For Love of Epcot’s Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth at Sunset / Epcot / Walt Disney WorldThe iconic heart of Epcot’s Future World, this much-photographed geosphere is a beloved park favorite at Walt Disney World.  Spaceship Earth is both a weenie and an attraction – and adored by legions of Disney fans around the world.  The ride inside Spaceship Earth takes us on a slow and easy journey through time for a peek at various innovations in communications technology and how those discoveries influenced human lives through the ages (and will shape our future, perhaps).

For my family, this 16 minute tour of both past and future never gets old and we’re not alone in our love for this attraction!  We’ve been known to ride Spaceship Earth many times during aRM-SSE5 single vacation – even multiple times in a single day.  Is it the animatronics?  The narration?  The smell of Rome burning?  The peek into our personalized future on Earth?  No!  I believe there’s no single moment of the experience, but the perfection in the combination of all the components, the small details and the expansive scenes.

Once again, I asked and you answered.  Twitter followers and Facebook friends were happy to respond to my request for shout-outs, in Haiku form, expressing feelings for Epcot’s icon.  I’m happy to share these gems of poetic beauty with you now…

For Love of Epcot’s Spaceship Earth

From Facebook, there were only two entries, but both were highly creative!

DSCN2870Submitted by Anastasia:

Golf ball cool and dark
Invites me to sit and rest
I can haz nap now

Gaylin posted her fondness this way:

Bright golf ball of love
Beckons all to ride away
Past to future slow.

On Twitter, the response was overwhelming! (If you’re looking for Disney friends on Twitter, you should follow all of these awesome folks!)

From @BerryMary92, a beautiful poem:RM-SSE1

One of Disney’s icons
beautiful site to behold
stands proud in Epcot

From good friend (and occasional guest writer) @AndrewCfran:

At Epcot Center
Lies a geodesic dome
Called Spaceship Earth

@bscala1986 composed this very touching entry:

Grand and miraculous.
A symbol of immortality.
Tomorrow’s child awaits.

RM-SSE4@WDWParkHopper captured Spaceship Earth’s best moments:

Thank the Phoenicians
I can smell the fire in Rome
Time to head back home

@Bekka_C writes of her own Spaceship Earth memories (Bekka – stay awake & you’ll remember it better!):

Every time I ride.
I swear it is new inside.
What a great sleep ride.

@HLebischak also captured the spirit of Spaceship Earth with:

Time traveling sphere –
in the center of EPCOT –
thank you, Phoenicians.

@scottquaile seems to feel the latest Disney technology has not been good for SSE!RM-Spaceship-Earth

My Magic Plussed
Long lines it has

@TacoMan945 submitted this beautiful piece:

Jeremy Irons
Many think you’re a golf ball
Smell in burning Rome

@GoAwayGreen played along this time with a profound piece of art!

Most fragile transport
Of the knowledge collected,
Analyzed and shared

RM-SSE7In @YoPaulieNJ’s entry, Paulie weighs in on SSE’s most recent updates:

The last ride descent
Once so very inspiring
Now a dumb cartoon

Finally, I am proud to bring you the artistic talents of @AmyBethCombs, who didn’t just compose one poem – Amy’s obvious love for SSE could not be contained in a single Haiku.  Amy is the clear winner of today’s game (Congratulations, Amy) with this Ode to Spaceship Earth composed of several entries…

Spaceship Earth is cool.
Spaceship Earth is really cool.
Wow I love Epcot.

Look at those three guys.RM-Spaceship-Earth-Early-Backup-System
That guy’s hat looks like garlic.
I love Spaceship Earth.

Hey, do you smell smoke?
Oh no! Rome is on fire!
Well, there go the books.

Thank the Phoenicians.
You know what they invented?
The alphabet, chump.

How did they do that?
The cave painting on the wall.
It moves. That is cool.

When it turns backwards
That can be kind of scary
The angle is steep.

RM-SSE6Each entry was awesome – some of their expressions of love, others for their honesty.  How do YOU feel about Spaceship Earth?  Which attraction would you like to see tributes for next?

Disney Attraction Review: Rock’n’ Roller Coaster

Today’s installment of “Saturday’s With Nick” offers a terrific review of one of my favorite rides.  I always loving hearing a different perspective on Disney attractions, don’t you?  Enjoy!

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by: Nick

I never considered myself a big Aerosmith fan. Sure, I liked some of their early hits, like Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way, Dream On and Back in the Saddle, but never bought one of their albums, tapes, or CDs. And I really wasn’t a fan of their newer stuff.
But all that changed within the last few years.
I blame age.
My musical tastes have evolved, (though I’m still not a ballads guy).
With age has also come motion sickness.
What does any of this have to do with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you may ask?
Well, because of my lack of interest in Aerosmith, and because of motion sickness, I avoided riding this roller coaster for years.
What prompted me to get on?
Curiosity. I wanted to see if I could handle it. And you know what? I could!
But enough of all this! Let’s go on the ride!

After walking through the queue, guests enter the offices and recording studios of record label G-Force Records. The lobby is decorated with posters, rock memorabilia, and vintage recording equipment.

You then enter a room looking into the recording studio, where the five members of Aerosmith are shown working on a recording.
The group’s manager then comes in and tells the the band that they’re late for their own concert.

Lead singer Steven Tyler insists that all us fans get backstage passes to the show. The band then departs by limousine, and the manager calls for a “super stretch” to get us to the concert.

We then walk through an alley into a parking garage, owned by “Lock ‘n’ Roll Parking Systems” where we board a waiting 24 seat stretch limo for the trip across town to the event.

After loading passengers, the “limo” stops at the entrance to a tunnel.

Music is playing and an overhead sign displays a series of several different messages before a countdown. After the countdown, the car is then shot into the tunnel at 60 miles per hour.

The roller coaster goes through a series of inversions, passing signs that represent various Los Angeles Area Freeways like Interstate 5 and U.S. Route 101.
Different Aerosmith songs play, depending on which limo you get.

The ride ends when the limo arrives at the backstage of the concert venue.

I really enjoy this ride, it is very smooth, which is why I believe it doesn’t get me motion sick, and I can now enjoy Aerosmith songs in a way I couldn’t before, because they’re songs bring happy thoughts of a thrill ride I can actually go on!
I still haven’t bought any of their recordings, and for that I apologize to the members of the band who are doubtless fans of this blog!

Dishing on Disney’s Dinoland U.S.A.

RM-Dinoland-USA-Blue-DinoHere’s what happens – you arrive for the first time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you pass through the entrance and immediately become drawn in by the amazing details.  You see the incredible Tree of Life, you step into Africa and explore the savannah on safari.  You meander over to Asia and are completely swept away by the Forbidden Mountain’s breathtaking mystery.  Then you make your way to Dinoland U.S.A. and, after you recover from the shock, you do one of two things – you love it or you hate it.

Dishing on Disney’s Dinoland U.S.A.

It’s garish, tacky, cheap, and ridiculous, but completely in-your-face honest about its identity!  Dinoland U.S.A. is surprisingly different from anyplace else in the World and you may find yourself thinking, “What the heck just happened?”, but there is an undeniable draw.  Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?  The improbable blend of carnival and science, realistic IMG_6707and make-believe, scary and comical – it’s all there!  Like an off-key yet surprisingly catchy tune.  Do not resist its pull – there are many things to love about this particularly quirky side of Animal Kingdom.

There’s Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama!  Cheap carnival rides, midway games, silly snacks – all with a pretty weird and wonderful backstory!  Personally, I’ve never played any of the midway games (they cost extra) but I absolutely LOVE Primeval Whirl.  Once I decided to give the ride a chance (thought it might RM-Primeval-Whirl-Signmake me sick with too much spinning, but I was wrong), I fell in love with it.  Mostly, I just want to hear Megan scream during every single spin – which she does in the most hilarious way!  Yes, the rides are very ordinary, basic, pre-fab-county-fair stuff, but still, there’s something lovable and familiar about them.  Step right up, folks!!!IMG_6720

While I’ve never been there, I hear the Boneyard is a great place for kids to burn off some pent up energy.  Never underestimate the importance of allowing the little ones to run free and let off some steam!  The Boneyard is a pretend dig-site with plenty of things to explore!  Interactive displays, bones to dig, rope ladders to climb, tunnels to explore.  RM-Dinoland-USAIMG_6712

Dinosaur is an interesting attraction (must be 40″ to ride) – even if you don’t love the ride itself, the Dino Institute is packed with fantastic displays – including a replica of Sue, the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil discovered in 1990.  Dinosaur may be a tad intense for smaller children, but the story – the queue, the pre-ride show, the ride itself – is very creative and immersive.  IMG_6709

Oddly enough, Finding Nemo – The Musical (which has absolutely nothing to do with dinosaurs) is located in this area of the park.  Nemo fans (and guests who need a break from the Florida heat in a comfortable air-conditioned theater) will love this 40-minute show (or at least get in a great nap!).

For years I avoided this area of Animal Kingdom except for the occasional visit to ride Dinosaur.  I wasn’t willing to embrace the complete departure from the charmingly detailed Africa and Asia sections of the park.  In the past few visits, though, I’ve come to appreciate all that Dinoland U.S.A. is and isn’t and am finding my own ways to love this odd little corner of the World.

So, what about you?  What to you love about Dinoland?


Disney World Attractions I Could Live Without

Inside MaelstromI’m about to say some painful things.  I’m going to make statements you won’t agree with – that’s okay!  We can agree to disagree and still be friends.  In fact, I would LOVE for you to weigh in on this particular issue either with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter.  This is what’s so great about Walt Disney World (and the Disney fan community) – everyone enjoys the Disney parks in their own way and for different reasons!

I started thinking about Maelstrom, The Studio Backlot Tour, The American Idol Experience and the swirling rumors about what attractions may be next on the chopping block.  I thought – HEY!  There are plenty of rides I could happily live without – sacrifices I’d be gladly willing to make to the gods of change.  In return, I’d want my most beloved attractions to remain untouched, but I’ll save that list for another day.  If the Disney Company needs to free up some real estate for new and exciting innovations, I’d be happy to help with…

Disney World Attractions I Could Live Without!Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland

1.  Stitch’s Great Escape (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) – Sure, I put the most obvious choice first.  I figure most of you will agree with this one and I can ease you into the rest of the list.  I’m a pretty hearty girl and I actually almost threw up once in this “experience” when I was hit with the chilidog belch.  It was touch and go there for a few minutes.  Guests are exceptionally well-restrained for the duration and I’m pretty sure that ‘s what saved me – I liked my outfit a lot that day and jerked myself back from the edge by concentrating on what the loss of my lunch would to do my cute ensemble.  I hear that Disney’s since removed that part of the attraction, but I still don’t care.  I was traumatized and have been unable to bring myself to ever visit Stitch again.  12 minutes of my life I can never get back!  I don’t even have a picture of this attraction to show you which speaks volumes about my feelings – I pretty much have a picture of everything.

2.  Magic Carpets of Aladdin – What the heck is this thing doing smack in the middle of Adventureland?  We’ve got double Dumbo’s now in Magic Kingdom and we don’t need the rugs, spitting camels, or garish color scheme tacky-ing up the beloved home of the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.  Fly away Carpets, fly away!

Mission: SPACE3. Mission: SPACE (Future World, Epcot) – I know!  The queue is cool, but if you don’t have the right stuff, why bother.  If you’ve got to ride the Green, don’t waste your time.  If you’re going for the Orange Team, you’d better have some strong constitution.  I rode the Orange (before the Green version was invented) and lived to tell about it.  Now I can look back fondly – which actually, if they’d go on and close this thing, I could blow up into an even bigger deal.  A fish story for the future grandkids.  This one begs to be a nostalgic story full of bragging and exaggeration!  No matter what happens to it, a memory will remain all it is for me since I’m not planning to ever ride it again.

4. Dinosaur – I ride it, I like it, I can live without it.  It’s just meh.  I’m not thrilled by it.  I don’t Dinosaur Ride Photothink the dinosaurs are a great representation of Disney Imagineering’s best work.  It is ever so much better since they turned down the volume and toned down the jerkiness of the ride.  I would not shed a single tear if this attraction moved on to make room for something (anything!) more spectacular.

5.  Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – I didn’t just dislike this experience.  I loathed it.  I thought it was boring.  I think I wanted to see more people and fewer vehicles.  Some of the stunts were…interesting, but the attraction takes up valuable property in the Studios that could be put to much better use.  I haven’t seen the show since Mater and the Cars’ stars joined the fun…not sure even they could make me like it.

Here’s what you should do…for every one on my list you don’t agree with, offer up an attraction to take its place on the pretend chopping block.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!