Wait Times Plummet as Guests Worry About Struggling Spaceship Earth

in Walt Disney World

EPCOT spaceship earth at night

Credit: Disney

Spaceship Earth is among the most iconic attractions at Walt Disney World Resort. Not only is the “golf ball”-like structure the centerpiece of EPCOT Park, but the ride itself is a classic for Disney Parks fans.

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

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Recently, however, Spaceship Earth has faced its fair share of struggles. First, the classic ride was struck by lightning over the weekend, alarming Guests who were in the vicinity.

Then, yesterday one Guest shared that Spaceship Earth seems to be struggling badly, malfunctioning four times during a single ride. Reddit user u/oscarjoserodrigo wrote:

Poor old gal, she’s been struggling so much lately. I hope Disney gives her the help she needs despite her not having a sponsor. I love that ride so much and I hate seeing her in such rough shape.

EPCOT cosmic rewind with spaceship earth
Credit: Disney

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u/jennyfromupthestreet replied, attempting to clarify exactly what happened:

Did it completely break down four times or did it just have to stop to let people on?

I usually expect it to come to a complete stop at least once when I ride it – hopefully when I’m already backwards under the “stars.” I hope at least the scenery was interesting where you stopped.

The original poster confirmed that the ride actually broke down writing, “No it broke down for real, haha. The cast members kept shutting the whole ride down and rebooting it.”

spaceship earth lighting
Credit: Zach Riddley/Instagram

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u/underbadger also lamented the current state of Spaceship Earth, sharing another recent experience:

The ride was down for most of the day when I was there last week, but I was able to ride all the way through when it came back up. All effects were working except for the TV in the “moon landing living room” scene (which was off completely). The saddest scene is the film of mammoth hunting — it’s barely visible and in terrible shape.

Spaceship Earth concept art
Credit: Disney

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Not long ago, Disney seemingly scrapped its refurbishment plans for the EPCOT icon — something that many Guests on the Reddit thread have taken issue with. The original poster noted, “The refurb was completely scrapped as far as I’ve heard. I’m a little worried Spaceship Earth is headed down the same road Horizons did…”

Another Disney World fan has maintained some optimism, writing:

One rumor/theory I’ve heard is that it’s still on, but that they’re waiting until the middle-of-the-park refurbs are done and things like Journey of Water are open before ‘turning off’ the centerpiece of the park for over a year. Especially during the 50th just as they have its beautiful new lights going.

epcot fireworks behind spaceship earth
Credit: Disney

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Now, on the heels of this unfortunate situation we originally reported on yesterday, wait times for the ride have plummeted as Guests worry about the condition of the classic ride. Today — all day long — Spaceship Earth had approximately a five minute wait time, as confirmed by Twitter account WDW Stats at regular intervals:

10:02 a.m. EST:

1:02 p.m. EST:

5:02 p.m EST:

Related: Massive Summer Crowds Cause Changes to Disney Parks Hours

Typically, the ride seems to hover around a 25-35 minute wait time with typical summer crowd levels at Walt Disney World Resort.

It is worth noting that Walt Disney World officials have not officially confirmed that the plans for refurbishing Spaceship Earth have been completely abandoned.

More on Spaceship Earth

Spacehip Earth and Monorail
Credit: Disney

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The official description of Spaceship Earth reads:

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.

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!

Have you ridden Spaceship Earth recently? What are your thoughts?

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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