Thursday, November 09, 2006

A View of Horizons



While this video may not be perfect ... I can almost smell the oranges!

This is a great way to remember why Horizons was such a terrific, entertaining addition to EPCOT Center, and is also an excellent reminder of what we miss when Disney insists on filling its theme parks with thrill rides instead of the immersive, creative, ambitious entertainment at which it used to excel.

As in the video I posted earlier that features Spaceship Earth, it's also interesting to note how smooth and animated the AA figures are when they're new and/or properly maintained!

So, click on the video image above and travel back to Futureport ... and get ready for a fun, sentimental journey into a future that probably never would have been, but now, sadly, never can be.

(And while you're at it, try clicking on the link to the Horizons tribute site on the right side of this page. Not only does it present some great photos and music ... but there's a nice little description at the end of the webpage that details just how prescient Imagineers were in what they presented in the Horzions attraction. Maybe this vision of the future wasn't so far-fetched after all ... or, even better, perhaps some young engineers were inspired 20 years ago by what they saw at EPCOT Center.)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to thank my Father immensely, as he pretty much taped every ride when we went to the parks as kids. I've got footage of all the rides, sometimes in consecutive years and it's fun to see the changes, good and bad.

Horizons is still my all time favorite ride. I used to love the underwater portion and loved the sea turtle hanging out in the back of one of the sets. It was that attention to detail that is sorely missed now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. Horizons was my favorite ride, along with World of Motion (have any videos of that?)

I really can still smell the oranges.

dean said...

I never got to visit Horizons so I am extremely thankful to those who went through the trouble to take these videos. It seems like it was a very enjoyable ride, that left one with a good feeling afterwards. I can imagine going on Horizons and walking out into a warm Future World evening where everything is fresh and optimistic.

Like I have said countless times before in other comments I have made, it still escapes me how anyone could have thought that Horizons needed to be torn down in stead of being updated and made better. It's certainly a good example of a quality immersive experience that future Epcot show designers should take a careful look at.

Chris said...

There's still that nasty rumor about a sinkhole opening under the Horizons building but I've never heard it confirmed...but I agree that it was, at least to me, the biggest loss Epcot had, maybe even Disney as a whole.

While Spaceship Earth does touch on some futuristic stuff, it didnt go anywhere near the kind of things Horizons showed us. IMO, Horizons was the attraction that defined Epcot's Future World as a whole.

WED52 said...

According to the Horizons tribute site, the building was leaky and had to be completely rebuilt. They were going to save the building initially, but it would have been too costly (suprise, suprise).

While I do think that Mission: SPACE is a neat ride, Horizons was clearly a keeper and I don't understand why they just didn't update it. They could have built Mission: SPACE in another area of Future World, like between Horizons and Test Track. I never got the chance to go on Horizons, but I agree that I was as much the heart of Future World as Spaceship Earth.

Ivonne R. said...

I was just wondering Epcot82 if you have seen any of Martin's Ultimate tributes? They are usually about an hour or more long and they are just incredible. Not only does the beginning of the video give you a brief history about the attraction, but the ride video itself usually has multiple angels and remastered audio. You should check them out if you haven't already. He's done World of Motion, Horizons, Journey Into Imagination, Communicore, and Spaceship Earth 86.

Horizons is definitely my most missed attraction and while Mission: Space is entertaining, for me, after riding it once I had no desire to go back on. Not because I was sick, but because I just thought the ride was a bit well...boring. Horizons, for me was more entertaining. From the music, to the way the scenes were staged, to those little things that you noticed the third time around. It was just more engaging than sitting in a tiny capsule, being spun around, and looking at some bad CG. It's too bad they couldn't of updated the attraction and called it "New Horizons"

dean said...

I've heard the sinkhole rumor, the structural problems rumor, and even the tax accounting rumor. Whatever the reason was for removing Horizons, it's certain that it is a show that was vital for Epcot and dearly missed by many. Even if the lack of updating made it less relavant over time, the concept was still strong and I feel it could still be successful today if done correctly.

Do we dare suggest that the theme of Horizons gets revisited in a new attraction at Future World?..., or would that be considered to be "living in the past"? What would a New Horizons pavilion be like? Personally, I would like to once again enjoy that unabashed Disney optimism I felt after seeing Carousel of Progress for the first time. I get some of that when I watch this video of Horizons.

Figment said...

I love the idea of a pavilion called "New Horizons." For EPCOT enthusiasts, the name means something -- and for Epcot newbies, the name is still relevant! It could be housed between The Land and The Living Seas (I mean, The Seas with the Cartoon Fish), and be a strong tie to EPCOT's past and Epcot's present.

Now ... out of curiosity ... is anybody listening?

I'll tell you this much: As a shareholder of The Walt Disney Company, I would love nothing better than to see Disney spend money on atractions at its theme parks; not new shopping areas and new resorts (they can't even fill some of the ones they have now!), but actual ride-through experiences that are more than movie-based. The way I figure it, $100 million amounts to the salaries of about 15 top "executives" (many of whom, in Burbank, at least, make upwards of $400,000 a year plus numerous benefits) plus two or three fewer lackluster movies each year!

captain schnemo said...

I'd love to see this too, although I doubt it will happen. They seem to be shying away from the future in any context, at least in part due to the problem of obsolescence, but this seems silly to me, since attractions should be (and are) periodically renovated regardless of the subject matter.

Someone mentioned previously that since the 80s future is here, it's tough to impress us with technology, but I don't think that's anything close to being true. Sure, certain tech is commonplace at this point (I remember imagining what is essentially an mp3 player in the 80s and people telling me it was farfetched), but there are all sorts of things that could impress that haven't yet been explored by the mass media, particularly nanotech.

In a world where the first Matrix movie is somewhat quaint, it's time for people to start thinking outside the box again. Disney used to be one of the leaders in this sort of progressive thought, but, y'know, blah blah blah...

Greg said...

I always pressed the button for "space" and I was never disappointed.

Thanks for posting this.

Epcot82 said...

Ivonne, I have seen some of those ultimate tributes, and they are terrific!

Ryan Lovelett said...

The video isn't working any more. Is there another link?

Epcot82 said...

Dang it! Thanks for letting me know. I'll try to find something!

Anonymous said...

The video doesn't work because it was mine. It was posted without permission.

Search mcjaco23 at youtube. That's the original, which is mine from our fmaily vacation in 1984.

Joe Fox said...

I thought the Disney fan community was a little less petty than that, mcjaco. Guess not all of us have the utopian sharing mentality.

At least it's still available -- even if the person doesn't want to "share" an internet video (how ridiculous is that?)