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Horizons was an Omnimover attraction in Future World at Epcot that took guests into the future of what earth might be like based on scientific advancements. The attraction opened on October 1, 1983 on the first anniversary of the opening of EPCOT Center. The ride closed permanently on January 9, 1999 due to a sinkhole beneath the building, much to the dismay and public outcry of fans. The symbol used for the ride from 1983-1994 (shown right) symbolizes the sun rising over the land, representing a new horizon.
RideCarousel of Progress. The queue area leads through FuturePort, a spaceport which links all the focal points of the ride together and to the unusual overhead Omnimover vehicles. An announcer reads "Horizons 1 is now departing. Our final destination today, the 21st century." The guests could then hear people that sound like the father and mother characters in the Carousel of Progress (which keeps the tie-in really sharp). The ride vehicles then go through a variety of different "future" ideas from different time periods, most focusing on the 1950s.
The vehicle then enters one of the two giant OmniMax IMAX screens, where a very brief view of the present is portrayed, leading up to a space shuttle launch at the end up to the guests' first glimpse of tomorrow. The space station Brava Centauri, the first in a line of Centauri-class spaceships, which comes later on. The scene quickly shifts to Nova Cite, one of the few urban habitats. There is a tour of the narrator's living room before the vehicle moves over to Mesa Verde, an arid-class farming environment. The scene quickly shifts to SeaCastle, one of the few underwater habitats. There is a brief tour before blasting off to the aforementioned Brava Centauri.
The two narrators leave the guests briefly while another announcer states that they will be returning to FuturePort very soon. Unlike any other attraction, Horizons allowed guests to choose their own ending in a segment called "Choose Your Own Tomorrow." In it, riders select one of the lit up designs on a keypad in front of them. The winner (majority rules) gets presented with a 31-second clip of high-speed motion before returning to one of the docking bays of FuturePort. Riders then are told "If we can dream it, we really can do it" before disembarking.
- Horizons was the only ride to date that allowed guests to choose their own ending.
- During the classroom scene in SeaCastle, some guests report hearing one kid say, "I am a moron." In reality, the kid, Scott, is saying in response to "Every ten minutes" "Or more often." This myth is reminiscent of John Lennon's supposed "Paul Is Dead" rumor where at the end of Strawberry Fields Forever, he is interpreted to say "I buried Paul."
- This attraction, after its original 1994 closing, was forced to reopen in 1995 when World of Motion and Universe of Energy were being closed for renovations.
- This attraction is supposed to be a tie-in with the Carousel of Progress, as it features some of the same characters and even There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.
- Bob Gurr, one of the lead designers on Horizons, lobbied to use the OmniMax's in a huge ending. His idea was reformed into a "present" scene, with Gurr's idea of the OmniMax's in the ending being replaced by two GE projectors.
- The three ending scenes were reused for the Tour Scan area in the Tokyo Disneyland version of the original Star Tours attraction.
- The gravity wheel scene can still be found in Mission: Space's queue, rethemed to a white space shuttle-like theme, though the Horizons symbol can still be found at the center.
- In Space Mountain's post-ride queue at The Magic Kingdom, a luggage bag can be seen at a futuristic lost-and-found. A travel sticker on it reads "Mesa Verde". Mesa Verde is one of the futures that can be chosen in the ending of Horizons.
- ↑ "Disney Celebrates Anniversary Of Epcot With New Attraction", Associated Press, Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, FL) (October 2, 1983). Retrieved on June 11, 2009.