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Florida Guide > Epcot

Spaceship Earth is probably the most iconic landmark across Walt Disney World. Not only does the giant dome provide the centrepiece and main focal point in the Epcot theme park, but it is also home to a very gentle and informative attraction based on a timeline of human communication from prehistoric man right through to the 21st century.

Looking over the huge ball on our most recent visit we could not, at first, work out what had changed and then it struck us that the magic wand structure constructed for the Millennium celebrations had been removed.

Apparently it had never been intended as a permanent feature and when Siemens took over the sponsorship of Spaceship Earth in 2007 it seemed an opportune time to dismantle it.

We had experienced this ride a few times previously but upon hearing that the new sponsors had made a few changes to some of the ride scenes; it seemed almost rude
not to give it a try.

Although the fifteen minute ride uses the whole of the eighteen storey sphere, it is suitable for all age groups and anyone with a nervous disposition should be reassured there is nothing to fear inside the dome.

The starting point after stepping onto a revolving turntable is to enter the two-seater carriage, known as an Omnimover which will then transport you on a magical voyage of discovery.

After negotiating a star filled tunnel passengers are confronted by prehistoric man’s fight for survival and the cavemen who developed the first spoken language. The timeline moves on through the Egyptians who used hieroglyphics and made papyrus as a writing material, to the Phoenicians who created the first written alphabet.

Then came the Romans and their contribution to the world of communication. We are told in the articulate narration provided by Dame Judi Dench, how their leaders built a vast network of roads throughout Europe which revolutionised the way information was transported.

Fast forward into the Middle Ages where the progression in science is depicted by Islamic and Jewish scholars, then moving on to the Renaissance period where Michelangelo is shown painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Soon we’re into the industrial revolution with the development of the printing press.

From here many of the inventions become more familiar with the advent of newspapers, radio, telephone and, of course, the television set.

The timeline ends, not unsurprisingly, with Bill Gates and the dawn of the computer age.

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Page added on: 7 January 2011
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