Attractions of YesterWorld: Horizons.
If there were a list for top 10 things Disney Fans could never forgive/forget something tells me Horizons would be in the number one slot. So for those that don’t know what was Horizons? Well Horizons opened after much of future world was already established, October 1, 1983 to be exact. But even so Horizons was the attraction that basically embodied the original statement of Epcot’s Future World. It was focused on the idea of the future, how technology and invention could bring us together. And how our horizons are only limited on our imagination. To put it simply it was the a ride about the optimism that could come with the future and innovention, from robot butlers, to colonizing on different planets, or even underwater Horizons thought of it all! The ride made use of a special omnimover system, one that actually had you in the air rather than on ground level.
The ride’s story structure is rather simple. Act one of the ride focused on how we used to view the future (it took advantage of many a Jules Verne aesthetic). Act Two focused on the Present. This was represented in the omnimax domes (big screens) and used our current view of what we were doing today to create a better future (don’t hear much about that anymore). Act Three: The Future. Based on what we know now, this is what the future can be. So you can see there was something very special about this ride, it encouraged you to dream about the possibilities of humanity.
Horizons was a world class dark ride with many innovative and elaborate show scenes used throughout the attraction. It even gave birth to one of the biggest misquotes in all of Disney Fandom. “If we can dream it, we can do it!” Sound familiar? A lot of you attribute that quote to Walt Disney, but actually it was birthed by imagineer Tom Fitzgerald. Specifically for this attraction, because if we could dream it, we could indeed do it. What is crazy about this attraction is the use of OMNIMAX screens. Which at the time was something rather revolutionary. Even more insane was the rides “choose your own ending” sequence. Guests had the options to chose between three different ending scenes, Space, Desert, and Undersea. Each was a different film/simulation so it made rerides something rather important.
Sadly the decision to destroy Horizons came, and the pavilion was roped off and demo’d in 2000 to make way for Mission Space. Which I think shall always be one of TDO’s biggest mistakes. But for any of you wanting to know more, and even see a ride through of an attraction that is just so beloved even to this day don’t worry. I got you. Follow this link to the wonderful Martin Smith’s Tribute video to this classic attraction.
All in all there is something to be said about the death of Horizons and the rest of future worlds decline with it. To quote Neil Degrasse Tyson
“You remember the ‘60′s and 70′s? You didn’t have to go more than a week before there’s an article in LIFE magazine, “The Home of Tomorrow”, “The City of Tomorrow”, “Transportation of Tomorrow” All that ended. After we stopped going to the Moon it all ended, we stopped dreaming.”
Ride’s like Horizon’s and the rest of the original future were so important because of this very statement. They encouraged us to keep dreaming of the future. And when it died and the rest of future world slowly after I think something very real was said about the view of tomorrow. Which is it’s something the new Epcot cares very little about.