Spaceship Earth – The Phoenicians

From Egypt we move North to the Mediterranean Sea where over the next 1,000 years the Phoenicians were the prime sea merchants of the region.  These Semitic sea-traders were not strictly defined to a specific region and were ruled by various empires in the region including the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks (1).

Spaceship Earth Concept Art by Claudio Mazzoli

Spaceship Earth Concept Art by Claudio Mazzoli

Commerce

A rough map of their trade route below illustrates how vast their commerce spread.

116

The Phoenicians offered many imports and exports throughout the region:

  • Copper, silver, gold and tin trade
  • Decorated metal bowls
  • Pottery (bowls, plates, flasks, jugs, pitchers, storage jars, lamps)*
  • Lead, textiles, jewelry, perfumes, glass (2)

*Displayed prominently in the ride scene.

Some of these were created by the Phoenicians and others were part of the regional trade.   Some more noteworthy exports include the following:

Carving/Engraving

The Phoenicians were skilled craftsmen with carving in wood and in ivory.  The carved ivory would be made for inlaid furniture.  You can see ivory tusks very clearly in this scene where the two ships meet for an exchange.

p8mNUJS

Timber

The Egyptians had no wood but needed cedar for coffins and other woods to build their temples.  Since the Phoenicians had the ships and were able to get the lumber from areas such as Byblos they became major lumber exporters.

Tyrian Purple

One of the most prized exports of the Phoenician people is the red/purple dye known as “Tyrian Purple” as most of it was produced in the city of Tyre.   This dye was the mark of royalty and worth much more than its weight in gold.  Its made by breaking the shells of the munex (mollusk species), and extracting their glands which are processed with the side effect of a horrific stench.  A single ounce requires thousands of mollusks (2).  It was commonly used with wool and these colored textiles were also part of their trade. 

You can see the captain of this ship in the scene is in purple, and therefore royalty or rich!

IMG_4793

Copyright Jennifer Lurie

ABCs

Perhaps the most important export of trade for the Phoenicians was the alphabet.  When the Phoenicians created their new alphabet, they worked from symbols that were already in use among the Semitic-speaking peoples of Canaan and Mesopotamia (1).  We know from the previous Egyptian Scene that the Egyptians had the writing system based on pictograms (hieroglyphics).  

phoenician

The Phoenicians took the pictograms and added the acrophonic principle – naming of letters of an alphabetic writing system so that a letter’s name begins with the letter itself.  For example, the pictogram/symbol  for a house which was in north west Semitic language is pronounced as “beth” would now just represent “b”.  They did this for 22 consonants and no vowels.

The writing was used across the region in trade to document their transactions.  The agreements for purchase were typically fixed term agreements and pacts.  Ironically, the very folks responsible for sharing these 22 letters have barely any written evidence that remains.   The new portable methods for text were also perishable so the materials such as wood, papyrus and parchment from antiquity did not stand the test of time.  Just imagine your park map after the first day of Food and Wine without the glossy coating!

 Thank the Phoenicians…

“Thank the Phoenicians” from Judy Dench’s narration  has become one of the more quotable lines from EPCOT.  So much so that its started a bit of a cult following.  The Phoenicians even have a Twitter Feed!

Remember how easy it was to learn your ABC’s? Thank the Phoenicians, they invented them.

thankshirtnavyjing

 

 

 

Twinsies!

Because animatronics are complex, time intensive to create, and expensive – its common to duplicate the models that are made and dress them differently.   In this scene – Phoenician Sea Captain is said to also be the Store Owner in the Great Depression scene in American Adventure (3).

seacaptain

http://disneyinfo.tumblr.com

owner

http://www.wdwmagic.com

February 15, 2008 – current (narrated by Judy Dench)

At this point each civilization has its own form of writing which none of the other’s can understand. But the Phoenicians, who trade with all of them have a solution. They create a simple common alphabet adaptable to most languages. Remember how easy it was to learn your ABC’s? Thank the Phoenicians, they invented them.

November 23, 1994 to July 9, 2007 (narrated by Jeremy Irons)

Phoenician merchants established the earliest commercial highways trading goods and information at distant ports of call. To aid in record keeping, they created the first common alphabet and shared this new tool across the Mediterranean..

May 26, 1986 to August 15, 1994 (narrated by Walter Cronkite)

The value of writing for accurate record keeping appeals to Phoenician merchants. They create an alphabet, simple enough for any to learn, and share this new tool at ports along the Mediterranean. 

October 1, 1982 – May 25, 1986 (narrated by Larry Dobkin)

On fine Phoenician ships, we take our scrolls to sea. Real scrolls simplified by an alphabet, eagerly shared at distant ports of call.

July 22, 1977 – Ray Bradbury script

And then we put our walls on ships – sailed out across the seas to share what we had learned…how to plant – and grow – and build; To trade our goods and exchange our good ideas with far and distant lands.


  1. http://www.ushistory.org/civ/4f.asp
  2. Markoe, G.E. (2000). People of the Past: Phoenicians. California. University of California Press.
  3.  https://www.mouseplanet.com/10075/Some_Secrets_of_Spaceship_Earth
Posted in Disney, Spaceship Earth | 1 Comment

I LOVE a good info graphic!!

These info graphics from Nature are on point!

Exoplanet2

Exoplanet_biosignatures_graphic_NEWS_WEBNEW

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Spaceship Earth – Ancient Egypt

The scene after the Cave People has us transition from cave drawings to hieroglyphics as we move into an Egyptian temple (representing the New Kingdom approximately 1567 – 1085 B.C.) on the right.  On the left is a man sitting in front of the reeds along the Nile making papyrus. (1)  Further ahead an Egyptian pharaoh is dictating a message to a scribe.  All of this is done with careful detail.

Temple

Temples during the New Kingdom were constructed as places of religious worship and dedicated to certain Egyptian gods. The temple scene depicted here reveals an hypostyle hall – a common element of Egyptian temples.  Below are three examples – the concept art for the ride, the actual scene (looks better without a flash), and an actual hypostyle hall from the Kom Ombo Temple in Egypt.

egyptian temple concept art

Spaceship Earth Concept Art by Claudio Mazzoli

Spaceship Earth Egyptian Temple - Undercover Tourist

Spaceship Earth Egyptian Temple – Undercover Tourist

Kom Ombo Temple from Planetware

Kom Ombo Temple from Planetware

The hieroglphyics depicted in the temple scene are reportedly accurate.  The word hieroglyph literally means “sacred carvings” and the Egyptians first used them exclusively for inscriptions carved or painted on temple walls (2).  Eventually the hieroglyphics were used in documents but in order for that to happen – they needed something portable and lightweight to write on.

Papyrus

The scene on the left depicts a man sitting among the reeds along the Nile, pyramids in the background, pounding papyrus.   The gentleman got a makeover in the 2008 Siemens refresh with more realistic movements but the message being portrayed is the same.

Papyrus Pounder - Original from The Magic In Pixels

Papyrus Pounder – Original from The Magic In Pixels

Papyrus Pounder 2.0 from The Magic in Pixels

Papyrus Pounder 2.0 from The Magic in Pixels

The Cyperus Papyrus plants are used to make papyrus. The root from these plants is triangular in shape which makes it easy to cut into strips.  The basics of creating papyrus are to place the strips side by side on a hard surface with their edges slightly overlapping, and then another layer of strips is laid on top at a right angle. The two layers are hammered together, mashing the layers into a single sheet. The sheet is then dried under pressure. After drying, the sheet is polished with some rounded object, possibly a stone or seashell or round hardwood.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Djeba Marketplace

Djeba Marketplace

A single roll of papyrus is about 20 sheets glued together.  Papyrus were reused in many ways such as pasting strips of papyrus over cracks for patching and repair.  New papayrus was available for administrative and ritual use while the private user obtained second hand papyrus (3).  The Jeremy Irons script indicated that papyrus was the first paper but this was since updated with the Judy Dench version calling it a sort of paper.  This is more accurate as the credit for inventing paper goes to the Chinese.

As Dame Dench states Papyrus in turn creates better record keeping of plans, designs and unfortunately taxes. It is true that the need for documentation was administrative in need such as to track laws, farmers needed to track the land they owed and how much food produced, or merchants needed records to show goods sold and debts owed to them (4). Ultimately, the Cavemen’s writing  and Egyptian temple hieroglyphics were stationary.  Papyrus made it transportable.

A pen and papyrus were seen as symbol of authority.  The scrolls in the following scene, including the hieroglyphics are said to be duplicates of real documents written by a pharaoh (5) .

Pharaoh

The scene after our papyrus pounder is a pharaoh and his court, the pharaoh dictates a letter to his scribe, who is recording the words on papyrus scrolls.  The hieroglyphics are said to be accurate.

Copyright Matthew Cooper

Copyright Matthew Cooper @ https://www.thetimethespace.com

Hieroglyphics

Better folks than me have tried to translate the hieroglyphics to determine which Pharaoh this is.  I remember a unit in grade school where we “studied” hieroglyphics and I thought it would be fun to revisit.  Let’s just say this is work to be left to he professionals.  Here is what I was able to figure out:

CARTOUCHE

 

A – Duck and sun, also known as Son of Re’ (6) is the normal title for the birth name of the king, written outside the cartouche (royal name ring) as in the example to the left.  This symbolizes a direct connection between the earthly king and Re, the ruling force in nature (7).

B – The cartouche is the oval ring or a protective rope that encloses but also protects the personal name of a king.

So we know that this symbolization is something that would be seen in Ancient Egypt but what I couldn’t figure out is what the name in the Cartouche is.  The closest I was able to get was to Seti I.

If this is indeed King Seti I, that would make his spouse Queen Tuya!

Seti I Cartouche

Seti I Cartouche

Pharaoh and his Court

So let’s say this is King Seti I and Queen Tuya – who is this other guy with a scroll?  Based on today’s depiction of the scene he appears to be an official also known as a “vizier”who helped the king govern. The viziers acted as mayors, tax collectors, and judges.  In a past portrayal – this gentlemen appeared to take on the role of a servant fanning the king and queen with an ostrich fan as seen below:

Original Egyptian Scene - Walt Dated World

Original Egyptian Scene – Walt Dated World

The Scribe seen transcribing the decree is no slouch. Scribes were the only people in ancient Egypt who could read and write the sacred hieroglyphs that would appear on temples and in tombs and they were also the keepers of government records and wrote letters for the pharaoh.  The scribe is essentially the most important person in this room – they can read, write, and know where the mummies are entombed.  

King’s Royal Regalia

crook

Another change overtime was the King’s headdress.   In the original scene the King is wearing what appears to be a  Nemes headdress which would be a cloth covering a crown. It was later updated to the Double Crown or Pschent we see today – a combination of the Red Crown of Lower Egypt and the White Crown of Upper Egypt. It symbolised the joining of the two lands, and the pharaoh’s control over the two lands (8).

In both versions the King has his staff (long pole), one of the most ancient symbols of authority.  A cool detail added later was a crook (heka) – a sceptre in the shape of a shepherd’s crook normally made of gold and reinforced with blue copper bands.  The crook symbolized that the pharaoh is the shepherd or the carer of the people (9).

Twinsies!

Because animatronics are complex, time intensive to create, and expensive – its common to duplicate the models that are made and dress them differently.   In this scene – the vizier is said to also be President Taft in the Hall of Presidents (10).

Copyright Mathew Cooper Photography

Taft in the Hall of Presidents

February 15, 2008 – current (narrated by Judy Dench)

Now let’s move ahead to ancient Egypt, because something is about to happen here that will change the future forever. This unknown Egyptian pounding reeds flat is inventing papyrus, a sort of paper. Papyrus in turn creates better record keeping of plans, designs and unfortunately taxes. But it also brings with it the dawn of great civilizations.

November 23, 1994 to July 9, 2007 (narrated by Jeremy Irons)

Ages later, the Egyptians invented the first written communication – a complex language of hieroglyphic pictures and symbols. With the creation of papyrus scrolls, came the world’s first piece of paper. Now, without ever leaving their palaces, pharaohs could deliver proclamations and decrees to subjects across the land.

May 26, 1986 to August 15, 1994 (narrated by Walter Cronkite)

Ages later, stories and knowledge are transcribed in complex pictures and symbols. Hieroglyphics mark the rise of written language and, soon with papyrus scrolls, the written word begins to travel out across the land. 

October 1, 1982 – May 25, 1986 (narrated by Larry Dobkin)

Ages pass and more walls rise in the valley of the Nile. Man-made walls of hieroglyphics. Then with new symbols, we unlock our thoughts from chiseled walls and send them forth on papyrus scrolls.

July 22, 1977 – Ray Bradbury script

We planted crops – took root! Worshipped gods who brought the wind and rain and sun. We built new walls – and chilled marks on stone to live through endless time. Recorded now – old tales once told by word of mouth alone.


  1. http://www.intercot.com/edc/SpaceshipEarth/spscript.html
  2. http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/civil/egypt/egcw02e.shtml
  3. Eyre, C. (2013). The Use of Documents in Pharaonic Egypt. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  4. Woods, M. (2011). Ancient communication technology : from hieroglyphics to scrolls. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publishing Group.
  5.  http://EzineArticles.com/6450011
  6. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/digitalegypt/ideology/kingname/sonra.html
  7. An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs By James P. Allen
  8. http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/pharaoh/explore/bluec_b1.html
  9. http://egyptian-gods.org/egyptian-symbols-crook-and-flai/
  10. https://www.mouseplanet.com/10075/Some_Secrets_of_Spaceship_Earth
Posted in Disney, Spaceship Earth | 2 Comments

Spaceship Earth – Cave People

The Spaceship Earth time machine blasts ahead 15,000 years to an era of cave-dwelling people.  We enter a dimly lit cavern with men, women, and children in the flickering light of the fire.  Here is where we first see the immense details that went into this attraction.  The original script indicates that a “prehistoric shaman” is speaking to the people about a recent hunt and that the wall paintings help record his tale for future generations.

Copyright Disney

Copyright Disney

The Hunted

During this time of the Upper Palaeolithic (Late Stone Age) there were deteriorating climatic conditions and herds of reindeer, bison, horse, mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, and red deer (1) were hunted by these humans for survival.  You can see various animal skulls in this scene of Spaceship Earth and they were cast from molds of actual animals in the Paleolithic collection of the Page Museum in Los Angeles (2).  Aspects of how the animals were used is seen in this cave scene from how they wear them, eating around the fire, preparing hides and fur, and the shaman headdress.

The Art

Living as hunter-gatherers, these species of human were always on the go – the cave was not a permanent home.  The wall paintings weren’t just to help future generations but would also benefit the next inhabitants who came along needing shelter.  The observation of animals was not merely a pastime, but a matter of survival (3).  Because of this intense connection with nature – the caveman art was remarkably better at illustrating animals than artists today.

a172_lascaux3

Lascaux Cave Painting

In today’s version of the attraction – the art comes to life via video projection and along with the art on the walls of the cave are detailed recreations of what was found in the Lascaux Cave in Southwestern France, the Caves of Altamira in Northern Spain, and others.

The Shaman

Evidence from cave art, daring back at least 30,000 years, suggests caves were used for magical ritual purposes.  There were also many prehistoric ritual burial sites that indicated a shaman might have had a role in this society. According to Jeffrey Mishlove:

They were the earliest professionals. They mediated between the inner life of the tribe and its external affairs. They presided at all “rites of passage” such as births, puberty initiations, marriages, and deaths as well as all “rites of intensification” which attempt to strengthen the tribe’s relation with powerful natural forces in times of crisis such as famine, storm, and epidemic (4).

Copyright John van Es

Copyright John van Es

The shaman outfit includes a headress and a deer bone necklace (5) as depicted in the scene.  In the latest version of the attraction the Shaman’s voice is quieter and he’s had a few standard animatronic updates.   As a tribute to his popularity – Disney launched a “Caveman Vinylmation” character.

s-l1600

Twinsies!

Because animatronics are complex, time intensive to create, and expensive – its common to duplicate the models that are made and dress them differently.   In this scene – the Shaman is said to also be Chief Joe from the American Adventure (2).

Spaceship_Earth_cavemen_scene

Wikipedia

Chief Joe

Photo by WDWMAGIC

 

February 15, 2008 – current (narrated by Judy Dench)

It takes 15,000 years to come up with the next bright idea: recording our knowledge on cave walls. There is only one small problem, when we move, the recorded knowledge stayed behind.

November 23, 1994 to July 9, 2007 (narrated by Jeremy Irons)

With the development of language came a vital key to our survival. For the first time, we could share and learn from one another. We bonded together in small tribes and prospered. No longer isolated, no longer alone.

May 26, 1986 to August 15, 1994 (narrated by Walter Cronkite)

In primal tribes, the skills of survival are passed on to new generations through the art of storytelling. Not trusting this knowledge to memory alone, our ancestors create a lasting reminder with cave paintings. 

October 1, 1982 – May 25, 1986 (narrated by Larry Dobkin)

On cave walls we inscribe our greatest triumphs. A growing record of our deeds, to share with others so they too may greet tomorrow’s sun.

July 22, 1977 – Ray Bradbury script

With soot on stone we left the blueprint of how we killed the Dragon Beast.  From all the caves our brothers came and gathered round a single campfire blaze and learned – learned well from what had been recorded there: a plan to face tomorrow’s noon.


  1. https://ericwedwards.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/prehistoric-art-totemic-belief-and-shamanistic-practice/
  2. https://www.mouseplanet.com/10075/Some_Secrets_of_Spaceship_Earth
  3. ttp://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/cavemen-were-much-better-at-illustrating-animals-than-artists-today-153292919/
  4. http://www.williamjames.com/History/SHAMANS.htm
  5. http://www.ancientcraft.co.uk/reenactment/prehistoric_shamans.html
Posted in Disney, Spaceship Earth | 2 Comments

Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 4

Day 4 – Jawa Issues

I can’t tell if I was overwhelmed later in the day from all the fun I had the night before at Trader Sam’s, or was depressed to have to leave the Polynesian, or if meeting Kylo Ren was that overwhelming but I wasn’t feeling magical on day 4.

waffle

The day started out great – I got breakfast from Captain Cooks and brought it back to the room.  We stayed at the Poly till check out time at 11am and walked around the resort.  The new pool looks so relaxing!  I hope there is a chance for me to experience it in a few years.

polypool

We left our bags to be delivered to Beach Club and took the bus to Hollywood Studios AGAIN.   We had to see the Jedi Training again and we also checked out Watto’s Grotto and Launch Bay.

I got the BB-8 soda cup I had been eyeing since we got to the parks and within an hour almost lost it to a Jawa!

jawa

After the Jawa encounter I was already excitable but then we did the Disney Visa Character Meet and Greet.  I didn’t ask who we would be meeting and they have it all hidden around corners.  When I walked in and Kylo Ren was there I almost crapped my pants.   I had so much fun I can’t wait for the park ‘s full concept to be put together.

We finally got to ride Tower of Terror and for the first time in forever (no, not Frozen) I was able to take the queue to the left side of the bell stand and could see parts of the lobby I haven’t been able to check out for years.

tower

It was starting to get hungry and a bit tired so we took the boat to Beach Club to find out what was up with our room.   For some reason the online check in didn’t work and we got a text that we needed to see the front desk.  They fidgeted with our magic bands for about 15 minutes then gave us the room number.

Before going to the room we had lunch at Beaches and Cream which was the definite highlight by far of our stay at Beach Club.  We got to our room and it was so run down looking it was depressing.  ESPECIALLY after a stay in the brand new Poly Villas.  It was actually uncomfortable.

We walked around World Showcase and had a light dinner at the Boardwalk because I wasn’t feeling it.

mexico

And check it!  You can see the Star Wars fireworks from the Boardwalk!  Although you need to really be there to experience its full effect.

boadwalk

Its always hard to say goodnight to your last night in the Park.  But the excitement about the Egg Hunt I had for the next day kept my spirits up!

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Spaceship Earth – Navigating a Hostile World

The Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.   The first human ancestors appeared between five million and seven million years ago and Neanderthals emerged  250,000 years ago (1).  The Upper Palaeolithic (Late Stone Age) dates between about 40,000 to 10,000 years ago and during this time (about 35,000  years ago) modern Homo sapiens (Cro-Magnon man) replaced the Neanderthals. (2)

Cro-Magnon people left no evidence of written language – but they did have a spoken language to communicate as evidenced by long distance trade, and ritual burial ceremonies.

By studying the skeletons of the Cro-Magnon people, notably the physical features associated with spoken language, such as the vocal tract, the structure of the brain and the size of the spinal cord we see they are identical to humans living today.  This means that Cro-Magnon people would have been capable of producing the same sounds we use in speech. (3)

They also learned to hunt as a team. The mammoths referenced in the images provided the hunter/gatherers with meat, skins, and building materials for their huts.(4)

The Spaceship Earth time machine moves into this time where we see the Cro-Magnon people in a battle against a Mammoth beast.   The images have been updated in the most recent version to a CGI scene depicting a team fighting a Mammoth in winter weather with blustering winds.  The previous version had images of our ancient ancestors and a Wooly Mammoth appearing and disappearing in a purple haze similar to the nebula we saw earlier.

Spaceship Earth 52

February 15, 2008 – current (narrated by Judy Dench)

Here in this hostile world is where our story begins. We are alone, struggling to survive until we learn to communicate with one another. Now we can hunt as a team and survive together.

November 23, 1994 to July 9, 2007 (narrated by Jeremy Irons)

Across a lonely, hostile planet, our early ancestors spread out in search of food and shelter. 

May 26, 1986 to August 15, 1994 (narrated by Walter Cronkite)

We have reached the dawn of recorded time, an age when mammoth creatures roam the land. But with spoken language, the ancient hunters learn to work together and meet the challenges of this hostile world. 

October 1, 1982 – May 25, 1986 (narrated by Larry Dobkin)

Now, suns reverse, moons re-phase, let us return to ancient caves where first we learn to share our thoughts and to survive. Where are we now? It is the waiting dawn where vast things stir and breathe. And with our first words and first steps, we draw together to conquer the mammoth beast. It is the dawn of a new beginning, the dawn of recorded time. 

July 22, 1977 – Ray Bradbury script

Now we, ape creature becoming man, learned new ways to fight the ancient beast and met the challenge — to survive! We picked its bones, and cooked its meat to make us strong and changed midnight, with fire, to Noon and lived another day.

And now that the stage is set – we move on to our first act in the epoch of communication – the recording of information.


 

  1. https://ericwedwards.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/prehistoric-art-totemic-belief-and-shamanistic-practice/
  2. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/dating
  3. http://australianmuseum.net.au/how-do-we-know-if-they-could-speak
  4. http://mammoth.psu.edu/society.html
Posted in Disney, Spaceship Earth | 1 Comment

Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 3

This gallery contains 22 photos.

We checked out of Bay Lake and brought our bags to the Polynesian where we stayed for one night.   We had breakfast at Kona then took the Monorail to EPCOT.  It was two days before the start of Flower … Continue reading

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Last Annual Pass Extravaganza – Day 2

Day 2 – Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

The view of the sunrise from our room at Bay Lake was amazing!  It was 44 degrees so there was also some mist over the water.

sunrise

Since we were at Bay Lake we had a quick breakfast at Contempo Cafe then took the monorail to Magic Kingdom for opening.   They opened 20-30 min early and since it was a Sunday and my fast passes were for Hollywood Studios later in the day – I was nervous we wouldn’t be able to do what we wanted.   We did almost EVERYTHING!

On this trip – I found a new favorite thing.  Tinker Bell in the Peter Pan queue actually feels  magical.   It is details like this that make all the difference and this is now a must see for me on my next trip.

Then onto our favorites:

  • Pirates
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Haunted Mansion

On our walk to Be Our Guest for lunch – we happened upon a babbling brook on a beautiful spring like day without a cloud in the sky.

brook

Hollywood Studios for a Star Wars Experience!

After a nap we took the bus to Hollywood Studios.   We put our fast passes to use and hit the Great Movie Ride.  This is where we encountered an unexpected character.

“Yah get no show?”

We roll up to the iconic yellow brick road ready for action – and nada.  No munchins, no sound, just a lifeless yellow brick road.   Our show guide was great and tried to keep the show going with Wizard of Oz songs but then a maintenance guy shows up from under the well and breaks the flow and like its nothing special and says “Ya get no show?” and then a few other dudes show up and shrug their shoulders an push some things and we move along.

I rejuvenated my spirits by becoming an Honorary Disney Citizen at One Man’s Dream. We then used fast passes to get on Tower of Terror but only half the elevators were moving  and the line came to a standstill.  After a few minutes we turned around.  This is a cautionary tale because once you tap to use a fast pass but don’t tap the second time you are in some fastpass limbo.   It was the technical version of…The Twighlight Fastpass Zone.

We got some dinner at Backlot Express – a surprisingly good “galactic” salad with black beans and avocado along with some “Corellian Spice Fries”.   While we ate we watched the Jedi Training show that got us pumped for the Symphony in the Stars Dessert Party.

party

The party was cute – my only complaint is that I wish there was seating.  The Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks were SPECTACULAR!   The coolest firework shapes – strobes, bees, star shapes, Saturn shapes and the MUSIC!  You get the chills from the music and the drama of the fireworks combined with other Star Wars sound effects.  It was also, hands down, the LOUDEST firework display I have ever witnessed.

You can see the full show online but it doesn’t do it justice.

We watched the Electric Light Pageant before going to bed.   The music is just too ridiculous to ignore.

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Introduction to Spaceship Earth

300px-Epcot_Spaceship_Earth_Logo_svg

 

This is the start of a series on Spaceship Earth.   I will showcase the differences between each of the versions of the story and highlight the importance of the details we see on this beloved attraction!

 

Spaceship Earth – Navigating a Hostile World
Spaceship Earth – Cave People
Spaceship Earth – Ancient Egypt
Spaceship Earth – The Phoenicians


 

We start with the introduction from the narrator.   We see nebulous purple and pink clouds with white lightning as we ascend in our time machine.  A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases.  Its also known as a “stellar nursery” – the birthplace of stars.  A call back between the time of the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago when the Universe began to the birth of our Sun and our Earth about 4.5 billion years ago.

NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula Jimmy Walker

The early atmosphere of Earth was tumultuous.   Storms and lightning had an impact on the Earth’s atmosphere and lightning’s energy may have even had a hand in the creation of life.

Eyjafjallajokull eruption april 17 2010 – photo: Marco Fulle

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” ― Carl Sagan

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.” ― Marshall McLuhan

Each of the script versions below reference how we are all a part of the Universe as crew members of Spaceship Earth – setting the stage on an even tone for what is next in our history.

February 15, 2008 – current (narrated by Judy Dench)

Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time; and for a brief moment we have been among it’s passengers. But where are we going? And what kind of future will we discover there? Surprisingly, the answers lie in our past. Since the dawn of recorded history, we’ve been inventing the future one step at a time. So let’s travel back in time together. I’ll show you how our ancestors created the world we know today, and then it will be your turn to create the world of tomorrow.

November 23, 1994 to July 9, 2007 (narrated by Jeremy Irons)

Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. And for a brief moment, we have been among its many passengers. From the very beginning, we have always sought to reach out to one another … to bridge the gaps between us … to communicate. 

May 26, 1986 to August 15, 1994 (narrated by Walter Cronkite)

For eons, our planet has drifted as a spaceship through the universe. And for a brief moment, we have been its passengers. Yet in that time, we’ve made tremendous progress in our ability to record and share knowledge. So, lets journey back 40,000 years to the dawn of recorded history. We’ll trace the path of communications from its earliest beginnings to the promise of the future. 

October 1, 1982 – May 25, 1986 (narrated by Larry Dobkin)

Where have we come from? where are we going? The answers begin in our past. In the dust from which we were formed, answers recorded on the walls of time. So let us journey into that past, to seek those walls, to know ourselves and to probe the destiny of our Spaceship Earth. 

July 22, 1977 – Ray Bradbury script

Where did we come from?  Some of this we know. Where are we going? Some of this we dream.  How do we get there? Let me chart the ways.  The future has many arts, many sciences, many paths, many doors. 

What are we? Where did we come from and where go?  What is our past that lies beneath us like the dust?  Let us sink into the past, that dust, to find — Ourselves!  Let us bury ourselves like the Five Billion year Locust and then burst forth with wings – to plan tomorrow’s noon! 

Now that the Universe has begun we are ready to see how we started to communicate on our planet.

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Last Annual Pass Extravaganza!

As a way to honor our first and likely last annual passes we used up the remaining days of our passes along with some DVC points to check out a few resorts and the parks on a 5 day trip.   There was lots to see with the new Star Wars stuff along with the start of the Flower and Garden Festival.  This was one of the BEST TRIPS I’ve ever been on – mostly because we didn’t over plan and went with the flow (I also had the best company you could ask for – my Mom!).  The next few posts will go through each of the five days on the trip.

Day 1 – Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake

Now that Uber picks up at MCO we decided to avail ourselves of this service.  Word of caution – this was pricey.   I’ve taken UBER TO the airport from the parks and it was about $22 (and this proved to be true with this trip too).   Since a regular cab is about $60 from the airport to the parks, I figured that even though UberBLACK is more expensive it would still be worth it.   I was NOT expecting $20 in airport fees alone.  Uber does offer fare estimates that did indicate it would be this expensive so I recommend checking that out.

contemporary           room confirmation

 

We dropped off our bags at Bay Lake and went to the Contempo Cafe for lunch.  The Contempo Vegetable Salad had tofu and quinoa and was actually quite good!

Since we did online check-in we got the message that our room was ready via text and headed there and ordered our bags.

 

Since the perk of Bay Lake is the quick walk to MK we went there even though it was mid-day on a Saturday.   The lines were NUTS but we were able to visit the Enchanted Tiki Room.   The weather was perfect so it was nice to just walk around.

fez case

Since it was the last day of the trial of same day reservations for the Skipper
Canteen
– we were able to get a reservation for dinner.  The place is pretty big, has an eclectic but really good menu and a great amount of detail in each of the themed rooms.  There is fez case in the corner near the bookcase!  I wish I could spend the whole day with a Jungle Skipper.

After dinner we rode the Wedway People Mover and for the first time in years we had a ride with no issues!  I was almost bummed because it made the trip shorter.   We capped off the evening at the Top of the World Lounge then ran back to the room so we could watch the Electric Water Pageant.

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