Spaceship Earth was and still is an extremely impressive attraction and successful venture that Disney pulled off. It was created to fulfill some of the designs that Walt had ideas for before he died. He never got to see it, but we feel like he likely would have been very proud of Spaceship Earth. Here are 10 facts and secrets about Spaceship Earth that I know you will enjoy:
10 – How long do you think it took to build?
Spaceship Earth is extremely impressive, as it should be! This one attraction took 26 months to build. That is a long time, but well worth it since it is the icon and main focal point for the park. It is the first thing that guests see when they enter as well. Can you imagine how much it costs in labor alone to pay the teams that worked on the attraction for a full 26 months?
9 – Spaceship Earth is actually not a perfect sphere.
Spaceship Earth was known as the world’s first geodesic sphere. It is also still known as the largest freestanding sphere in the world. The funny thing is that it actually isn’t an exactly perfect sphere! It is a little more oblong than a sphere shape.
8 – There is a built in drainage system.
The way the triangles are put together sync up with an intentional drainage system that actually drain the rain water into the lagoon at the World Showcase. It was designed this way so rain water wouldn’t run right off the sides and onto the guests standing underneath the attraction.
7 – You may recognize some of the animatronics.
If you look closely at all of the animatronics you may notice that many of them are repurposed molds from the animatronics that were created for the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom! It was less costly to just reuse existing models than to have to create completely new faces and molds. Try to guess which ones are particular presidents!
6 – It weighs how much?!?
It is crazy to think about, but all of Spaceship Earth actually weighs 16,000,000 pounds At 180 feet tall (which is around 18 stories), that is about 88,890 pounds per foot of height. That is huge!
5 – Its 150,000 square feet, but still not the largest thing in Epcot
The attraction is an astonishing 150,000 square feet around, and is made of up 11,324 triangular facets. Spaceship Earth towers at 180 feet tall, but still isn’t the largest attraction at Epcot. The Seas pavilion is actually the largest attraction in the Park. The entirety of Spaceship Earth could actually fit inside of the tank at The Seas. It is hard to imagine, but totally true!
4 – Check out the hieroglyphics in the Egyptian area.
Disney always puts extra detail and effort into everything. They spare no expense and consider every single detail when they are building a ride. An example of this is the hieroglyphics in the area are real hieroglyphics that were planned to be images that would have been read at this time to match actual translations for the pharaoh. So cool that this level of detail was considered when most people wouldn’t even notice or think about it!
3 – Spaceship earth is actually built as a sphere within a sphere.
When the attraction was built, the sphere that encases the ride portion was built and then the exterior sphere that we all see was built. So the inside wall you see from the attraction is not the back side of the exterior!
2 – Cast members used to manually turn the cars around at the top of the attraction.
When the attraction first opened and you reach the climb to the top where see Earth, a cast member used to be posted up there to manually turn the cars around so that you can get the view that you see today. Fortunately for the cast members, this has since been automated that vehicles move on their own as they need to turn.
1 – Spaceship Earth has had 4 different narrators over the years, including Scar from The Lion King.
With the various changes to the attraction over the years, it has resulted in 4 different narrators to bring a new life and voice to the attraction. The first was Lawrence Dobkin (an actor from Star Trek and The Ten Commandments). The next narrator whose voice took over was the famous Walter Cronkite. Scar from The Lion King, Jeremy Irons was our third narrator (I miss it!). The current narrator is Dame Judi Dench, who does have a very eloquent voice.
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