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The Reimagining of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT Begins May 26

Zach Riddley

by , Walt Disney World Site Portfolio Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Spaceship Earth is more than just the physical icon of EPCOT – it’s a symbol of how the park continues to evolve. The attraction is a crucial piece of the historic transformation already underway at EPCOT, and our team here at Walt Disney Imagineering is excited to start implementing our new vision for Spaceship Earth beginning May 26. 

This means Spaceship Earth in its current form will close for a time starting that day, and the ideas we are working on inside that geosphere will be well worth the wait. As we shared at last year’s D23 Expo, the next iteration of Spaceship Earth will focus on the story of humanity, following our long journey from prehistoric humans to today brought to life with magic and depth that only Disney can deliver. Many of the moments you know and love will be updated in amazing ways, blended with brand-new scenes to tell a story about our human experience. 

Today we’re excited to share a few additional details of what you can expect when this icon returns. You’ll visit Egypt, which is part of the current version of the attraction, but it will be an Egypt like you’ve never seen before, transformed through the power of light.

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Throughout the attraction, you’ll hear new narration and see how light plays a central role in our shared human journey, coming to life in dynamic ways in a celebration of the magic that’s possible when we all come together. 

Walt Disney once said EPCOT “would always be in a state of becoming,” and Spaceship Earth has lived up to that vision for generations. This will be the attraction’s fourth – and most ambitious – update since the park’s grand opening on Oct. 1, 1982. 

Stay with us here at the Disney Parks Blog as we chronicle this historic transformation – of Spaceship Earth and EPCOT as a whole – where we continue to invent the future one step at a time. 

Comments

  • Hi. This is one of my favorite rides in all of WDW, and certainly at Epcot. I love the simplicity and music. In my opinion, if you need to close for major maintenance (fix a broken area, replace to make stronger, etc. go for it). But, to change because everything else is changing is not necessary. At least do the following:
    1. Keep the same music
    2. Give us an idea as to when it is re-opening so we can plan our trips
    Thanks!

  • Bring back Jeremy Irons!!

  • I hope “light” doesn’t mean you’re going to be using a bunch of video to replace animatronics; and for gosh sake, fix the most uncomfortable seats in the World!

  • With the continued park closure I hope that you’ll delay the closure of this ride.

  • How long do they suspect this will be shut down?
    I hope it retains the look and feel that has. I remember the other refurb and it was pretty close to what we see now.
    If it ain’t broke don’t fix.

  • Bring back Jeremy Irons for the narration please!!!!

  • I was bummed out a little over 10 years when the Jeremy Irons’ narration was replaced. I adore Judi Dench and could listen to her read a Pizza take out menu, but there was something about the Irons’ narration that was so stunning and his voice held so much awe and reverence in certain scenes, in particular the Renaissance. I work in professional theater in wardrobe and some days on my way into work I can imagine the “The theatre was born” line echo in my memory. Does this mean Dame Judi’s narration will be replaced? 🤔 I’m very interested to see where this will go.

  • I’m just happy to know that line about “thanking the Phoenicians” for “your ABCs” is going! Its childlike tone never fit with the rest of the spiel.

  • While I admit I won’t be sad to see the current version go, with its slightly patronizing take on Bradbury’s brilliant narration, it’s hard not to be anxious about what will take its place.

  • Will the entrance mural profiled on this blog a few days ago be kept in the new version?

  • It’s exciting to see the attention WDI is devoting to this most unique of Disney’s 12 theme parks, and it’s also impressive to see that EPCOT is being upper cased again for the first time since 1993. To make sure there’s a distinction made between the park and Walt Disney’s prototype community EPCOT, it’d be great if the park went back to its original name of EPCOT Center.

  • Do they have a new sponsor?

  • So will the last day to ride it be May 25th?

  • When will it be finished?
    CERTAINLY by Oct 1, 2022, the 40th Anniversary of the opening of EPCOT.
    HOPEFULLY by Oct 1, 2021, the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World.
    Of course we are hoping for the second, but it sounds like an ambitious upgrade.

  • Uh, Marilla, the animatronics are present in the concept art. I’m pretty sure they learned from a past Epcot attraction update from twenty years ago (that might go soon).

  • Once again, living up to Walt’s ideas. I see this as “plussing” the attraction. I have been to the WDW Resort once, and just visited Epcot. Spaceship Earth was the first ride we went on. Pretty neat experience but glad it is getting updated in in the 2020’s decade! The final result will be fantastic!

  • I am so disappointed by this! We haven’t been to the park since 2003 and our kids have never been. Finally broke down and decided to take a trip out this June and one of the things I was most looking forward to is going to be closed. Why couldn’t it wait until after summer to start? Who knows when we’ll be a to make a trip down there again. 🙁

  • I’ll be heartbroken if we don’t look back on earth from the top. That’s my magical WDW moment every trip.

  • Welcome to the blog Mr. Zach!

  • How long should guests expect Spaceship Earth to be under this awesome reimagination?

  • I can’t wait for the Reimagining of Spaceship Earth at Epcot and I love it when it’s finished. Awesome!

  • I’m personally concerned the animatronics will be taken away.
    Sometimes, a little tweak is good, but re-imagining such an ICONIC ride…well, it’s kind of like chopping up the Hope diamond…you just don’t do it.
    It would be like taking away the dolls in It’s a Small World…you JUST DON’T DO IT!

  • Thrilled! Can’t wait to see what the Imagineers have in store for us.

  • So ambivalent. Spaceship Earth is so epic and nostalgic and Judi Dench as narrator for the last 12 years has been wonderful. It is such a nostalgic ride.

    On the other hand, similar to the carousel of progress, things that are exploring time and human history and human future need to be updated to stay current.

    I hope we can still thank the Phoenicians when all is said and done.

    The Imagineering Team has been doing an amazing job on recent attractions including all of Galaxy’s Edge and the Rise of the Resistance Ride and Pandora before that.

    I have faith that this talented team will respect the nostalgia of Spaceship Earth while bringing it more current and updating it to more of today’s standards.

    I “REALLY” hope that the computer portion of the ride can be improved because the pictures never come out right and the program is now very dated. It is a wonderful interactive part of the ride but it sorely needs updating.