Half of Spaceship Earth Not Functioning

in Walt Disney World

Spaceship Earth

Credit: Disney

EPCOT’s major overhaul, initially set to be complete for the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort in 2021, has been hit with numerous delays due to budget cuts and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The exterior of Connections Eatery under Spaceship Earth.
Credit: Disney

Spaceship Earth, the Disney Park’s icon and opening-day attraction, has been hit far worse than World Showcase and other EPCOT neighborhoods. In 2019, Walt Disney World Resort announced that the ride would be updated. But this refurbishment has repeatedly been delayed, and closure has yet to be announced for the classic ride.

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Disney Parks fans have reported increased breakdowns and maintenance issues on the ride, with many saying it’s in desperate need of repair. We rode Spaceship Earth last week and noticed a previously unreported major problem on the classic attraction.

Two generic characters drive a Spaceship on a screen inside Spaceship Earth.
Credit: Inside the Magic Jess Colopy

At the start of your journey, a camera takes your photo to be later used in a simulated version of “your future.” Though the camera flashed and the narrator mentioned a picture had been taken, our faces did not appear on the screen. Instead, they were replaced with generic animated characters.

Our ride vehicle was not the only one. Peering ahead in the dark, we saw that no one’s “future” sequences included their personalized photos. After exiting the ride, we saw some images used in interactive exhibits, indicating that the cameras worked but not the software that links them to your “future.”

Multiple "the end" screens on Spaceship Earth. The personal photos are missing
Credit: Inside the Magic Jess Colopy

More on Spaceship Earth

EPCOT spaceship earth at night
Credit: Disney

Spaceship Earth, located in the World Celebration neighborhood, opened along with EPCOT in 1982 and has served as the Park’s icon since. The slow-moving dark ride perfectly explores Earth’s past, present, and future for Disney Parks Guests of all ages. From Disney:

Travel through time and explore the remarkable history of human communication from the Stone Age to the computer age.

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 lighting
Credit: bioreconstruct

Related: Magic Kingdom Attraction Closing This Month at Disney World

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.

Do you think Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World is due for an upgrade? Let us know in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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