Spaceship Earth has come a long way since its opening on October 1, 1982. While always being called Spaceship Earth, it is better known as “The Golf Ball”, “The Epcot”, “The Epcot Ball”, or our favorite, “that silver thing.” Regardless of what it is called by anyone, it cannot be denied that it is a classic.
This 18 story all geodesic sphere is not only the icon of Epcot, but is also home to an attraction, that takes the guest on a time travel trip “To the dawn of recorded time”. The ride describes how human communication has evolved over time from the dawn of cave men and drawings in caves, all the way to today’s high tech, faster than light communication. Scenes in the ride include cavemen, Egyptian Temples, Greek Scholars, the Roman Road Network, Islamic Empire, the Gutenberg Press, the Italian Renaissance, the American industrial revolution, and the ages of Invention and Information. This attraction has been at Epcot since Day 1 and is certainly not to be missed. When Imagineers started working on the plans for the design of Spaceship Earth and the attraction within, they sought out science fiction author Ray Bradbury, who helped develop the storyline. Made up of 11,340 shiny alucobond triangles. Construction took over 25 months, and over 40 thousand laborers to complete.
Spaceship Earth has also had 4 different narrators over the years. Starting with Vic Perrin in 1982 when the attraction opened, Walter Cronkite became the voice of Spaceship Earth in 1986. Following him, in 1994, was Jeremy Irons, and the current voice of Spaceship Earth is Dame Judi Dench. The icon itself has undergone a few transformations since Epcot opened in 1982, most notably, in 1999/2000 during the Millennium Celebration at Epcot. A giant Sorcerer Mickey arm was constructed with a magic wand and year, 2000. After the Millennium Celebration ended in January 2001, the 2000 was removed and the word, EPCOT replaced it. In summer of 2007, the entire arm/wand structure was removed during the most recent overhaul of the attraction, inside and out.