Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Like a Big Fancy Space Car

Please allow me me to step up on my soap box for a moment.

Sad, but true
Spaceship Earth used to be a grand and miraculous ride. Walter Cronkite and Jeremy Irons both did a beautiful job with their ride narration. Was it Soarin' or Test Track? Of course not, because it was never supposed to be. Spaceship Earth was THE Epcot attraction. The perfect blend of entertainment and education. Like almost every other Disney fanatic, I loved Spaceship Earth. So naturally, I was jumping for joy when the extensive rehab was announced years ago. But in the end, like many others, I was very disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't completely hate the update. I knew the ride desperately needed some TLC, and many of the audioanimatronics received it. I also enjoyed the fact that some of the scenes were updated. The computer has become a huge part of our lives and future, so it definitely needed to be in the ride. The part that I have an issue with is the narration.

In a ride like Spaceship Earth, the voice over is key. Since the ride has such little action, the story needs to be what drives the attraction. The previous versions of the scripts were inspiring and educational. You learned something on the ride and felt like the future was going to be something awe inspiring. Those things seem to be missing in the current version. It almost feels like the soul of Spaceship Earth is gone.

Nothing against Judie Dench, but I really don't like the job she did. Is it all her fault? Of course not. But the ride feels like it was dumbed down. I know we live in the ADD generation, but Epcot is supposed to be different. It is supposed to inspire us and educate us. Epcot is supposed to rise above, not come down to our level.

Can this be fixed? Absolutely. A simple new script would do wonders. But that wouldn't make it perfect. I still take issue with the cartoon on the descent. But I can deal with that. I can't deal with being bored and talked down too. Epcot can't stand for that.

What do you guys think? What would you change?


  1. "Do you remember how easy it was to learn your ABC's? Thank the Phoenicians..."
    Yeah I totally agree. The previous two male narrations were just EPIC in and of itself. And don't get me started on the look at my future on the little screens... yeah after the rehab I was a little ehhh.
    I'm gonna miss those kids in the classroom on the computer
    "how 'bout a dragon fly."
    Yeah... lol they are my fave hehehe

  2. ehhh really is probably the best way to describe the current attraction haha. I also love that scene at the end.

  3. I loved the Jeremy Irons version of this ride. From the majestic opening lines, to the great transition of seeing our Spaceship Earth at the top, to the dreamlike ending from the future city to the score and neon lights, like waking up from a most wonderful dream. The new version is more like a carnival beginning with the picture taking and a carnival ending with the bad Jetsons ripoff. (at least Disney doesn't try to sell you the pictures here).

  4. Thanks for checking out the blog FriarTuck. You made a great point about the carnival opening. I'm actually quite surprised they don't try and sell the on ride photos haha