Have you ever wanted to take a ride inside a golf ball? A giant golf ball? This iconic object sitting at just past the entrance to EPCOT can easily be described as just that – a giant golf ball. But it is more than just something to catch your eye or be the anchor to a theme park.
Actually, this golf ball is called Spaceship Earth and it contains a fun, educational ride that takes you back to the dawn to man and follows him through the development of communication to today, then allows you to create your own future right on the screen of your time-travelling machine.
This complete geodesic sphere was designed with the assistance of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. It is 165 feet in diameter and tops out at 180 feet and took 26 months to build.
Embarking on this 15 minute journey is as simple as stepping onto a 4-person moving vehicle and answering a couple of questions on a touch screen about your language of choice and current home. Your picture is taken early in the ride and will be used at the end to put together the story of your future self.
Your trip through time is currently narrated by actress Judi Dench. She takes you back to the beginning of communication among men, who once they learn to communicate are able to hunt together and ensure the survival of the species. As your time machine continues its upward climb, you encounter snapshots in time that tell their story with animatronic characters that Disney is so famous for. We see the earliest written communication in cave drawings; and learn that the language and translation is lost as the tribe moves on or dies off. Moving through time we see ancient Egyptians creating papyrus and writing down their communiques. The Phoenicians create a universal language for use amongst the various trading civilizations. Knowledge is greatly expanded but then ancient texts are lost when the great library in Alexandria was burned – or was it? We discover the first back-up system when it is learned that copies are kept by Arab and Jewish scholars.
Communication becomes more wide spread as new methods are developed, from the printing press to today’s modern computers and man’s discoveries along the way.
Once your time machine reaches the top of its journey, you are looking at the earth through the expanse of space and challenged to imagine what the future holds for mankind. At this point, you turn backwards and begin the trip back to earth. Your monitor activates and questions you on what type of future you would like to see for yourself, asking such questions as would you like to live in the city or country, under water or outer space.
Gathering all your information it creates a story about you living in the future, complete with animation. Once off the attraction, you can email your future self picture to whomever you like.
This attraction, like so many others in EPCOT is very educational. While that doesn’t sound fun, it actually is. This is a very popular attraction and fast Passes are available and encouraged, or you can watch for the short lines on your “My Disney Experience” app. There are times of the day when the lines are shorter and wait times are tolerable. At the end of this attraction is a science center to explore various topics from the human body to high tech games, so there is something for everyone and ever age.