Giant Mammoths Terrorize Disney Guests on Iconic Attraction

in Walt Disney World

spaceship earth animatronics

Credit: Disney

When Guests walk into EPCOT, the first thing that they will see is Spaceship Earth. Not only is Spaceship Earth regarded as the icon of the Park, but it also serves as an attraction that demonstrates how technology and communication have evolved with humankind over the centuries. The ride opened along with EPCOT on October 1, 1982 and had undergone a few transitions, including narrations, but the heart of the attraction has continued to remain the same.

minnie donald goofy and mickey mouse at spaceship earth epcot
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Spaceship Earth was meant to undergo a transformation and re-imagination. Since Walt Disney World Resort reopened in 2020, we have seen some of these projects develop and evolve. Harmonious is now the new EPCOT nighttime show, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is available for Guests to enjoy along with the France pavilion expansion, Future World is under construction, and Journey of Water is also being developed. We saw Space 220, an all-new space-experience dining opportunity, take flight at EPCOT as well. At Disneyland Resort, we have seen Avengers Campus debut with  WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and Doctor Strange’s Ancient Sanctum.

During The Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was asked about these missing projects and their future at the Disney Parks. At first, Chapek took the time to highlight what has been completed, diverting from what is still a question mark. In terms of these projects, however, Chapek noted they are now in a “holding pattern”. Once their cash is more “robust” the company will “hopefully” be able to refund the projects in the future. From this, we can see that there is no certainty if or when these attraction ideas which were once promised will actually be conceptualized.

spaceship earth
Credit: Inside the Magic

Interestingly enough, in the same call, it was highlighted that the Disney Parks just had a record-breaking quarter as one of the most profitable of all time. It seems that Spaceship Earth’s transformation has been lumped in with the rest of the group which is currently on hold.

Some Guests who have experienced the attraction, however, seem to think changes are needed. One Disney Guest took to Reddit to ask about the mammoth scene in Spaceship Earth, noting that it freaked them and their friend out heavily after seeing it for the first time!

Hi everyone. My friend and I went to Epcot yesterday and rode Spaceship Earth for the first time. We both admitted afterwards to each other that the mammoth scene at the very beginning, in the totally dark room with blurry images of mammoths, freaked us the freak out. It was the only part of the ride where we couldn’t see anything else, and the blurry image added to the discontentment. The menacing narration in the background about humanity not having tools at the time didn’t help.

Then the rest of the ride is the animatronics. The backwards descent was even fine with the game to play. And like you could see how the stars were hung up, it wasn’t totally dark. It was like that introduction to the ride didn’t fit the rest of the vibe.

All the reviews I can find just talk about how this is a great ride for small kids and time in the air conditioning. No one seems to be talking about the mammoths. So we want to know if it’s just us or if we were too tired at that point in the day lol!

TLDR please let me know if the mammoth scene at the beginning of Spaceship Earth freaked you out.

Spaceship Earth – Mammoth from Epcot

One Disney fan responded that that was added after the most recent update, and noted that this was an attempt to modernize the ride. They also noted that the face-less paperboy was a terrifying feature as well.

This part was added during the last update and I think they tried to make things more modern – but in today’s age of projection mapping it’s looking out of place and a little dated.

The scariest part for me is the little paperboy animatronic. He used to be facing the guests, but since the last update in the early 00s he’s been turned around. What happened to his face?!?

epcot spaceship earth lighting
Credit: ITM

Another Guest commented on the darkness of the scene.

The mammoth scene definitely has a brooding, moody vibe to it. Although I wouldn’t call it scary I can sort of see what you mean. I feel like the music also lends an ominous vibe, and your eyes are trying to adjust to the darkness so everything feels underexposed. It’s actually pretty interesting to ride it at night when your eyes are used to darkness because you can see a lot more of the ride.

More on Spaceship Earth

Disney describes Spaceship Earth as:

Back to the Beginning
Witness the landmark moments of amazing innovation that made today’s spectacular communications technology possible.

Travel back to the dawn of humanity, when early man painted on cave walls. Watch new ideas spread like wildfire with the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press. The wheels of time turn ever faster as we enter the modern age of media, from newspapers announcing the end of the Civil War to the televised broadcast of the moon landing—and beyond.

All of these great moments are brought vividly to life using elaborate sets and advanced Audio-Animatronics figures during this inspirational, 16-minute, Omnimover-style attraction.

Spaceship Earth Holiday
Credit: Disney

Forward into Your Future
Once you’ve returned to the present day, you’ll have a chance to design the kind of future you want to live in using the touch screen inside your vehicle. Answer several brief questions and get ready to see what your tomorrow looks like!
The Story Behind the Spaceship
It’s the flagship attraction of Epcot and the signature symbol of the park. To create the experience inside the iconic geosphere, Disney Imagineers assembled some of the world’s greatest talents.

The all-star roster includes Academy Award® winner Judi Dench as the narrator and Emmy® winner Bruce Broughton, who 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—no small feat.

At the moment, EPCOT is now celebrating the International Flower and Garden Festival, and tons of construction is going on! Spaceship Earth now has the new Beacon of Magic lights illuminating the sphere and Future World is on the road to completion. Club Cool and the new Creations Shop is open to Guests as well as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the France Pavilion! Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will also debut this year! Plus, you can enjoy the stunning Harmonious show each evening!

World Showcase will soon also be joined by World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. The construction on these three lands has been ongoing, and now, we are beginning to see certain aspects of the theme park taking shape.

What do you think of the mammoth scene in Spaceship Earth? 

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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