It is often the little details that make Disney attraction extra special. That is certainly true of Epcot’s signature attraction, Spaceship Earth.
The details in the planning start with the outside shell of the building, which is an 18 story tall geodesic sphere made up of 954 partial and full triangular pieces. When it rains, none of the rain pours down onto the ground and soaks guests who walk beneath the giant sphere. Instead, water drains into the one inch gaps between the triangular pieces, is collected into gutters, and eventually empties into World Showcase lagoon.
The story of Spaceship Earth shows us the evolution of communication and innovation, and the Disney Imagineers spared little expense to make the scenes in this dark ride’s attraction as realistic as possible. Here are some interesting facts about the attraction:
– Michelangelo used a paint conveyor system when he painted the Sistine Chappel, and this conveyor system is accurately reflected in the scene that recreates his efforts.
– In the Egyptian scene the character is reading a letter from the pharaoh. The letter is actually a duplicate of a real document written by an actual Egyptian pharaoh. Since nobody would have known the difference, the designers could have easily just written gibberish on the scroll. Instead, the researched and wrote out an actual letter.
– Another scene shows a printing press which showcases the amazing advancement brought about by movable type. While nobody would ever be able to tell if Disney skimped here, the press that Disney built for the scene has type that can actually move. And what is the printing press printing? It is an exact duplicate of Gutenberg’s forty-two line Bible (where 42 represents the number of lines printed on a page, since that is what the printing press allowed).
– In the Morse code scene the code is actually typing out the text of the announcement that the golden spike had been laid at Promontory Peak – a critical juncture in the expansion across America that signaled the linking of the country from east to west.
– In the scene depicting the invention of the computer there is a young man sitting at his new invention. Some speculate that it might be Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. However, according to the book The Hidden Magic Of Walt Disney World, Imagineer Pam Fisher states that the scene is actually meant to honor all kinds of inventors who did great things – not just one like Steve Jobs.
All these little details, many of which guests don’t even consciously notice, add up to amazing story telling that make Epcot’s Spaceship Earth an amazing story telling experience.