Here’s yet another video tribute by MartinsVidsDotNet, this one to Horizons, the dearly missed extinct Epcot attraction.
Horizons was meant to be a sequel to the Carousel of Progress (which was one of the original attractions that debuted at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.) The Carousel of Progress told the story of an American family during the turn of the 20th century, and all of the new inventions that the family would have in their home. The theme to the Carousel of Progress, “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” also played during the attraction at different times.
Horizons focused on the similar basis of family, but this time, the family was set in the future. The attraction sent you “looking back at tomorrow”, which showed the ways people viewed the future from the time of Jules Verne up until the 1950’s. It then began to focus on the future as seen from the present day (being the 1980’s) including scenes portraying space colonization, ocean colonization, and desert colonization.
Horizons made use of the OMNIMAX video screen technology (or IMAX), and featured a “choose your own ending” much like Spaceship Earth does today. Horizons also incorporated all of the central “themes” of Future World at EPCOT Center; communication, community interaction, energy, transportation, life and health, as well as the land, sea, air, and space.
Originally named Century 3 (and later on, Futureprobe which was a name that was scrapped due to the medical connotation of the word “probe” because no one wants to think about that while riding a ride), the ride was conceptualized to focus on the third century of the United States. However, since EPCOT and Disney in general had a worldwide audience, the name and concept was changed to an overall worldly view of the future from the past and the future from the present.
Horizons opened officially on October 1st (which is the day of this post being made…Happy birthday, Horizons!), 1983 and was one of the most popular rides in the park until it closed in 1999, after the sponsorship with GE became rocky and was eventually dropped, and some of the technology used or seen in the ride became outdated.
Horizons was replaced by Mission: SPACE in 2003, after the building had sat empty for a while until construction began in 2000 There are images on the internet of the original building being demolished and it’s too sad for me to look at so you’re going to have to find them for yourself.
Today, Horizons is one of the most beloved and most missed rides of many EPCOT fanatics, even ones who didn’t get to experience the ride (like myself). It really captured the ideas of EPCOT Center, as well as Walt Disney’s love for the ideas and innovations of tomorrow.
This video chronicles the full history of the attraction, and shows entire diagrams of the ride layout as well as a full ride through complete with the choose your own ending portion of the attraction.