Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Yet another tear down to make room for something vastly inferior.
How can you compare Epcot's Horizon's pavilion with the recent replacement? Horizons, though showing a little kitsch around the edges shortly before it was bulldozed, was a return to the golden age of imagineering when it opened in 1983; a full fifteen minute ride thru showcasing how visionaries imagined the future, how current technologies were dreaming about it and what it all was going to look and feel like when it all came true. It was Epcot's theme show, an incredibly entertaining summation of the ideas that inspired Epcot and Future World from the get go. It was also the first ride in theme park history that both dangled you in front of an Imax film frame (years before DCA's Soarin') and let the rider call out their own ending to the attraction. As for everything else, it was all pure class, from set dressing to lighting to show writing to music. Everything worked.
But somehow Disney pencil pushers decided guests were tired of fully immersive theatrical environments and wanted more thrills, ignoring the fact that The Haunted Mansion and Pirates were still raking them in even after 40 years. In it's place, yet another threat to keeping lunch down in a park that was supposed to be about ideas, the one shot wonder 'Mission Space'.
Granted, this was an interesting step towards innovative new theme park technology as this sort of centrifuge simulator had never been seen before. But once guests squeeze into their tiny simulator pods and experience the feeling of an invisible buddha sitting on their face while watching low rez video it's doubtful they'll turn heel and get back in line. Either that same day or years later. And of course who'd want to suffer through Gary Sinise obviously reading from cue cards in the opening pre-show again anyway?
With virtually no re-rideabilty value whatsoever it's little consolation that the onboard motion sickness bags double as free souvenirs. But go ahead and take one anyway.
15 minutes of immersive theatrical bliss replaced by 5 minutes of chest pain and nausea. You do the math.