Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I need to get this out: My Spaceship Earth Rant
Today I feel I need to jump on top of my soapbox, clear my throat and begin a rant that has been stewing within me for probably about three years. Spaceship Earth, the icon of Epcot (Center), which has seen many changes, refurbishments, and renovations since it first greeted guests in 1982 needs a new storyline once and for all. Though it is three years too late I fear I cannot stay quiet about this anymore. The attraction, once a thrill to visit upon entering the park has become a barren wasteland within its geodesic sphere. I cannot believe that almost four years have past since Siemens completely ruined this attraction. It is not just the terrible script read by dame Judi Dench (who I do not blame or have ill will toward over this disgrace), but rather the "minusung" that took place in the design. It had always been Walt Disney's quest to "plus" his attractions, never letting his parks and resorts become museums, and many guests have embraced that aspect of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, as well as the parks outside of the US. It is here that Disney allowed this attraction, the face of a park, to be steered in the completely wrong direction. But who is to blame. Well lets see.
One could take the easy way out and simply blame Bruce Broughton, the composer, or even Judi Dench for "dumbing down" the entire script. But to understand what happened here is to look deeper. After the AT&T sponsorship ended, Disney found a new sponsor in Siemens. There idea was to completely revamp the attraction, complete with a new score, narration, and new "interactive" elements. To my knowledge Disney was kept pretty much out of the loop, and because they were not paying for the renovation it seemed as though they were ok with this. It seems that the blame falls onto the sponsorship because they seem to be completely to blame for the lack of a finale, which many people thought was a joke, or an unfinished part of the attraction. After four years it is official, Spaceship Earth is completed in its current state. There is absolutely no chance of this changing anytime soon, especially with Siemens having a 12 year sponsorship agreement with Disney that was signed in 2005. By my estimation, we may see changes in 2017.
So past the obvious sadness many had when the Mickey wand overstayed its welcome
we have now been subjected to four years of an attraction that has already overstayed its welcome. Though the attraction has its positive elements, (i.e. the early animatronics in the stone-age scene, the Romans, etc) the attraction to me seems to be a lost cause right now, and as long as the sponsorship holds up we are in for more of the same. So long Walter Cronkite. Good-Bye Jeremy Irons. See you later Larry Dobkin. We shall see you again.