Spaceship Earth Refurb Details

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Spaceship Earth Refurb Details

Post by rdeacon » Nov Wed 21, 2007 1:41 pm

Disney has a feature on their website called Magic of the Month.

This month they featured an interview with Bob Zalk, an imagineer working on the refurbishment.

Here's the article.

A Time Traveler Comes Full Circle

Spaceship Earth is re-imagined by one of its original Imagineers

Bob Zalk was a wide-eyed, newly hired audio engineer when he took on one of his first projects with Walt Disney Imagineering: working on the mighty Epcot® icon, Spaceship Earth, now presented by Siemens. 25 years later, as Senior Show Producer, he found himself leading the team to take this all-time great attraction, and make it even greater for the 21st century and beyond. And you'll be able to experience the newly enhanced attraction this winter.

Bob and his team enhanced all of the scenes on this time-travel attraction with new lighting effects, costumes and set decoration, but even more than that, they also created an entirely new story "overlay" to blend the classic scenes with new ones and to add a special interactive aspect to its finale.

A new story for the enhancement

"We're telling a different story this time," he explained. "Our new story is essentially about how all the innovations of one generation influence and inspire another. There's definitely a relationship between the caveman in the early scenes, who is writing on walls, to our era in which we write on computers. It's a series of building blocks that add upon each other as we travel up through Spaceship Earth."

Once you reach the top of the 165-foot diameter Spaceship Earth geodesic dome, the new, interactive touch screens on your "time machine" vehicle will invite you to create your own visions of the future and see yourself in that future.

On top of all that, a new narration will be accompanied by an exciting new musical score composed and conducted by nine-time Emmy® Award winner Bruce Broughton, who has created music for many other major Disney attractions and films. "It's a challenge to create music for an attraction like this because you have to know how to blend the music seamlessly from scene to scene," Bob explained. "You want to treat an attraction with the kind of majesty it deserves and Bruce rises to the occasion."

"Project Tomorrow: Inventing the World of Tomorrow"

After you leave your time machine, you can explore a new interactive area with lots of fun and fascinating exhibits. "There's Body Builder, in which you wear 3-D glasses to assemble a digital human body (who talks back to you!), and simulates Siemens' remote surgery technology," Bob explained. "Then we have Super Driver, a driving simulation video game that showcases Siemens' auto accident avoidance systems.

"Innervision shows you the future of medical diagnostics in your home—something like your bathroom mirror giving you diagnostics on your body. And Power City is a game what shows how to manage power in a growing city, from routing power to neighborhoods where it's needed to replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar power."

All time favorites will live on through time

But the essence of Spaceship Earth will remain a constant. "Everything that everyone loved about the attraction—the smell of Rome burning, the monk snoring—will still be there, but it will be a new experience in a good many ways," Bob explained. "I think we're all mindful of the tradition that these kinds of attractions hold. So when we approach it as a team, we do it very carefully. You want to keep the ingredients that made it special."

And it's personally very special to Bob Zalk. "Coming in as a young Imagineer 25 years ago and getting to work on something like Spaceship Earth-I was just in awe, not only of the attraction, but also of the people I was privileged to work with and their years with the company. I learned a lot from them. Now at this point, we have young people on our team and we're now mentoring these Imagineers. I'm getting an interesting flashback feeling. How often do you get a chance to work on something like this two times around?"
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Post by Captain Schnemo » Nov Wed 21, 2007 2:04 pm

"I think we're all mindful of the tradition that these kinds of attractions hold."
Wow, even if he's just blowing smoke, that's certainly a dramatic turn from past company comments. Sure sounds good.

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Post by Cheshire Cat » Nov Wed 21, 2007 3:07 pm

This interview relieves me of my fears that SSE will just be another Disney time travel ride. The original version was time travel, but focused on communication and I guess this one will be about "building blocks". This theme seems like a good one for SSE and something that was always really there. I think it's important to have something to tie the scenes together rather than just time traveling through them and this interview makes it sound like that's exactly what they're doing. Thumbs up for Disney. :)

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Post by horizons1 » Nov Wed 21, 2007 5:10 pm

I am excited about the effort they're putting into making a new "classic" Epcot attraction. I am only bummed that the opening has been pushed back to 2/19/08 as I was planning a trip for January!
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Post by js3901 » Nov Wed 21, 2007 8:39 pm

I like Bruse Broughton's music, which seems like a good choice. and I like that they're keeping the most iconic scenes. Too bad they don't mention who's doing the narration. they're keeping this a real secret...
"And please do not sit on the floor. My studies show you can't experience time travel on the floor. and it's not a pretty picture in those shorts" - The Timekeeper

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Post by jbvenn » Nov Thu 22, 2007 12:15 am

This article relieves some of my fears about the refurb. SSE is my all-time favorite WDW attraction, so the news about changes made me nervous, given Disney's track record. I like Bruce Broughton's music, but I will really miss Jeremy Irons' narration. Thank goodness I can still listen to it here on Subsonic!
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Post by TikiTikiRoom » Nov Thu 22, 2007 7:49 pm

that's awesome. I cant wait to see the refurbishments. I personally liked the old ride, and the smell of Rome burning was certainly memorable. :o
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Post by Esmeralda » Nov Fri 23, 2007 9:37 am

I'm a bit sad that they decided to change the score of the ride. It's one of my favorite tracks on Subsonic! Oh well, at least I'll still have it here and at least the other changes sound promising. Thanks for the update!
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Re: Spaceship Earth Refurb Details

Post by DisBeamer » Nov Wed 28, 2007 9:13 pm

But the essence of Spaceship Earth will remain a constant. "Everything that everyone loved about the attraction—the smell of Rome burning, the monk snoring—will still be there, but it will be a new experience in a good many ways," Bob explained.
That made me so happy when I first read it. I'm still mindful that, technically, Journey into Imagination still has Figment and so they could say the same thing about keeping that attraction's 'essence'. But I'm very hopeful that a lot of the original will be intact and just rethought/refreshed if they're willing to name specific scene elements that will still be there. Sounds like good stuff.
js3901 wrote:I like Bruse Broughton's music, which seems like a good choice. and I like that they're keeping the most iconic scenes. Too bad they don't mention who's doing the narration. they're keeping this a real secret...
I heard last week on a Disney podcast (DIS unplugged, I think it was) that the leading rumor right now is Judi Dench. I think that'd be an interesting choice. She has a very distinctive voice that I think would fit nicely.

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Post by Cheshire Cat » Dec Mon 03, 2007 7:44 pm

So I was using a world book encyclopedia today and I found a very disturbing resemblance between SSE's new logo and World Book Encyclopedia's logo (It was one of those "Oh Snap!" moments). Kind of unfortunate, and it shows how generic this logo is compared to something like the original, where actual thought was put into the logo's design. But hey, it's justa logo I guess...

World Book Logos:
http://www.smartkidssoftware.com/cdibm12.jpg
http://www.millshigh.org/library/lgin_logo.gif

SSE's new logo (towards bottom of the page):
http://www.wdwmagic.com/spaceshipearth_ ... morrow.htm

edit: (I know there was some discussion about this issue before, but it was technically off-topic in the forum it was originally posted in and I couldn't find a better spot to put this. I felt it was interesting to bring to everyone's attention though)

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Post by blinkereye123 » Dec Mon 03, 2007 9:07 pm

Hey folks. One of the things I always admired about SSE was that it didn't try to be too literal in its presentation of the history of commnication. There was just something more..I dunno, engaging about letting the 'time traveler' figure out what the true inspiration of each era was able to create in terms of information and creativity. While I am genuinely anxious about the new refurb I only hope that there is still a sense of intrigue in the way the scenes are presented. It's always so much better when you feel like you really are a fly on the wall watching history go by; at least when it comes to a Disney creation. Lastly, I also happen to think that "Dame" Judy Dench would make a great narrator; she has the perfect combination of strength and compassion in her voice that always makes you sit up and take notice. Later, peace.

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Post by Esmeralda » Dec Mon 03, 2007 9:18 pm

That's an excellent point, blinkereye. I loved the original Journey into Imagination because we learned along with Figment, but it wasn't lectured at us like it is now. It was the same with each of the original Epcot rides - hopefully the Imagineers given us a new story with the update of SSE!

And Cheshire Cat, that's just strange. At least now the encyclopedia will make me think of SSE!
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Post by Captain Schnemo » Dec Tue 04, 2007 3:28 am

Cheshire Cat wrote:So I was using a world book encyclopedia today and I found a very disturbing resemblance between SSE's new logo and World Book Encyclopedia's logo
Wow, good catch. Well, at least World Book doesn't have a negative image.

I agree that the original image was more evocative of the ride's theme, but I wonder if we could find a similar logo to that one.

I loved those classic icons, though. Have you all seen the classic Epcot font? I can dig up the link if anyone's interested.

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Post by Cheshire Cat » Dec Tue 04, 2007 9:44 pm

In the original logo the earth sort of looked like it was accelerating, this one makes it look like it's being sucked into a black hole. :lol:

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Post by rdeacon » Dec Tue 04, 2007 10:10 pm

In case anyone missed it as acp reported:

Academy Award-winning, English actress Dame Judi Dench is now confirmed as the new narrator for Spaceship Earth.

An interesting choice and I look forward to riding the new SSE.

Also you can read more about the rumors at this post

viewtopic.php?t=3885



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