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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[1] 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 below the infobox) symbolizes the sun rising over the land, representing a new horizon.

Ride

Horizonssymbol
The ride was a loose spiritual sequel to the Carousel of Progress. The queue area led through FuturePort, a spaceport which linked all the focal points of the ride together and to the unusual overhead Omnimover vehicles. An announcer read "Horizons 1 is now departing. Our final destination today, the 21st century." The guests could then hear people that sounded like the father and mother characters in the Carousel of Progress (which kept the tie-in really sharp).

The first portion of the attraction was titled "Looking Back at Tomorrow", which explored different ways that we have envisioned the future. This included Jules Verne and his book "From the Earth to the Moon", a fanciful futuristic city full of flying machines as envisioned by French artist Albert Robida, a futuristic Art Deco apartment with a robotic butler, tanning machine, and a malfunctioning robot chef, and a Neon City showcasing science fiction films and television ranging from 1927's Metropolis to Disney's Magic Highway, U.S.A.

The vehicle then entered one of the two giant OmniMax IMAX screens, known as the Omnisphere, where a very brief view of the present was portrayed, showcasing advances in computer technology, the study of DNA, and leading up to a space shuttle launch and space station docking, foreshadowing Brava Centauri.

After leaving the Omnisphere, we enter "Tomorrow's Windows", where we visit the future world our narrators come from. We begin with a visit to their apartment in the city of Nova Cite. While the grandfather plays a motion-sensing musical synthesizer instrument, the grandmother is in the midst of a holographic phone call with their "agricultural engineer" daughter in Mesa Verde. Entering Mesa Verde, we travel through the futuristic desert farm, where large irrigation robots help take care of crops, supervised by the daughter. We pass through her home where her husband and son are preparing a birthday cake in the kitchen and her daughter is in video chat with her marine biologist boyfriend at the floating city of Sea Castle. Seeing the other side of the conversation, we journey through the marine base, seeing a diving classroom and an underwater restaurant looking out at the sea floor, where robots are harvesting kelp for biomass energy projects. A submarine goes by and transitions into a spaceship as we finally approach Brava Centauri, home to the narrators' son. Going inside we see various activities in the station such as crystal growing and zero gravity exercise machines, as well as a newly arrived family adusting to the zero gravity. Finally, we go to their grandson's birthday party, where everyone comes together through holographic teleconferencing, singing "Happy Birthday".

The two narrators left the guests briefly while another announcer stated that they would 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 selected one of the lit up designs on a keypad in front of them. The winner (majority rules) got presented with a 31-second clip of high-speed motion before returning to one of the docking bays of FuturePort. Riders then were told "If we can dream it, we really can do it" before disembarking.

Voices

Gallery

Trivia

  • 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.

References

  1. "Disney Celebrates Anniversary Of Epcot With New Attraction", Associated Press, Ocala Star-Banner (Ocala, FL) (October 2, 1983). Retrieved on June 11, 2009. 
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