Monday, April 8, 2013

EPCOT's Top 5 Original Attractions From 1982

On October 1, 1982, Walt Disney World's Epcot Center opened to great excitement and fanfare. There were over 100 television studios covering the event, and dignitaries as well as celebrities were in attendance. Visitors to Epcot on that day were treated to live shows, music, and a host of cutting-edge attractions. Over the next 30 years, some of those original attractions were shut down or completely replaced. However, many of the original attractions are still present today. Sure, they've been updated, renamed, or revamped, but they're still going strong. For a little history behind what you'll see at Epcot, have a look at our list of the top 5 original Epcot attractions from 1982.

Spaceship Earth

This attraction is housed at Epcot's world-famous icon, the silver geodesic sphere. Spaceship Earth, a 12-minute dark ride, takes guests through the history of mankind, from the beginning of humanity to the present day. The narrators and the music have changed several times over the years, and several of the original scenes have been updated and replaced, but the theme is always the same: the history of humanity and mankind's journey to the future. Visitors to Spaceship Earth today will hear a lovely score by composer Bruce Broughton and a narration by Judy Dench.

Universe of Energy / Ellen's Energy Adventure

This attraction in Future World has been updated several times since its 1982 debut, but the essence of the story - an exploration of the history of energy - is the same. The real updates to this attraction have been the cast (you'll find Ellen DeGeneris, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Jamie Lee Curtis, to name a few), the score, and the films. The traveling theater system, the sets, and the audio-animatronic dinosaurs are almost all from 1982, which makes this attraction one of the longest running in all of Epcot.

CommuniCore / Innoventions

Although you could have visited CommuniCore at Epcot's opening in 1982, you won't exactly find it today. CommuniCore was the center of Epcot, much like Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. CommuniCore was also the geographical and thematic hub of Epcot, uniting all of the ideas and themes of the park in one pavilion. In 1994, CommuniCore was officially closed so that it could be updated to reflect the changes in modern technology. In late 1994, the area that was once CommuniCore reopened as Innoventions, a museum celebrating technological advancements. Innoventions features everything from the science behind the Disney Imagineering labs to Apple's contributions to technology. Although CommuniCore was a wonderful part of Epcot, Innoventions pays tribute to the quickly advancing world of human technological inventions.

The Land

When it first opened in 1982, The Land explored the duality of man's relationship with the planet, demonstrating how humans depend on the land for existence, but also have the potential to destroy the earth. The Land has undergone several phases and endured several modifications over the last three decades, and the original attractions were completely removed in 1995. However, the essential purpose of The Land remains the same today. It's a celebration of our planet as well as an educational reminder that humanity's mission must be to preserve our world. Two of the most popular attractions at The Land today are the Soarin' ride, which simulates hang
gliding over some of California's most famous landmarks, and Circle of Life, an
environmental edutainment film starring the most popular characters from the animated hit, The Lion King.

World of Motion / Test Track

When World of Motion debuted in 1982, it was a tribute to the history of human innovation through transportation. It covered everything from the invention of the wheel to the first automobiles, and even human flight. Although World of Motion technically closed in 1996, the current attraction - Test Track - stays true to its World of Motion roots: Test Track teaches visitors all about automobile safety testing, even from the point of view of a crash test dummy! Test Track is currently being refurbished and is scheduled to reopen on December 6, 2012. The new ride will allow you to design your own car in a Chevrolet design studio and then test drive it up hills, around hairpin turns, and through straightaways... at 65 miles per hour, of course.

Because Epcot has always aimed to feature the latest and greatest advances in human achievement, it's important that the park never falls behind. In today's fast-paced world of changing technology, frequent updates to the originals rides are a given. So, hurry to Epcot and experience the attractions that still have links to 1982 while you still can.

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