As a Hispanic person, that mural makes makes me so happy seeing other POC and their cultural iconography being represented in that mural. It´s like saying that I have a place in this future, too. While Horizons´ view of the future was a little too optimistic, it is certainly fun to dream about.

I never bought the whole GE pulling out reason. I'm to believe that they wouldn't pay for a refurb of a beloved attraction but would instead pay to demolish and then build a brand new attraction? I'm pretty sure the new attraction is way more expensive.

What's missed here is that a lot of the buildings in Epcot were basically copies of pavilions at Canada's Expo '67. The main spherical building was the USA pavilion for example. And the idea of the Expo going on as a living community was what Habitat '67 was all about (it was a section of Expo '67).

There also used to be an "Adult" section of Disney World that was basically a copy of Granville Island in Vancouver, BC.

I loved HORIZONS, both because I'm a science fiction fan and because of the innovative ideas ( the sideways sightlines, the moving movie screen, the "SKype" videos linking the later scenes, the "choose your ending". But it looks like I'm out of date. I once heard a tour guide advise people to go on Test Track because it's "exciting" and the dark rides aren't.

Permit me a little rant. I've gone to Epcot for 2 decades, and Future World keeps getting more and more disappointing. Technology displays are constantly being replaced by Disney commercials. ( Maelstrom => Frozen, the Ocean pavilion => a kid's movie about a fish). The gardens at the entrance replaced by those big tombstones. Songs about the future replaced by nostalgic songs from the 50s -- (fortunately they switched that back). And now my health isn't up to long walks, so I've stopped going altogether.

I'd like to get touch with the "cultists" who adored HORIZONS like I did.

I started going to EPCOT at age 14, the year it opened in 1982 and was fascinated. I was hooked and never wanted to leave. I could not get enough! It was and still is my favorite park however, in recent years, after a hiatus from Disney I was so sadly disappointed to discover that my kids will never know the EPCOT I grew up with. I was so grateful my daughter actually got to go on the Universe of Energy ride last year (2016) before it closed! That was the last remnant (albeit slightly different with Ellen), of the original EPCOT Center that was so dear to me. Shame on our society for being so dumb that innovation and education does not appeal to them anymore.

Honestly I don't see why people are so upset about the stitch ride. Every time I've gone there's been at least a full thing to the point where I was waiting for a while a few times. Also, Mr Toads Wild Ride is still at Disneyland, and so is Snow White's scary adventure (I rode on both of them) but anyways, the alien ride didn't fit with the rest of the magic kingdom stuff and stitch is really a much better fit. But anyway to what I was originally going to say, I am sad that this ride was taken out for mission space instead. Mission space gets a little boring after you do it at least twice because you realize you don't even need to do anything it'll be the same every time. This ride sounds like it actually changed based on people's choices which at least gives you a chance to have no idea what you'll get each time. Wish Disney would quit wasting space and getting rid of things. They have an entire area where they used to have a water park that is just sitting there wasting their money and space. Don't even get me started on what used to be in the upstairs of one of the rides. They literally left everything up there and filled it in to build a stupid vacation club members area. Come on, kids could've enjoyed it for years to come and Disney wasted it. I wish the idiots in charge would quit doing that. Recycle for goodness sake, you sure do a lot of wasting for people who have an entire park basically dedicated to conservation! Okay, rant over.

Loved the article on Horizons. I came of age when EPCOT started, attending during it's opening year (1982 I believe, I was just 8). I remember thinking that it took what I loved about Tomorrowland and made it 100x more amazing. It has been my favorite park from that day until now, in spite of the loss of vision for the park. My own son now counts it as his favorite Disney park as well.

I appreciate most of all that you presented the idea that Horizons captured the essence of what EPCOT was supposed to be and the dream of Disney when it came to technology and innovation. Though Spaceship Earth (a great ride in its own right) is the centerpiece of EPCOT, Horizons always was the summary of EPCOT to me, the first ride I would go on when I arrived and the last one I would go on before I left. I can only hope that some version of it will be rebuilt one day to inspire the next generation as it inspired me.

I absolutely ADORED this ride like none other at the Orlando Parks...I only got to visit the Florida parks every few years or so but Horizons opened literally a day before my first visit to Epcot, and 13 year old me was enraptured...I rode it seven times...and made a beeline for it every time I made it down there (thankfully about five additional times before they shuttered both it and my Second favorite attraction of all time, Cranium Command...)...a ride that inspired people and left them with hope...We could use a few more of Those...

I've noticed in some of your other articles about defunct attractions, you cite where elements from that ride live on. In the case of Horizons, the three filmed endings were recycled for the post-show of Tokyo's version of Star Tours. A unit called the TourScan, narrated by robotic space travel pitchman Dan Android, advertised additional destinations such as Praya the water planet (Sea Castle), Bar-Neth the desert planet (Mesa Verde) and a planetless hotel in space (Brava Centauri). The footage from Horizons was shown on the monitors while other screens provided text in Japanese and English.

It probably won't happen, but Epcot needs a new Horizons just for the hope that the future is going to be OK. A Centorium instead of MouseGear would be good too.

As a jaded 12 year old visiting EPCOT for the first time, this ride was one of the few that I absolutely ADORED. I was crushed when I returned only a couple years later and found out it had closed. Thank you for the walk down memory lane!

I just watched "Tomorrowland" the movie. When Casey picks up the pin, and is transported, entire visual sequences and dialogue are lifted from "Horizons." I don't have the time to check it out fully for comparison now, but you should do it. It gave me some sort of wicked deja vu. I think a few lines were entirely lifted directly from the "Horizons" ride.

Yes, I loved Horizons as a teen and young adult, and I hated it when they closed it - I loved the space scene best, and like most people, I really enjoyed the end of the ride when you got to choose your way home - I also miss World of Motion and Body Wars
But you are wrong about Mission Space not having fans - I'm a 61 year old grandmother who goes on Mission Space every time I visit (Orange Team, thank you very much) as many times as humanly possible! I live in Florida and have an annual pass, so that's a lot of rides - I also do Star Tours the same way
Thanks again for your effort in bringing back the good memories

In reply to by Kristen (not verified)

Yep, the comment in the article is:

"Country Bear Jamboree and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, respectively) being booted for Pooh"

Country Bear Jamboree was removed for Pooh and Disneyland, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was removed for Pooh at Magic Kingdom. That's why it says "at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, respectively" after listing the two. :P It's like saying, Josie and I bought a brownie and a cookie, respectively. Josie bought a brownie; I bought a cookie.

I don't know why I keep seeing this in different articles, but Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was never removed from Disneyland. It still runs today.

Disney World booted it, but not Disneyland. Maybe if Disneyland had Horizons, we would still have it.

I really enjoyed the article about Horizons at EPCOT. My children and our best friends kids first rode this probably in 1983. The youngest about 5 and the oldest 7years. We rode and rode and rode that ride. they loved picking the final ride choice. Like mentioned above, the 5 kids got into one car and adults in another. they also loved the Imagination attraction with Figment. Unlike some folks who don't like EPCOT it was always one of our favorite parks to visit and we were a family that centered our vacations around amusement/theme parks. EPCOT made you think a bit. By the way, the characters were always there roaming EPCOT, i have pictures of Donald with my kids from 1983...he was dressed in space garb.

I LOVED the Walt Disney World explorer. I can still remember the "It's A Small World" music that played when you looked at the full resort map screen. Gah! Now you're sending me off to try to find it to see if it'll play on someone's computer.

Unfortunately, I never got to ride Horizons. It seems like it has a similar idea to Spaceship Earth and I love that ride. It's a shame that Disney does just remove some classics to put in new rides. However, I do have to say that I am a pretty big fan of Mission: Space. I find it super thrilling and the fact that I feel weightless on that attraction is pretty neat! I absolutely love these in depth retrospectives! Theme Park Tourist is becoming my new favorite page I "like" on Facebook because all of the articles are super interesting! Keep em coming!

I just want to thank you so much for these articles! I've never been to Disney World, but I grew up at Disneyland my entire life. I used to play this PC game - Walt Disney World Explorer - that came out in the 90s and I would play it constantly, imagining the day I would FINALLY go to Disney World. Almost 20 years later, that's finally happening, but so much of what I wanted to see has been removed (Alien Encounter especially was something I desperately wanted to experience - but since I was in kindergarten at the time, perhaps it's just as well that I didn't see it). These articles simultaneously bring me back and make me sorry for what I missed.

I rode this ride back in the 80's every time I had the chance. I loved it even more than Spaceship Earth! I missed out on Disney for a couple years and went back when it had already been demolished. I spent the entire day looking for the pavilion until I realized it was gone! I was stunned! I was, still am and always will be heartbroken! My favorite ride has always been the Carousel of Progress. Horizons was next! I cringe every time I walk PAST Mission Space!

In reply to by Jennifer VanWinkle (not verified)

Everything else in Disney World terrified me but EPCOT, so it was always my favorite park. The real ride was a true marvel with a scope that the video can't quite captue, and I remember my last go on my 11th birthday back in December of 97.


Marty confirmed the existence of a sinkhole at Epcot's 30th anniversary celebration (WDW's 40th), but at a location near the Odyssey Restaurant building as the primary reason why there was so much space between Future World and the World Showcase.

He is widely quoted in various blogs that were present on that point and is quoted as debunking the Horizons connection, instead pointing to the loss of corporate sponsorship as the primary reason for its loss.

I appreciate your reply and edits.



In reply to by Marc Schwartz (not verified)

The existence of the sinkhole in that area of the park was confirmed by Mr. Sklar about three years ago, though not necessarily that it was the reason for Horizon's demise. I've always been unlikely to believe it myself, since the ride re-opened and closed and re-opened far too many times for a structure that was allegedly on the verge of collapse. I'll be sure to edit the article to note that. Great point. Altogether, I think the sinkhole simply made for a convenient excuse.

The sinkhole story is a myth, nothing more. Plans to modernize Horizons and refurbish the pavilion are confirmed to exist.

Mission:Space is what HP wanted and paid for, so that is what was built.


I enjoyed reading this article. As one who frequented Horizons in the late 80's and early 90's, I was sad to see it go. I am old enough to have visited the 64-65 NY Worlds Fair and the old Future World brought back those childhood memories. Horizons represented the optimistic view of the future that is largely gone from Walt Disney World now.

I do have one question however. The sinkhole theory has been largely debunked, including comments made by Marty Sklar.

Do you have a verifiable source and documentation for raising it here, otherwise it is concerning to be included in this article, as it prolongs the rumor's life.



Thank you for this. I am choked up reading through everything. I was probably about 5 or 6 when I rode this ride. It was a "must-do" for my family and I. I remember my 2 older brothers and I sharing one ride vehicle while my parents rode in another. I remember fighting over when scene would win at the conclusion of the ride. I remember staring at the different scenes, wishing I could jump out of my ride vehicle and explore (and thanks to Mesa Verde Times blog, that dream became a little reality, at least vicariously). I remember dreaming about what the future would be like. This ride, and many of the original Epcot rides, held a special place in my heart. MK filled the childish imaginary fantasies for me. Epcot allowed me to dream and imagine. As an adult, I ride Carousel of Progress and Spaceship Earth because they are the last of the good, thoughtful rides left. I mourn Horizons when I look upon Mission:Space and have yet, if I ever, to step foot in that building. I help my fellow Horizons community hold on to the last of the ride we loved by creating trinkets with the Horizons logo, because sadly, there aren't many souvenirs for the ride anymore. I do it all out of love for this ride, out of the memory of what it unlocked inside me as a child.

In reply to by Rhea (not verified)

I most definitely watched the video! Sadly, it's the only way I'll ever get to experience it. It was a really good video, though I'm sure it doesn't quite do it justice. Maybe one day they'll do a reboot of it with new technology. If that ever happens, you can bet I'll be there!

In reply to by DeeJay627 (not verified)

Right you are. Thanks!

In reply to by Jennifer VanWinkle (not verified)

I'm always so saddened when I hear people say that EPCOT did not appeal to them as a child (or does not appeal to their children) - I was... (doing math) 8 when it opened and immediately fell in love with the park. Since it opened it became my favorite, leaping far above MK (don't get me wrong, I still love MK) and even with all of the flaws of some of the disastrous "refurbishments" it is still my favorite. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get to ride Horizons before it left. I hope you watched the video - it made me cry! Truly the best attraction WDW ever made. So sad to see it gone.

Excellent article. I must have ridden this attraction over 100 times and I never made the Carousel of Progress connection. Thank you for that.

I was thirteen when EPCOT opened and I was lucky enough to visit the preview as it was being built. We rode the packed monorail around the park but we were not allowed to take pictures (Oh how I wish I had those). When EPCOT finally opened I was amazed. I loved thrill rides but EPCOT gave me a sense of belonging and a bright outlook of the future. The attractions really hit home with me and I fell in love with each and every one of them. Classic lines like "Shale, the rock that burns" are mainstays in my families talks about the good old days. I remember seeing the preview for Horizons and I was hooked. It looked like a spaceship with the door opening and a bright light shining out the door. I literally counted the days until it opened and I was so excited for our trip that summer. When I rode it I was in love. This attraction had it all and my brothers and I rode it multiple times in a row. Each trip to EPCOT was highlighted by a ride on, first, Spaceship Earth and then immediately following, Horizons. When I took my now wife to EPCOT for the first time I told her about my love of this attraction. She also fell in love with it. She saw the bright outlook, the coziness and the message that everything will be alright in the future (something we all really need, right now, with the way the world is going). When Horizons lost sponsorship and closed my family was heartbroken. When it reopened we took a special trip to EPCOT. I was fortunate enough to film this ride multiple times and even used a high end recorder to get the audio. I knew I needed a copy of this attraction forever. Those videos of mine are some of the most precious I have ever taken. Along with classics from Imagination, Communicore, Energy, The Wonder of Life and Spaceship Earth, Horizons video takes me back to an excellent time in my life. I tell my family that if I had Gates or Jobs type money I would buy the plans for Horizons and have it remade. After all I can dream can't I? Thanks again for a great article.

What a fantastic thing to hear, Nick. Keep your eyes peeled... ;)

"When we discussed Journey Into Imagination in our series, we talked more about Epcot and about how the whims of the sponsoring company were essential in the design and creation of Future World's pavilions. In that feature, we dove into the early plans for The Land, which had focused on conservation and habitats. But when Nestle signed on to sponsor the pavilion, they wanted attractions focused on crops and nutrition – a natural fit for their company. And of course, that’s what they got with “Food Rocks,” “Living with the Land,” and “Symbiosis.”"

Mixing a little bit of history here. Kraft was the original sponsor of The Land, and requested the initial changes, but those shows were "Kitchen Kaberet," "LISTEN to the Land," and "Symbiosis." Nestlé did want changes when they picked up the sponsorship in 1993 as the signature attraction became "Living with the Land" and Kaberet was updated to Food Rocks (I hesitate to use that word as Tone Lōc had already become passé by the time it opened with him voicing Fūd Rapper...a much better choice would have been to hire Britneyas Broccoli Spears, but I digress). The last of Nestlé's sponsored changes came with Symbiosis being replaced by "The Circle of Life" one of the first uses of animated feature characters being incorporated into the redo of an attraction at Epcot.

Beyond these factual slips, you have a few grammatical and spelling errors including in your 'Choose your future' section, misquoting the female voice prior to the final Horizon's sequence telling riders "you are NOT invited" when it should read "you are NOW invited."

A fun, yet depressing read regardless. Nostalgic for all the wrong reasons, especially if you buy the line of bull about the sinkhole!

Your in depth retrospective articles are the reason why I frequent this site.
Thank you! Keep up the good work.
Would love to see an article devoted to some of the never built Disney attractions.

As someone who has been going to Disney since before I was born (seriously, my mom went when she was pregnant with me!), I'm a huge Disnerd. I love all things Disney. This article is wonderful, especially since I sadly was never able to experience this ride. I was 9 when it closed the first time and for some reason, in all the trips we made, I never got to go on it. And honestly, I've never done Mission:Space either, as I was not impressed with the idea. As a child, EPCOT did not hold my attention, but as I've grown up, I realize how wonderful it is and it makes me wish I could travel back in time, to see everything I missed out on. Who knows? Maybe one day we will, because if we can dream it, we can do it, right?

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