Magic Behind the Music: Epcot – Future World – Horizons
Let’s take a look back at tomorrow, shall we? We live in an age where Mission: SPACE is well-known among Epcot fans, but there are a number of people in the over-20-years-old crowd that can recall a wonderful time when a different pavilion occupied that area of Epcot. Horizons made its debut early in Epcot’s history on October 1, 1983 and rapidly became one of the greatest highlights of a trip to Epcot’s Future World. Probably not coincidentally, early in D-COT’s history, the audio from Horizons was added to the Jukebox on June 20, 2008. Since that day, the track has been played 22,271 times, with 44 of those times just in the past week. Here, the audio track gets a 4.8/5 average rating with 92 votes.
What gained this attraction such a large following? Well, many considered it to be a well-thought-out sequel to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. It showcased past visions of the future, technology of today that is contributing to the future, and what the future might look like in one of three diverse settings: the moon, the sea, and the desert. Riders got to vote which setting they would visit with the push of a button. You could say this was one of Walt Disney World’s very first interactive attractions because of that feature. Horizons managed to bring all of Future World’s elements of communication, motion, energy, human anatomy, the sea, the land, and imagination together under one roof! If ever there was an attraction that embodied Walt’s hopes and dreams, Horizons captured it best – well over a decade after Walt passed away.
Unfortunately, as we know, Horizons didn’t last forever. It took a hard hit in December 1994 when General Electric ended its sponsorship of the attraction. It sat there for a year, unused until it reopened in 1995 while Universe of Energy and World of Motion were closed for refurbishment. It closed permanently in January 1999. Disney decided it would be a better idea to demolish and start anew with the cutting-edge attraction, Mission: SPACE, than to update and renew Horizons. This marked the first time in Walt Disney World history that an attraction was completely demolished to make way for a new one. For many Epcot fans, this was an unpopular decision and remains so to this day. The attraction is gone, but far from forgotten. Even as park goers venture into Walt Disney World today, subtle tributes can be found waiting in line for Mission: SPACE, and in the post queue of Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. Thanks to D-COT, the attraction remains immortalized on the Jukebox where 291 Members have it as a favorite and Supporters have added it to 26 Custom Playlists. The audio from Horizons continues to remind us that when it comes to the future, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”