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Five Classic Epcot Attractions That Were Almost Named Something Else

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Have you ever embarked on a daring ocean journey on SeaVenture in World Showcase? Snagged a Transportation Pavilion postcard? Or glimpsed the future in Century 3?

Probably not, considering that these original names for Epcot attractions were all changed prior to their respective openings. Whether a name was amended in order to more accurately describe an attraction’s storyline or simply changed to something catchier, these decisions eventually shaped the reality that became the Epcot that we know and love.

World of Motion in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Here are five Epcot attractions that were originally named something else before they opened.

  1. World of Motion – According to the Disney Archives, this attraction, which celebrated transportation milestones and the possibility of where vehicles could take us in the future was one of the final opening-day attractions to be named. It was first referred to as the “Transportation Pavilion,” then tentatively named “Transcenter” and “Transcenter 2000” before finally becoming “World of Motion.”
  2. Horizons – Can you imagine that this beloved attraction of the past originally wasn’t planned to show a vision of the future at all, but a retrospective on how Thomas Edison harnessed electricity? When the direction of the attraction changed to focus on inventions that could impact our lives in the future, it was renamed “Century 3” and later “Futureprobe.” “Horizons” was the final pick.
  3. Journey Into Imagination – The attraction that introduced us to Dreamfinder and Figment was originally planned to be a part of the “Images & Imagination” Pavilion.
  4. The Living Seas – All the fun we had venturing to Seabase Alpha in the ’80s almost took place at “The Seas” attraction.
  5. Maelstrom – As late as March 1988 (two months before opening), Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion was named “SeaVenture” – even on attraction signage. The name “Maelstrom,” a Nordic name for a very powerful whirlpool, was the final choice.

Excited for Epcot’s 30th anniversary? Follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter, and join the conversation with the hash tag #Epcot30.


  • We have not been back to Epcot since 1997. I am sad that Wonders of life is closed. I really liked Cranium Command. Body wars was always fun too!

  • Maelstrom sounds a whole lot more Norwegian than SeaVenture, although we call it “Malstrøm” over here. 😉

  • And Ethan from VA, if I could “like” your comment I would! I’d love to see Horizons come back too!

  • What a great article, thanks so much for sharing! EPCOT is my favorite Disney park, and I absolutely loved Horizons when I was a kid. It made me want to live in a house under the sea or in space :)

  • Ethan: I’m a BIG Phineas and Ferb fan too! 😀

    Anyway, the first time I went to WDW was after Horizons was closed… based on pictures and videos I’ve seen, it was a very good “second part” to the Carousel of Progress, which focuses on achievements of the past.

    Translation: Bring back Horizons, but don’t close Mission: Space.

  • I would love to see the Dreamfinder again! I have fond memories of him when I was 3.

  • I miss “SeaBase Alpha”. I first went in ’86, and thought it was the coolest place ever. I never did get to step into the deep diver hard suit mock-up, even on subsequent visits. There was always some kid hogging it when I should have been hogging it.

  • I like the change they made from the “World of Motion” to “Test Track” and I’m looking forward to the next update. I miss “Journey Into Imagination” because figment was my sons favorite character… he’s twenty four now.

  • Agree with Ethan! I so miss Horizons. What a great attraction. When I win the lottery I’m giving WDW money to rebuild it in all its original glory. :)

  • Makes me a little sad that 4 of those 5 no longer exist in their original form. :(

  • I truly miss Horizons and wish it would come back. It’s funny, it was closed down because they needed space for Mission Space, yet the Wonders of Life Pavillion has been closed for years taking up precious space.

    Hmmm… Ferb, I know what we should do today!

  • I have such wonderful memories of these attractions as they were. I know change is good, and I love Mission to Mars, but I loved Horizons as well, though I can see kids not being as thrilled by it. I would still love to see the Dreamfinder return.

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