeline

  • March 1, 1982
    • Spaceship Earth opens with the opening of EPCOT Center.
    • Sponsored by the Bell System.
    • The narrator is Larry Dobkin.
  • May 26, 1986
    • Attraction reopens from first major renovation.
    • AT&T is now the sponsor, having signed on in 1984.
    • New narration by Walter Cronkite
    • Finale music changed to "Tomorrow's Child."
  • August 15, 1994
    • Closes for second major renovation.
    • "Home Computer," "Office Computer," "Network Operations Center," and "Space Station" scenes were removed.
    • New final scenes installed and replace old final scenes.
    • Earth Station closes.
    • "Tomorrow's Child" ending removed.
  • November 23, 1994
    • Attraction reopens.
    • New ride narration by Jeremy Irons.
    • New ride score by Edo Guidotti.
    • The Global Neighborhood replaces Earth Station.
  • September 29, 1999
    • The Mickey Mouse arm holding a wand is dedicated with "2000" over Spaceship Earth.
  • November 24, 1999
    • The Global Neighborhood is replaced with The New Global Neighborhood, a new exhibit space serving as a hands-on playground for Spaceship Earth's post show.
  • May 2001
    • The Mickey Mouse arm holding a wand is changed to say "Epcot" over Spaceship Earth.
  • January 1, 2003
  • April 2004
    • The New Global Neighborhood is removed and the area is boarded up.
    • AT&T references removed.
  • November 2005
    • It was announced that Siemens AG will sponsor Spaceship Earth for twelve years.
  • April 11, 2007
    • Major changes coming to Spaceship Earth are announced.
  • April 25, 2007
    • The new exhibit space in Spaceship Earth's post show called Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future opens.
  • July 5, 2007
    • Epcot Vice President Jim Macphee announces the removal of the wand structure in time for the park's 25th anniversary on October 1, 2007.
  • July 9, 2007
    • Spaceship Earth closes for a fourth renovation.
    • Removal of the wand structure begins.
  • August 24, 2007
    • Removal of the wand structure completed.
  • December 2007
    • Guest previews of the fourth edition begin.
  • February 15, 2008
    • Fourth edition opens to the general public after renovations.
    • New narration by Dame Judi Dench.
  • March 4, 2008
    • Spaceship Earth is rededicated


  • Ray Bradbury, author of the novel Fahrenheit 451 and an avid Disney fan, helped design the 180-foot-tall Epcot ball as well as pen the attraction's original storyline.
  • 10-time Emmy winner Bruce Boughton conducted a 63-piece orchestra and 24-voice choir for his musical score. If you listen closely, you'll notice that the music for each scene features styles and instruments appropriate to the era, transitioning seamlessly into the next.

Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future

After your ride, check out challenging games and engaging displays showcasing the latest in high-tech medicine, transportation and energy efficiency in this interactive play area for all ages, sponsored by Siemens AG.


External links

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