The History of Horizons – (Mission: SPACE) | Epcot

This video idea was suggested by Whiskey
Fett, if you have any suggestions for future videos, please leave them in the
comment section. Epcot’s future world is the first half of the park itself and all of it’s pavilions meant to be inclusive the same overarching theme with future
every pavilion there would represent an element of what the future was supposed
to hold and how our current technologies and innovations would help us get there
these pavilions would together represent the future of oceans, ecosystems, energy,
transportation, creativity, innovation and communication. However there was to be one pavilion that would combine all these elements together. One pavilion
that would be the crowning jewel of Future World: Horizons. Announcer: Step into the
future at EPCOT Center’s newest adventure. Step into the future in Horizons. Step into the future, today. General Electric sponsored the horizon
billion and we’re more than happy to do so partly because most of the rest of
the park was built so GE knew they weren’t getting themselves signed up for
some unfinishable project that’s concept might have been a little bit too
ambitious and would later be abandoned the other reason being, GE had that
experience with Disney’s company and that experience had garnered them notoriety at the 1964 World’s Fair when they’d sponsored “Progressland: A Walt Disney
Presentation” or as is commonly known now, the Carousel of Progress. If you don’t
know how these pavilion sponsorship’s work, here’s how: A company, in this case GE sponsors a pavilion. Then Imagineers conceive and designed a ride, the sponsoring
company pays any and all construction costs and – boom, a new pavilion is made. In return, the sponsoring company gets to have their logo featured on the pavilion and a say in the Imagineering process of the ride. GE’s original idea for this ride
would be one that showcased how Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb was the
beginning of what would eventually become General Electric and that was
it, just a ride focus solely on GE. Thankfully, imagineers objected to this
idea and encouraged a more broad representation of America’s future
before the tie-in to electricity was dropped altogether and the attraction
grew more like its original concept as the epitome of all the future world
pavilions combined. While Horizons was in its planning stage was called “Century 3”, which referred to America’s third century that would encompass from 1976 to 2076. However the name didn’t make much sense to anybody outside of Americans
who were projected to be a big part of Epcot’s visitors. The rides name was then
changed to its new name “Future Probe”. This name didn’t stick around too long
either due to its use of the word “probe” and the given medical association with
it as it was thought to confuse people. And on top of that it just doesn’t sound
very appealing… Finally, the name of the ride was changed to
its final name: Horizons. Construction of the attraction began in 1981 and ran into
a few problems along the way. And this, will be new horizons. 21st century living on the land, under the sea and in outer space. One of which being, a 10 million dollar
budget cut at the last minute. But if you think 10 million’s a lot, try 70 million.
Because that’s how much the ride would have been to make pre-budget cuts so,
it’s understandable why they weren’t eager to throw another 10 million
dollars with the ride. In order to make up for the lost funds the ride was scaled down at least 35% and 600 feet worth of track were removed. Even with these
problems the ride was completed on time, Construction was finished sometime in
1983 the attraction was open on October 1st of that same year. Which was the
first anniversary of Epcot itself. When Horizons opened, media and special guests gathered for the grand opening plenty of big names were there including
Ron Miller, the CEO of Disney Productions. Roland Schmidt of General Electric.
Florida’s lieutenant governor, Wayne Mixon and Walt Disney World ambassador
Cynthia Pleasant. It was a pretty big to-do, speeches were, balloons were
released into the air and trumpets played the Epcot theme. The ride was very popular
during its operating years with park guests as it was basically unofficial
sequel to Carousel of Progress which, had already proved itself to be a big hit since it was first released in the mid-60s. In some aspects, Horizons could be
considered better than the Carousel of Progress, as it showed a broad future
consistently throughout the ride. As opposed to only showing a future in 1/4
of the ride. It was also an omnimover dark ride instead of a stage show. The omnimover system wasn’t that different with the one used on the Haunted Mansion, the
common thread being that neither stop and are constantly going on a track that
allows for daily high capacity, and allows for short wait times. The only real
difference between the two is that Horizons cars hang from the ceiling while the
Haunted Mansions remain on the ground at all times. Horizons also featured two 90
foot tall omnisphere theaters in between sets. Similar to the room at the end of
Spaceship Earth. Horizons was also different from other rides in that, it was interactive
and would let you choose your own ending. A very unique concept that tied in with
the rides theme of “a future with options”. On September 30th of 1993
General Electric’s sponsorship of the Horizons pavilion was up when their contract
expired. GE chose not to renew and the ride was
left without any financial backing for the first time in its decade of
operation. Any mentions of General Electric were removed from the ride. For
instance, at the beginning of the ride after you’d board you would hear this: Ride Narrator: “GE – Horizons passengers, you are now cleared for departure to the 21st century.” But in 1994 that was changed to this: Ride Narrator: “Horizons One is now departing. Our final destination today: The 21st century.” Along with that, the GE logos were removed from the interior and exterior of the ride. Ride Narrator: “From all of us, thanks for exploring Horizons.” Along with having no company sponsor, came the issue of having no company funding. So now, whenever something broke on the
ride; an animatronic, for example, it would stay broken. As would be
unprofitable for Disney to fix it, since it was coming out of their pockets and
not General Electric’s. During the rides final years, parts of it had fallen into a
real state of disrepair. Now normally a 10 year old ride can expect issues like
these after operating day in, and day out every day for that long the only issue
here was that Disney was hardly even attempting to fix these problems. But why?
Why have such an iconic ride, such a big part of future world and Epcot Center
itself be in such a sad state? Well, Disney would answer this question in the
following months. in December of 1994, just three months after General Electric’s contract expired. Horizons just closed down. No statements were given, no
timetables as when it might reopen, no indication beforehand, nothing. Things
stayed quiet until one year later when Horizons suddenly reopened. Nothing
inside was changed, no refurbishments or anything to explain its year-long absence
but, fans of the ride really didn’t care. They were just happy that Horizons was
reopened. The real reason that Epcot reopened Horizons was because two other future
world attractions were closed at the time. Those rides being, “World of Motion”
which was, at the time, being converted into Test Track and Universe of Energy,
which was being turned into Ellen’s energy. Adventure if Horizons didn’t open
back up, only one pavilion would be open on the eastern side of future world,
which isn’t good. So, Epcot really didn’t have much of a choice other than to
reopen for the next three years to make up for the other out-of-commission pavilions. But finally on January 19th of 1999, Horizons was officially closed down for good. before demolition began Disney officials
knew they would have to come up with a good excuse for completely demoing ride
that at this point had become a veritable cult classic at the park there
were a number of reasons for it as to why the building couldn’t be restored or
its attraction updated the first of which means is the new rides building
would be played larger than the horizon building and they had no choice but to
tear it down to make room for the new one as it’s already been proved that’s
not true the Verizon’s building is noticeably larger than its replacement
rides building later it was alleged that a huge sinkhole is beginning to take
form under the horizons building it was weakening the Billington near collapse
the sinkhole allegation was later proved true by Marty Sklar which does need an
international ambassador the single excuse was generally accepted today is
the real reason as to why the attraction was ultimately demolished in March of
2000 horizons began to be empty some props and sets will preserve for example
the robot Butler seen in the easy living section of the ride was moved to Disney
Hollywood studios to be put on display a few other props removed at Disneyland
Paris and can still be seen there today there were also rumors of various other
animatronics in the ride spider around Disney parks including this guy because
he was alleged to be stashing her Magic Kingdom’s Carousel of Progress I have no
real way to confirm any of these claims but I don’t think it’s really out of the
realm of possibility that some of these animatronics could have been repurposed
or is still intact and lingering around the parks also the famous mural seen at
the end of the ride the prologue in the promise was a room prior to demolition
is currently in Disney offices unable to be seen by the public but hey Alicia
wasn’t destroyed later that month the Omni we ride vehicles removed and there
seriously no telling where these things are the most I can find is a few
pictures of them stashing some warehouse some people say they were sold up
individually others say they were all destroyed and nobody really notes what
became with vehicles mission space would be the ride to replace horizons
begins construction in September of 2000 the ride officially opened however on
August 5th 2003 for anyone who doesn’t know mission spaces simulator ride and
its riders operating spacecraft on the first manned mission to Mars
Wright is most commonly known for juicing centrifugal force for the
g-force effect that is if you choose to go on the orange team over green green
is the exact same simulator ride just without the spinning if you want my
opinion now go orange if you can I always think it’s way more fun I don’t
want to help you fun the back story or history of the ride since I’m pretty
sure I’ll be making a whole from video on mission space when it gets
replaced by something else soon enough I mean that rides been open for at least
10 years now there I was built and open without much from from the public but
much as I should rent a horizons fans who didn’t think it was a worthy
successor to the classic ride and I have to say that I agree now I’ve got nothing
against mission space I make it a point to write it every time I go to Epcot but
through the research I’ve done the recording for the ride I’ve seen and
just general feel the attraction there is something that horizons has a mission
space just falls short of having that dancing character yeah horizons focused
on the future but it showed our future mission space just feels cold in between
the space theme throughout it and just being a simulator it really takes away
from the sentimentality you could have horizons still lives on today through
Berry’s tribute website video of the ride references and nods on other rides
and through its fans horizons really was the epitome of what the original idea
behind Epcot was that being the future and hope for it mission space is fun but
it really is a far cry from what is still considered to a lot of people to
be the best dark ride ever

Comments 100

  • rip marty sklar

  • Mission space won't be closing any soon, Disney announced a new movie for it to make it more contemporary

  • Do the history of 20,000 leagues under the sea/ Minnie's house/ Snow White coaster

  • Please do a video on Rocket Rods

  • Good video but the narration is way to fast.

  • Spoiler: the green is now going to earth and coming back, WHY ?

  • How can you forget that the hologram girl was put in Haunted Mansion?

  • When I was a kid, my family went to a warehouse outside of Orlando that sol all sorts of old Disney stuff. I think it was called Mousewares or something. Hotel room linens, lamps, all sorts of random stuff. One of the items we saw was a Horizons ride vehicle. Now, I had never heard of Horizons, but my parents knew what it was. I was more excited over the giant AT-AT in the corner of the warehouse. That was awesome.

  • Good videos… but you talk too fast

  • do soaring next

  • Do Universal's The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera

  • What is the version of Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow at the end of the video? I can't seem to find it and it's not in the description.

  • Please do one ☝️ of these on captain eo's movie stage

  • 8:01 thats an extra little leota mannequin on the bottom shelf! 😀

  • Recent subscriber and I love your videos! My suggestion would be to do a video on the Haunted Mansion update. I know it wasn't a huge overhaul but the new queue is much different and super cool!

  • Mission Space and Stitches ride replacements are easily the worst park decisions they've made of the 2000s

  • I miss smelling like oranges after a ride on Horizons. Another great attraction ruined by evil sinkholes 🙁

  • Mission Space is so important to me, I had my best memories there as a kid. My dad worked at HP, and on the side of the ride theres an area where you can show your HP badge and enter through a door. This was a cool, air conditioned space where you could get free drinks, watch TV on bean bag chairs, and watch people in the line from a large one-sided window. We used to go through there all the time, and the lady working there was really nice. Pretty sweet job if you ask me. We were always the only ones there and it was nice to take a break from the heat and walking all day. We've been to Epcot numerous times, even when there was no color option. Anyways, it was cool seeing the background of this ride that…kinda really means a lot to me! Ty!

  • I never got to experience this ride, since it closed when I was really young, though I like mission space, I will miss LT dan, but the new graphics really enhance it and make it feel much more realistic..but anyway, I don't think I will ever understand the full appeal of Horizons, but I guess it must have been cool back then.

  • cough cough (how edison stole the idea of the light bulb) cough cough

  • do the comet from six flags new england

  • Horizons still remains my favorite of all the Disney rides. I miss it tremendously…

  • Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the GE ride (then again, the WED-WAY People Mover was my goto ride to get out of the heat without any line, lol). It was the only non-thrill ride I went on twice. The immersive projection screens were amazing, far better than any IMAX I've been to. Really good stuff. For those who've never ridden, at the end a large (and old CRT type) TV was positioned in front of your car to show you the scene based on your selection buttons in the car (giving each car a personalized experience).

    How about I share this, I'm in an EPCOT tech pavilion back in the day, at an exhibit of satellite TV with a (supposedly) mind-blowing 500 channels (oh my). Hmmm, sure enough, I was able to use the guide to find and then display porno channels. Pornos at Disney, oh my indeed. I went back years later and found that they had since blocked such channels (maybe Mickey had a problem, or Minnie?).

  • I lovvveeeeeee these videos. PLEASE keep it up.

  • I was told that originally you could only go the orange track when it was first open. People loved it, but it was too intense for the majority of the people that go to Disney, so they made the green track.

  • Love your channel! Please make more.

  • Mission space is boring…hope they replace it instead of replacing all the good rides.

  • There was a Horizon fan that was creating a simulation of the ride on line.
    You could move through the queue, get on an omnimover and "ride" the attraction. He was recreating it as completely as possible.

  • You should do Twister!!

  • Please do Journey into imagination. It's one of my favorite rides with Captin Eo.

  • Mission space suuuccckkkssssss

  • I seem to have hit a perfect time in Disney's life to have had passes and gone a fair amount there in the first part of the 1990s. I loved the old rides like Horizons.

  • The best attraction ever created!!

  • I run a YouTube channel based off of abandoned/old attractions at WDW. May I use some of this video with credit?

  • The smell on these rides made them so memorable

  • Horizons and Maelstrom. Two of my fav rides at Epcot. And I know they were a fav to so many, they have a cult following. I would personally buy a ride prop from Maelstrom

  • I never got a chance to ride Horizons, but I remember riding mission space. I actually felt like I was an astronaut at one point. I loved it

  • Orange mission space mode always left me deaf afterwords so I stopped going on it as a result but thats just 'cause my ears being my ears. Still I like the little stitch made up of scrap like componets i got there from the disney pin collection XD .

  • Thank you for this video!

  • I love the 60s to 90s era sense of retrofuturism

  • Heh. Clicked on this to hear about a Disney attraction, and got a Disney Parks ad right before it.

  • I love Mission: SPACE. It was the coolest ride for me (after Star Tours).

  • Horizons is reverse spaceship earth

  • Make a video of Toon Town please!!

  • In "some" aspects it was better than the carousal? That's crazy talk. It was millions of times better. Horizons is the greatest dark ride of all time. Sounds like this guy never rode it.

  • If you don't mind me asking what is the font you use in this video? Cheers!

  • Mission: Space recently went under for refurb and came back with entirely new footage, so it's probably not going to close any time soon. The post-ride games are cool, though :v

  • It's too bad Disney didn't just replace Horizons with a bigger, better Horizons.

  • "Horizons really was the epitome of what the original idea behind E.P.C.O.T. was, that being the future and hope for it" This is exactly the truth.

  • Why did they have to get rid of horizons, they need to bring it back for something everyone can ride, it's like I've got a heart murmur and with what I've heard of mission space but I'm sorry Disney there is no way I would get on it. Bring it. Back.

  • I miss this ride So very much!

  • Mission space is a big downgrade from horizons. I wish they would make a new version horizons. Maybe call it new horizons and can add new tech. Maybe have some virtual reality to it. I know no chance that's happing. But if I were CEO hehehe.

  • Please do a video about the history of the “Land” pavilion. I would really appreciate it. Btw I love your channel! One of the best channels on YouTube!

  • My mom did not like this ride as it got stopped and she was afraid that it was going to teeter. Learning there was a sinkhole underneath didn't help…

  • Is it just me or do the symbols of the different pavillions look like the DC Lantern symbols?

  • Can you do a universe of energy video?

  • This is the OG Horizons video in my opinion.

  • U should do a video on the original Tom Sawyers Island before all the pirate crap was put in

  • Do a history of the back to the future rides at universal Orland/Hollywood

  • History of Test Track!

  • Do something about your meat noises, jesus christ.

  • Where is the Robert butler in Hollywood studios?

  • Swiss family tree house was sick you should do an episode on that dude

  • Man I really loved this video.  EPCOT is one of my favorite parks due to the combo of world culture and 'a vision of the future'.  Really neat background in Horizons as I've been to Disney uncountable times (especially growing up) but I don't remember much about Horizons.  I remember it, but not like other rides that still stand out vividly in my imagination (Skyway in the Magic Kingdom anyone?).

  • Maaaaaaan, fuck Edison.

  • Disney – Penny Wise = Pound Foolish!

  • I find it funny how most of the time when PRH collabs with other channels, he seems to always mention this video.

  • I enjoyed this video very much. But it made me sad…

  • Sigh. When will people learn the correct pronunciation of “centrifugal?”

  • I remember riding Mission: Space back in the day growing up. We went two weeks after launch or so. The wait time was long and two cars had to be cleaned out from motion sick guests. It was pretty intense. Not too much later the ride was nerfed and the G's reduced which significantly helped.

  • River Country From 1976 -2001

  • Petition to bring back Horizons?

  • World of Motion? World of Motion? World of Motion? World of Motion? World of Motion? World of Motion?

    Surely it's on your cards! !
    #doit! ?

  • I've never been to Walt Disney World, so I missed out on these forever gone attractions.

  • soooooo, how would fixing Horizons not be profitable to Disney? It's their fucking ride

  • World of Motion please Jack.

  • Alright question for everyone. I hate most rides. Like I'll go on dark rides and star tours and all that so witch is worse Green Mission Space or Star Tours?? (Btw I love Star tours) I would never go on Orange because of the spinning.

  • my favorite ride in the late 80's I use to go on the ride 3 times just to choose the 3 different endings Horizons was classic Disney

  • The 80's managed to be fantastically optimistic even with the threat of nuclear war hanging over people's heads. Now a days most of what we have is SJWs screaming how there shouldn't be a future for the US at all.

  • I rode Horizons when i was a kid. It was REALLY cool. Haven't been to the park since the early 90s….seems that's for the best, as everything good about EPCOT is gone.

  • Never experienced horizons, but it looks the same as world of motion and spaceship earth. How many animatronic move along rides do you need in one park? Nice to have a bit of variety. Epcot is my favorite part btw.

  • I'll have to disagree despite it being an unpopular opinion. Mission Space is my favorite ride in all of the Disney Parks precisely because it doesn't quite feel as filled up with 'fabricated happiness'. It feels more real than any of the others and definitely more than Horizons, though admittedly I might have been too young to enjoy Horizons fully when I rode it. Maybe I'm in a minority, but I do think that nostalgia can only really take stuff so far and there must be a balance between classics and new innovative rides. So even if Mission Space gets replaced, as long as that balance is kept and the new attraction has the quality, technology, and spirit of Epcot I'll be fine with the changes.

  • Can you make a video about Mickeys Toon Town Fair? The last time i was there was when I was 4.

  • Have you done a history video on the energy pavillion?

  • Thank you for the video. This was my favorite ride growing up visiting EPCOT Center. (was born in 1982….a very very good year for EPCOT!) I really miss this ride.

  • Where is the robot from 7:43 located in Disney Hollywood Studios

  • Great video – just slow down a bit!

  • Horizons!! One of my favorite Disney rides of all time! Reminds me of when I went to epcot with my mom and dad… when I hear the song I miss my mom so much… thanks for the memories!! ??

  • Did you see the Horizons Logos on Mission: SPACE? Disney paid tribute for former rides in their new rides

  • History of some Kings Dominion rides?

  • I don't know why but I have a strange feeling with the Epcot overhaul we're going to see either a new version of Horizons or something very similar. I mean Mission Space is getting old and has very low ridership so I can see it getting removed soon

  • Well, Epcot failed in reality.
    Experiments sometimes do that.

    But the Real Success is Intangible.
    It's in our Hearts.

    It's in our Memories of Yesterday…
    …And Our Dreams of Tomorrow.

    Epcot was Walts Biggest Failure, and His GREATEST Triumph.??

  • 0:55 oof, so 80s….I love it.
    9:13 is he an unamused Horizions fan lol

  • What I don't understand is… Why won't disney focus on the past rather than the future? I mean when they focused on the future… Well it didn't last long. But people like the past more. Plus it would be cool to maybe see some old animatronics that were used in the old epcot pavilions. Also maybe, they could have new pavilions representing a decade. Such as an 80s one, explaining the music, some events, most importantly the technology. Its amazing grow. technology has grown over the years.

  • there are only 3 great rides at epcot but everything else is trash

  • By far my favorite ride at Epcot as a child. Now I’m 40, riddled with nostalgic regret, and an overwhelming urge to withdrawal from a society and culture I find increasingly unoriginal, unintelligent, and shallow.

  • They should rebuild Horizons but make it 100% Omni Screens… ?

  • So why does having a sponsor keep Disney from fixing a ride? Is Epcot just too expensive for Disney to fund by themselves?

  • I tried going orange but after the first time I had to go green. I normally have no problem on rides and am not especially prone to motion sickness. But that ride got to me and I felt nauseous during and after the ride. After an hour or two I could do green though even that made me feel a little off.

  • I see that there have been no recent comments on this video, thought I'd post a recollection of how the Horizons ride affected our family. We took our kids to it around 1988, our daughter was 5 years old at the time. Before entering the ride (I had been on it a few years prior) I posed a question to her — see how much of the ride you can remember, we'll talk about it afterwards. She really took it to heart and we had a great discussion upon exiting.

    This was the first time she had paid such close attention to detail, and was then able to discuss it in a very adult manner. One of the things I asked her before entering was to remember any special smells during the ride. I already knew that the orange grove display pumped orange aroma into the air. I remember her glee when we reached that part of the ride.

    Long story short, this was a turning point for her, and us, and is forever cemented in our memories as a good sharing experience.

    Trivial? Perhaps. It's sad that the ride met such an ignominious ending, we feel lucky to have seen it in its heyday. They're not making them like this any more.

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