Hello ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. (Hehe almost an Epcot reference) My name is Luke Anthony and the best way to describe me is I am a dreamer. And might I add it is an honor to write for this blog! I think I should establish early on in this that I am, in fact, one of the biggest fans of EPCOT Center. The masterpiece of a theme park inspired me and fascinated me to pursue new fantastic dreams of becoming an imagineer. I think no goal is too high, and the future holds exciting possibilities for everyone! But enough about me, and more about EPCOT Center.
Every park undergoes changes before it opens, this is a given. EPCOT was a park that went through tons and tons of changes! From Walt’s idea for a city of the future… to two separate parks… The imagineers went through millions of amazing ideas! So today I would like to share with you three attractions planned for EPCOT Center that was never materialized.
EPCOT center never considered any idea “too big.” And the space pavilion is a prime example. For our first attraction we will go back to WED (Walter Elias Disney) enterprises back in 1977. EPCOT center was starting to come together. And even though the pavilions locations jumped around, the concepts remained fairly untouched. One of the pavilion concepts that never made it to EPCOT was SPACE. In 1977 WED hired some top notch professionals to work on a space pavilion. This talent included Ray Bradbury as script writer (who also wrote the script for spaceship earth), and designer by John de Cuir, who worked on the rides design and massive ride system. According to Martin Smith’s Mission: Space tribute video, the ride (or for lack of better words pavilion) was to occupy the space where the living seas was eventually built.
In a 1977 Annual report Disney stated, “A huge, interstellar “Space Vehicle” will transport passengers to the outer frontiers of the universe, highlighting man’s efforts to reach out for the stars around him … from the early pioneers who looked and wondered …
To modern-day space travelers and their triumphs … to the challenges and possibilities of future space technologies and exploration”
The entrance building consisted of an omnimover preshow into space (which was housed in the white horizons shaped building) and a huge spherical spaceship of the future. In the early days of the pavilions planning, WED was interested in having NASA sponsor the attraction, but they never agreed to sign on anything.
The spherical spacecraft would have been a structure just as extraordinary as spaceship earth itself. Standing 80 feet tall (based off the horizons omnimax screen size), this massive theater would’ve housed an almost Mission: Space journey into space. The main attraction would’ve been a band of synced omnimax screens wrapping around the sphere serving as windows into space. The guests sit on the sides of the massive theater (which may have been able to move?) as they would’ve enjoyed an attraction like none other…
So what killed this pavilion? If it was such an awesome and innovative idea, why wasn’t it built? It’s one word that has killed many great pavilions over the years… Sponsors. With no sponsor the space pavilion at EPCOT would have been a financial nightmare. And I’m sure that there were many technological challenges along the way. (Bradbury wanted parts of the show to feel life zero gravity, which seemed challenging). Even though these challenges were probably achievable by the imagineers, it most likely seemed impractical to the executives without a sponsor.
Instead we got Horizons, which borrowed many of the space pavilion’s ideas and designs…