Spaceship Earth at Epcot / Remembering the 80s

Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Spaceship Earth is the easily recognizable symbol of Epcot at Walt Disney World. Even if people don’t always know what to call it. That Big Ball Thing can be seen from quite a distance, but its size is even more impressive when standing underneath it.

I can’t say exactly why, but I do like this view with the palm trees in it. Of course, I always like palm trees anyway, since they don’t grow naturally around here where I’m from.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot at Walt Disney World

Photo location: Epcot, Walt Disney World, Florida
A three-exposure (-2, 0, +2) HDR tonemapped in Photomatix, edited in GIMP

Remembering the 80s

I can’t go to Epcot without thinking about the 80s. That would be the 1980s for all you youngsters out there. And yes, even though I lived through almost all of the 70s, most of my memories actually come from the 80s.

EPCOT Center opened in October 1982. And I made my first visit there in July 1983. I was greatly impressed with all of the technology on display in Future World, although I think at that time World Showcase wasn’t quite my speed. I guess I was still learning about my own place in the world, and my mind hadn’t yet expanded to take in the other parts of the world we live in.

EPCOT Center was new and cutting edge. There were computer screens that you could touch in certain places, and they would know where you touched and respond accordingly! Remember, this was back in the days before every home had a computer. And long before graphical operating systems like Windows, too.

Its attractions may not have had high speed thrills, but they taught us about the future while reminding us about the past. Things like communication, transportation, agriculture, energy, and even imagination were presented in fun and unique ways. And I thought it was all really cool!

The other day, we watched the original “Tron,” which also was released in 1982. Seeing the big computers in the ENCOM building reminded me of those early EPCOT Center days, as did the computer graphics in the movie, which were quite an amazing sight at the time.

Epcot has changed a bit over the years. Except maybe for Spaceship Earth and The Land, it doesn’t quite go out of its way to explore what the future might be like, as it once did. The offerings these days are based a bit more on entertainment than on education. I still enjoy going to Epcot, and I still have a great time there.

But sometimes, I miss the old days. Like the 1980s.