Horizons (Epcot attraction)

Horizons (Epcot attraction)

Infobox Disney ride
name= Horizons

park= Epcot
designer= George McGinnis
manufacturer= WED Enterprises
type= Dark ride
theme=Future life
opened= October 1, 1983
closed= January 9, 1999
music=New Horizons (theme song)
vehicle_type= 174 Omnimover vehicles with 10 spare
duration= 14:45
length= 1346
site_area= 136,835
custom_label_1= Steel
custom_value_1= 3,700 tons (More than Spaceship Earth)
custom_label_2= Pavilion surface area
custom_value_2= 37 000 ft2 (3400 m²)
custom_label_3= Capacity
custom_value_3= 696 guests
custom_label_4= Dispatch interval
custom_value_4= 4.8 seconds
custom_label_5= Ride speed
custom_value_5= 1.53 fps
custom_label_6= Estimated cost
custom_value_6= US $60 Million
custom_label_7= Replaced by
sponsor= General Electric (1983-1993)None (1993-1999)

:"For other uses of horizon, see Horizon (disambiguation)."Horizons was the name of a dark ride attraction at Epcot (then known as EPCOT Center), a park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida USA. Located on the eastern side of the "Future World" section of Epcot, the attraction used Disney's Omnimover conveyance system, which took guests past show scenes depicting visions of the future. It is believed to be the sequel to Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, an attraction in Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Horizons was the only attraction in "Future World" to showcase all of Epcot's "Future World" elements: communication, community interaction, energy, transportation, anatomy, physiology, along with man's relationship to the sea, land, air, and space. The attraction officially opened on October 1, 1983 as part of Phase II of Epcot. Horizons originally closed in 1994 after General Electric ended sponsorship of the attraction. It was temporarily reopened in 1995 due to the closure of other attractions for refurbishment in "Future World". The attraction permanently closed on January 9, 1999, after which the attraction was dismantled and its structure demolished to make room for , a motion simulator thrill ride that officially opened on October 9, 2003.

The attraction

Horizons began with a section titled Looking Back at Tomorrow, showcasing visions of the future as perceived from the era of Jules Verne through the 1950s. The ride then moved past two immense OMNIMAX screens (groundbreaking technology at the time the ride was built), showing modern technologies and ideas that could be used to build the world of tomorrow. Afterward came the main part of the ride: visions of futuristic life in cities, deserts, undersea, and even in space.

The only Disney attraction with multiple endings, Horizons then allowed riders to select which path they wanted to take back to the FuturePort: from the space station Brava Centauri (depicting space colonization), from the desert farm of Mesa Verde (depicting arid-zone agriculture), or from the Sea Castle research base (depicting ocean colonization). As the final part of the ride guests in their 'omnimover' would push a button to select amongst the three choices, and would be presented with a 31 second video sequence. A film would then be displayed to riders in each individual car. The videos showed a simulated flyover of an outdoor scene. To create the effect, scale models were built and a camera swept across the futuristic terrain. The models were some of the largest ever created at the time, the model for the Desert sequence for example was 32 feet by 75 feet long. The visual effects were filmed in a hangar at the Burbank airport. Produced in 1983 by 30 model makers it took over a year to build and shoot the three segments.Choose Your Tomorrow model design http://www.kesigndesign.com/code/horizon1.htm]

The exit corridor of the ride originally featured the mural [http://www.mccallstudios.com/renowned/prologue/prologue.html The Prologue and the Promise] by renowned space artist Robert T. McCall.


"Horizons", in its concept phase, was named Century 3 (or Century III), to recognize the third century of American existence (1776-2076). The name was changed to Futureprobe to help appeal the attraction toward international guests who wouldn't understand or appreciate "Century 3". In the end, the "Futureprobe" name was scrapped due to the medical connotation of the word "probe". After much debate, GE and Disney officials settled on the name Horizons.

Prior to the start of construction the budget to the project was slashed by $10 million (USD). The building size was reduced, and the length of the ride was shrunk by 35%, shortening the ride length by 600 feet.

Horizons opened exactly one year after Epcot opened, and was located between World of Motion and Universe of Energy. Wonders of Life became Horizons' new neighbor in 1989, and World of Motion closed in 1996. Horizons remained operational until World of Motion's successor, Test Track, was ready to open to the public in early 1999. Company officials say it is likely, but not yet certain, that Horizons will close for good when Test Track opens and will be replaced with a space pavilion. cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |author=Jill Jorden Spitz |coauthors= |title=ESPN GRILL, COMING TO DISNEY, HOPES CLUB'S POPULARITY RUBS OFF |url= |format=Newspaper |work= |publisher=Orlando Sentinel |location= |id= |pages= |page=9 |date=October 20, 1997 |accessdate=2008-03-02 |language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate= ]

It was proposed that Horizons would be the sequel to the Carousel of Progress (located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom), Disney's ride from the General Electric Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. As the Carousel of Progress followed the changes in lifestyle that faced a family as they lived through the 20th Century, Horizons continued their story, showing how they might live in the 21st Century. The Carousel's theme song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" was part of the Looking Back at Tomorrow portion of Horizons. The version of "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" that could be heard in Horizons coming from a television in the Art Deco scene, is the exact version can still be heard on a radio during first act of the Carousel of Progress today.

The original ride concept came from Reginald Jones (then CEO of GE) and Jack Welch (future CEO of GE). The concept was to focus on Thomas Edison and his body of work along with the origin of General Electric; it was changed to focus on the future of America, a theme that changed yet again to respect that Epcot was to appeal to a global audience. The building which housed Horizons was designed to resemble a spaceship, while accentuating the third dimension and giving the impression of an infinite horizon.

During the early 90s, after GE had dropped sponsorship, some ideas were tossed around about the pavilion being turned into a space-themed pavilion. The building would have been upgraded and rethemed. The ride system would be changed drastically, in which, the guest would be in an individual space harness while viewing space stations and space in general and would control the pitch and yaw of the vehicle.

On January 9, 1999, Horizons was closed. No reason was publicly given, but the lack of corporate sponsorship probably played a large part in the decision. It is also claimed that one of the reasons for the attraction closing was major structural problems (that being a large sink-hole underneath the structure which emerged in 1998), along with problems with the roof. The building was claimed to have been close to collapsing under its own weight. [ [http://www.horizons1.com/history.htm Horizons at Epcot Center Timeline ] ] The building stood unoccupied for well over a year as Disney decided between either relaunching the attraction (which would have required a new storyline and major building renovation and upgrades) or demolishing the building and creating a new attraction in its place. It was decided to build a new cutting-edge attraction themed on outer space, so the Horizons building was torn down in July 2000. The demolition of the building marked the first time in Disney history that an entire ride building was demolished in preparation for a new attraction. Construction on Mission: SPACE began in late 2000 and the new attraction opened in 2003.

Horizons is currently referenced in Mission: SPACE. The center of the gravity wheel in the queue line has the attraction logo, as well as a stylized version on the front of the checkout counter in the Cargo Bay gift shop at the exit to the attraction. The 2003 episode of "The Simpsons", "Special Edna" features the Horizons building.

Various props from Horizons have spread around Walt Disney World and even Walt Disney Studios Park. A display which features the butler robot animatronic was set up in "EPCOT: Creating the World of Tomorrow" for Epcot's 25th anniversary. EPCOT: Creating the World of Tomorrow http://www.flickr.com/photos/blm07/1471881269/] At Disney's Hollywood Studios, a few of the props from the undersea scene were sitting in the warehouse. Disney MGM-Studios Backlot Tour: Horizons props http://www.flickr.com/photos/blm07/2112264230/]


*1979 - Early concepts were presented by the show designer George McGinnis
*August 5, 1981 site work begins
*January 1982 Pavilion construction begins
*October 1, 1983 Horizons opens as part of Epcot's 1st Anniversary celebration.
*September 30, 1993 General Electric's sponsorship ends after expiration of 10-year contract.
*1994 Horizons closes indefinitely. Disney officials give no timetable for reopening.
*December 1995 Horizons reopens while Universe of Energy and World of Motion are renovated.
*December 31 1998, Disney internal staff newsletter (Eyes and Ears) announces that Horizons will close (Jan 9th 1999).
*January 9, 1999 Horizons closes permanently (at 21:00).
*September 23, 1999 - All Horizons signs are removed.
*September 30, 1999 Horizons briefly reopens but only for press groups.
*July 2000 Horizons pavilion building is demolished.
*Winter 2000/2001 Construction begins on Mission: SPACE on former site of Horizons
*August 15, 2003 Mission: SPACE opens to the public.
*September 19, 2003 Walt Disney World issues a Horizons pin commemorating the attraction. On the pin is Mickey Mouse, a drawing of the ride's building, and the years 1983 and 1999 to signify the years between which the ride operated.
*September 9, 2005 Walt Disney World issues a license plate pin, part of their lanyard series, commemorating Horizons.
*August 17, 2007 Walt Disney World releases another commemorative pin as part of its White Glove Remember When series.
*July 1, 2008 Walt Disney World releases another commemorative pin as part of its White Glove Retro Epcot series.


*cite book |last=Mongello |first=Louis A. |authorlink=Louis A. Mongello |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=The Walt Disney World Trivia Book |url=http://disneyworldtrivia.com/about.php |format= |edition= |series= |date= |year=2004 |month=July |publisher=The Intrepid Traveler |location= |isbn=978-1887140492 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages=125 |chapter= |quote=Opening date (October 1, 1983), loss of sponsor (1993) & closing date (1999)

External links

* [http://www.intercot.com/themeparks/epcot/futureworld/horizons/default.asp Horizons at Intercot]
* [http://blm07.dreamhosters.com/wiki/index.php?title=Horizons_audio_list Horizons Audio Listing at Brava Centauri]
* [http://www.horizons1.com/ Horizons Tribute Site]
* [http://www.pinpics.com/cgi-bin/group.cgi?group=2212 Horizons Pins and Buttons]

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