Home » History in Motion Part I: Epcot’s Legendary Lost Masterpiece World of Motion

History in Motion Part I: Epcot’s Legendary Lost Masterpiece World of Motion

When EPCOT Center opened on October 1, 1982, it was a sincere display of futurism, innovation, corporate power, and industry. Because, in hindsight, it also has an inordinate amount of closed classics, you’ve heard us examine the park’s ambitious and brave concept in Lost Legends features telling the in-depth stories of Journey into Imagination, Horizons, Maelstrom, Soarin’, and Body Wars – just a small sampling of the stunning features preserved in our In-Depth Collections Library.

But there is perhaps no Lost Legend more telling of the park’s grand, educational, World’s Fair roots than World of Motion. Often overlooked in Epcot’s history of bulldozed classics, this incredible, epically sized dark ride through the history of transportation was no less impressive or important than Universe of Energy or Spaceship Earth. In fact, its story is of a one-of-a-kind Disney dark ride created by famed animators packed with as many creative gags and effects as the Haunted Mansion.

Today, we’ll begin with the proverbial invention of the wheel and examine the truly unique experience of this EPCOT Center original… and the modern thrill ride for which it paved the way.


If you’ve caught up on our other Lost Legends entries, you know that the story of any closed attraction typically begins years before the ride’s opening.

Image: PLCjr, Flickr (license)

For World of Motion, the story begins in a prologue common to quite a few Disney classics: the 1964 – 65 New York World’s Fair. Though they’d been around since the 1800s, by the mid-century these global expos hosted in international cities had become corporate showcases of innovation and industry. At the height of the 1960s (with all its Americana, optimism, and futurism in tact), people flocked to Flushing Meadows in Queens to see what wonders General Motors, IBM, Bell System, Sinclair Oil, and Chunky Candy would have to put on display.

This particular event holds a distinctive place in Disney history, as Walt and his Imagineers had been contracted by four entities to produce attractions for the Fair. General Electric, the State of Illinois, Pepsi-Cola, and Ford Motor Company had commissioned what would become Carousel of Progress, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, “it’s a small world,” and another Lost Legend: The Peoplemover, respectively.

Click and expand for a larger view. Look for Carousel of Progress (General Electric), “it’s a small world” (Pepsi-Cola), Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (Illinois), and Ford’s Motor Skyway (which evolved into the Peoplemover), as well as later EPCOT Center collaborators General Motors and Kodak.

Allegedly, there was some discussion of the Walt Disney Company retaining the attractions they’d created on-site in New York and converting Flushing Meadows Park into a “Disneyland East.” As we know, any such plans were abandoned and Disney’s four attraction creations were instead relocated to Disneyland and installed permanently at the close of the Fair.

But we also know that Walt and his team did not dispense with the idea of creating a World’s Fair of their own, taking what they’d learned from New York.

Something New

Image: Disney

While he may be best known for his animated tales and amusement parks, Walt Disney was, at his core, a visionary futurist. We’ve long logged Walt’s infatuation with the future in the tales of his Tomorrowland. It seems that the project Walt himself was most enthusiastic about was his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow – EPCOT.

Walt intended for this EPCOT to singularly redefine urban living – a radial city with an enclosed pedestrian urban city center, a “green belt” of parks, schools, stadiums, churches, and community centers, and an outer ring of residential areas. This real city would’ve been a blueprint for the future; a radical reinvention that would shape the evolution of any modern city that would come after it.

Image: Disney

But the keystone of EPCOT would be its transportation – a cutting edge network would criss-cross the symmetrical city. The (few) highways and roadways that entered the city would be buried far from pedestrian traffic, leading to massive parking decks at the city’s core under the 30-story hotel. Externally, the city would be connected to the outside world via none other than the monorail. The monorail line proposed would have stops at the Airport of Tomorrow (to be built just outside the city), the Disney World Welcome Center, EPCOT City, and – last stop – Magic Kingdom.

Click and expand for a larger and more detailed view. Image: Disney

Once riders arrived at the city of EPCOT, they would disembark from the monorail and transfer to sleek, pollution-free Peoplemovers that would transport folks from the city center to the outer ring of residential areas, like arteries circulating to the finer points of the city. These Peoplemover paths would diverge from the city center and reach to all corners of the circular metropolis. Continuously moving, these constant cabs would keep traffic flowing day and night. 

Image: Disney

Both the Monorail and the Peoplemover had debuted at Disneyland (in 1959 and 1967, respectively), but merely as attractions meant to demonstrate the possibilities of tomorrow. In EPCOT, they would be real; essential, practical applications sincerely put to work. Not as models, but as the start of something new.

EPCOT… Center

Image: Disney

Walt’s brother Roy stated that as Walt lay dying of lung cancer in the hospital, he was still planning his EPCOT metropolis, using the ceiling tiles of the hospital room to plot the city’s layout. Unfortunately, Walt died on December 15, 1966 – long before any part of his “Florida Project” could come to fruition.

The earliest steps of EPCOT did come to pass, as Florida’s governor Claude Kirk Jr. signed a law establishing the Reedy Creek Improvement District, effectively giving Disney governmental control over itself. Ultimately, Disney’s remaining leaders decided that the idea of building a city was simply too risky without the man who’d so passionately spearheaded the project. Still, Disney did go forward with building Magic Kingdom, and Roy insisted that this Disney World be renamed Walt Disney World as a tribute to his brother, opening in 1971. 

Image: Disney

The city of EPCOT was not to be. Instead, in the late 1970s, then-CEO Card Walker proposed a new take on EPCOT – a second theme park for Walt Disney World. This new adaptation wouldn’t be the city Walt dreamed of, but it would work off of his ideals and his fascination with futurism and the power of American industry. That’s how the ambitious, progressive model of EPCOT merged conceptually with Disney’s long-running interest in building a permanent World’s Fair.

EPCOT Center would be the best of both worlds, inviting corporations to showcase their cutting edge technologies in pavilions focused on science and industry; a permanent World’s Fair theme park dedicated to innovation.

Image: Disney

Transportation would be an indelible piece of EPCOT Center, too. Sure, a new monorail spur route was diverted off to the south to circle the park’s “World’s Fair” style icon, Spaceship Earth. But transportation would also be selected as one of the park’s core areas of industry. Alongside energy, ocean, land, heath, imagination, communication, and innovation, and entire pavilion would be dedicated to transportation and its incredible living history.

On the next page, we’ll dig into World of Motion. Read on…

EPCOT Center was a new kind of experience. To audiences of 1982, a trip to “Disney” – whichever coast you were on – meant castles, princesses, pirates, flying elephants, and exotic jungles. Disney was all about fantasy and fairytales. EPCOT Center was unlike anything people could’ve expected, packed with pavilions firmly rooted in reality. And unlike the immersive fantasy realms of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center was willing to tell the truth.

Image: Disney

That’s why EPCOT Center is so beloved by a generation of Disney Parks fans who first encountered it (and even those who can only listen, watch, and read about the park as it used to be). Each pavilion in the park was populated by a lengthy, informative, entertaining dark ride. Journey into Imagination, Universe of Energy, Spaceship Earth, Listen to the Land… A stellar and unimaginable lineup of in-depth dark rides let visitors experience the truth in a way a textbook can’t.

Sponsors On-The-Go

From the start of the park’s planning in the mid-1970s, a pavilion dedicated to “transportation” had been assured. What was still unclear was exactly who would pay for it. After all, EPCOT Center would borrow more than just the pavilion concept from the World’s Fair format. Each one of the park’s pavilions would be paid for by a deep-wallet sponsoring corporation who wouldn’t mind footing the bill in exchange for having their brand, logo, and message scattered throughout the pavilion’s contents.

Image: General Motors Corporation

General Motors – one of the “big three” automakers of the era alongside Ford and Fiat Chrysler – invited Disney to their Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan in 1976, giving Imagineers a chance to view the “test track” where new car concepts were put up against rough terrain, flooded streets, steep inclines, and banked speed courses.

Image: General Motors Corporation

The fact-finding mission also served to break the ice, and GM agreed to sponsor the transportation pavilion in 1977 (making them the first EPCOT Center sponsor to sign on the dotted line). That was no accident. Despite Disney’s great success with their four World’s Fair attractions back in 1964, their four rides had been second, third, fourth, and fifth in terms of popularity. Number one was General Motors’ Futurama. And GM, for its part, was eager to partner with Disney to lock its two competitors out of the brand new EPCOT Center entirely.

“Disney” Designs

Image: Disney

Inspired by their visit to the proving grounds in Michigan, Imagineers toyed briefly with the idea of basing a transportation ride on the surprising and rigorous tests that new vehicles were put through. The idea fell by the wayside as EPCOT Center’s dark rides formed, and a team was brought in to create a compelling historical attraction.

Disney Legend and famed Imagineer Claude Coats (fabled animator from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on, and an essential designer for fellow Lost Legends: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Adventure Thru Inner Space, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Horizons) cooked up an initial draft of a transportation ride for GM and presented it to the sponsors around 1978. As the story goes, GM’s representatives found the plans a little lacking in charm and humor, and they requested that designers come up with something a little more “Disney.”

Image: Disney

So designers made a call to recently retired Imagineer Marc Davis (above, one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” the original core animators on Walt’s earliest cartoons) who was just a few months into retirement. Designers wanted his help to craft a more humorous, gag-filled dark ride through the history of transportation. It was no surprise, since Davis had worked closely with Claude Coats to bring to life Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, two attractions that were already understood to be eternal classics. Davis was also essential in crafting the Jungle Cruise, The Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Country Bear Jamboree.

Add to the mix another prolific Disney figure: Ward Kimball. Another of the “Nine Old Men,” Kimball was a leading animator responsible for the creation of many of Disney’s most prolific creations, from Jiminy Cricket to Dumbo. While much of the credit for World of Motion’s humor and character went to Davis, it was really Kimball who got the ride “moving,” shepherding the ride from concept design to installation and execution. World of Motion is thought to be the only attraction Kimball ever worked on!

Image: Disney

By May of 1982, construction on the ride was nearing completion. The World of Motion pavilion was a behemoth… a perfectly circular showbuilding 55-feet high with a 320-foot diameter. Inside, a 1750-foot Omnimover ride system (the same style used in many of EPCOT Center’s originals after debuting on Disneyland’s Adventure Thru Inner Space and, later, the Haunted Mansion) would carry more than 3,000 riders per hour through an epic 14 minute dark ride. To top off the ride’s staggering statistics, its 35 scenes contained a reported 130 animatronics, besting even Pirates of the Caribbean’s animatronic cast count.

Image: General Motors / Disney

World of Motion opened with EPCOT Center on October 1, 1982. What exactly waited within this uniquely entertaining original? We’ll have a seat and ride through the ages beginning on the next page… Read on…

Imagine you’re one of EPCOT Center’s earliest visitors, stepping into the gleaming, expansive park for the first time. While the park may look cutting-edge (given that its 1980s design is distinctively “now”), the feelings it inspires are equally of the future and of the past.

That’s because Future World is indeed a celebration of innovation, with an electric wonder and promise that within its pavilions, you’ll see truly unimaginable technologies at work! But it also harkens to a time of idealism and optimism – the hope of the Space Age, the power of capitalism, and the naïveté of Americana from decades before. Future World is equal parts yesterday’s vision of tomorrow and tomorrow’s view of yesterday.

Image: Disney

One of the most exciting offerings here is the World of Motion pavilion sponsored by General Motors. It’s a perfectly circular, stainless steel pavilion on the edge of Future World. As you approach, you’ll notice a wedge-shaped opening in the front of the building, with an elevated track spiraling around a mirrored pillar. As a continuous chain of vehicles chugs up and around this incline, lines embedded in the track trace their speed and path into the cavernous interior of the building.

Image: Disney

Like many rides using this Omnimover ride system, World of Motion loads continuously and quickly, absorbing large crowds with ease! So as we enter and step aboard, we’re officially “on the road.”

Gary Owens, fabled DJ and radio personality (known to many as the voice of Space Ghost) will be our narrator: “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the wonderful World of Motion! General Motors now invites you to travel the open road; to discover that, when it comes to transportation, it’s always fun to be free!”

Image: Disney

Already, the vehicle advances out of the building and we find ourselves on the spiraling ramp we saw moments ago. As if intentionally positioned for the best view, this look at Future World includes a stunning straight shot toward Spaceship Earth. “Throughout the ages, we’ve searched for the freedom to move from one place to another. In the beginning, of course, there was foot power!” Re-entering the building, we pass by the ride’s first vignette, and one to set the tone: two prehistoric cave men fanning their feet to relieve the burning of an all-day walking spree.

“But with our first wandering steps, we quickly discovered the need to improve our basic transportation. After years of stumbling around, we launch a new idea… our first safe highway: water!” Ahead, boats from rafts to Viking ships are projected in the darkness.

“On land, our animal friends give us new freedom… and we test drive many new models!” A line-up of animals awaits access to a city’s gate… some more cooperative than others. For example, an ornately covered elephant seems adept at carrying a wealthy woman, a camel waits patiently with a rider atop, and a donkey is carrying many times its own weight with ease. But a tuckered-out zebra, a stubborn bull, and a peckish ostrich indicate that the future may not be riding on these animals.

The flying carpet, meanwhile, seems a bit impractical.

The Wheel and the Wings

But around the corner stands a group of inventors trying to impress a King with their spinning inventions: a square wheel, hexagon wheel, and triangular wheel. A stern advisor points them away while a fourth inventor demonstrates the ease of a circular wheel to the King’s delight. “A revolutionary turn of events! The wheel! Now things really get rolling. It’s fun to be free!”

As the vehicle moves into a “speed room,” projected with the spinning of wheels, the ride’s theme song comes into full view: “Fun to be Free” was written by X Atencio, the lyricist behind “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” and “Grim-Grinning Ghosts.”

Image: Disney

“With our new-found freedom, empires expand, cultures flourish, and commerce grows!” On all sides, scenes of Egyptian chariots, Chinese carts, and Grecian tournaments come to life on vases and shadow screens.

“With proud new ships, we sail forth in search of new works, undaunted by age old myths and silly superstitions!” On a screen ahead, two giant faces blow billowing wind across the ocean and away from the Old World, as a ship blows right off the edge of the Earth! The humps of a sea serpant appear before the screen, its head rising to meet the end of Columbus’ telescope.

Image: Disney

 “Ah, the age of the Renaissance! Great minds are turning from works of art to flights of fancy!” We glide past Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop with Mona Lisa posed impatiently before her half-finished portrait. Da Vinci seems more interested in his Flying Machine, taking careful notes as its hoisted high and tested by men hanging from the ceiling. From the windowsill, two pigeons look on in knowing laughter.

Then, we pass a man riding in the basket of a hot hair balloon as it travels over the rooftops of London.


Image: Disney

“From hot air to the power of steam! Now nothing stands in the way of progress on the open road!” Easier said than done, given that a train ahead is stopped and lifted right off the rails thanks to a fuming bull bucking against an oncoming train carriage. “And great boilers of steam change our sails to paddle wheels!” The shadowed silhouettes of passengers dance in a Mississippi paddle boat, dimly lit at a dock. Another battle of man versus animal: a donkey refuses to load the ship. Still, a boy sits on a crate at the dock, watching in wonder as steam ships move down the river.

We pass by western settlers camp with stagecoaches, as Native Americans ride on horseback in the background. “Beyond the Mississippi, passengers enjoy the scenic west with the freedom and adventure of the open road.” One enterprising settler lifts his arrow-pierced hat up, balanced on a stick to distract the Native’s aim.

“Another kind of horse arrives: a steam-powered iron horse brings fast, dependable, safe travel to the new frontier.” Bandits have stopped a train demanding valuables from passengers as the Sheriff looks on from a high rock bluff in the distance.

Image: Disney

The journey continues. “Ah, the peaceful countryside! What more romantic way to enjoy it than with that infallible combination of man and machine: the bicycle! And now, the call of the open road brings us a new wonder: a carriage without a horse! Yes, with the horseless carriage, we thunder full speed into the twentieth century.”

A mechanic in a small garage is working on repairing a turn-of-the-century engine as a horse smiles in approval. A projection beyond shows a busy street bustling with motorized cars, horse-drawn carriages, and trolleys all cohabitating.

Now, the vehicles move us forward into what may be the ride’s most well-known scene: the world’s first traffic jam!

Image: Disney

On a busy street corner, a carriage and an automobile had collided, spilling the fruits, vegetables, and chickens that the cart was carrying! A police officer is seen writing a ticket while a little boy and girl overlook the chaos from their wagon and bicycle. Shouting wives, double-decker buses, an ice truck, and more all populate the scene, with unlimited detail.

“Our newest tradition: the Sunday drive. Now we quickly get away from it all to the beautiful, carefree countryside.” A couple enjoys a hilltop picnic while a bi-plane soars overhead. The vehicles move past a billboard advertising the upcoming Air Show at the County Fairgrounds (admission is twenty-five cents). A police officer is positioned on his motorcycle behind the billboard, ready to pounce.

“Dashing heroes of the wild blue yonder! Now, the sky’s the limit!”

A car is stopped at the side of the road as the driver watches a plane pass overhead through binoculars. Another car parked ahead of him holds a whole family who watch an air show of stunts while a pilot and his admirer pose for a photo before he takes off in his Barnstormer.


“Mobility is the byword of modern transportation… A way to move from here to there, for every need and every care! Now it’s really fun to be free!”

The vehicles pass by cars representing styles from the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, each driving before magazine covers and video clips through their respective time periods. Seaplanes, criss-crossing highways, convertibles, station wagons, and a family on their way to vacation with the dog’s head out the passenger window and luggage stacked on the roof!

Now, the vehicle passes through three projected tunnels, representing movement of today and tomorrow. In the first room, guests may feel as if they’re floating down a river, skiing down a mountainside, piloting through a coral reef, or flying over a mountain. In the next, swirling lights and clouds. In the third room, we’re inside of a computer as we watch the evolution of space vehicles exploring the stars. “Yes, our world has indeed become a World of Motion. We have engineered marvels that take us swiftly over land and sea, through the air, and into space itself! And still bolder and better ideas are yet to come…”

Image: Disney

The grand finale is a momentous one. Called Center Core, the scene literally takes place in the massive core of the circular building. Guests would now look out over a gleaming, glowing futuristic city as kinetic lights and motion signal giant airships, Peoplemovers, and monorails darting along highways. “…Ideas that will fulfill our age old dream to be free. Free in mind, free in spirit, free to follow the distant star of our ancestors for a brighter tomorrow!”

Leaving the city behind, the vehicle presses on into a darkened tunnel where blocks of light rush past. Ahead, the vehicle aligns with a mirrored wall, where we see ourselves riding in the vehicles of tomorrow – an effect similar in appearance and in style to the finale of the Haunted Mansion. “Ladies and gentlemen, General Motors now invites you to share the challenge of the future. We need you to help us shape tomorrow’s mobility. Just ahead is General Motors’ exciting Transcenter. Join us behind the scenes where we’re working to ensure that tomorrow’s world will continue to be a World of Motion!

As always, we’ll try to end our in-depth ride-through with a point-of-view video to give you a sense of what World of Motion was really like. Due to its closure in the mid-1990s, photography wasn’t at its peak. But this video should give you a wonderful idea of what the ride looked, sounded, and felt like:

World of Motion had all the fun and detail of Journey into Imagination with the spirit and splendor of Horizons embedded within. It was a thoughtful and creative dark ride tailor-made for a park dedicated to industry, and it seemed poised to last. But like so many of Epcot’s most celebrated originals, it didn’t. What happened to put an end to World of Motion? We’ve got the rest of the story on the last page. Read on…

In 1992 – ten years after the opening of EPCOT Center – the end of General Motors’ sponsorship was in sight. Even by the early 1990s, the landscape of EPCOT Center was changing.

Consider, for example, all the changes that would begin the very next year. In 1993, Kraft would drop its opening-day sponsorship of The Land, with Nestlé arriving to pick up the pieces. That same year, General Electric would leave for good, dooming the Lost Legend: Horizons to closure soon after. By the close of the decade, Kodak would leave the Imagination pavilion to wither (a tragic story told in its own standalone feature, Disaster Files: Journey into YOUR Imagination), and MetLife would leave Wonders of Life shortly after, dooming another Lost Legend: Body Wars.

Image: Disney

As the first to sign on, GM was also the first to be optioned for renewal. While they weren’t ready to drop out entirely, a downturn in business at GM made it unconscionable that they sign on for another 10 years. So in 1992, GM opted to renew their sponsorship of World of Motion in 1-year increments.

As part of the negotiations, GM’s representative also mentioned that if Disney expected the company to sign on to a long-term agreement again, they’d need to consider something a bit more ambitious. It would be impractical for GM to continually sponsor a ride dedicated to the history of transportation. To earn their sponsorship, Disney would need a ride to celebrate the future of General Motors and, more specifically, their cars. And that, they imagined, would mean gutting the pavilion entirely and starting from scratch.

An End to a Beginning

The idea struck a chord.

After all, Disney’s initial concept for EPCOT Center had relied deeply on sponsors to finance pavilions’ construction and – just as importantly – to continuously update their pavilions to keep them cutting edge. But even by the mid-‘90s, it was clear that the sponsorship model was failing. Instead of doubling down their investment to showcase their newest wares, sponsors were leaving at the end of their contracts.

In 1994, Disney officially renamed the park Epcot ’94, then Epcot ’95, before finally settling on plain-old Epcot as the first step toward reinvigorating a park that looked, felt, and was distinctly of the 1980s. Insiders say that Disney even went so far as to design a complete rebirth to the park’s Future World that would’ve done away with the cold, concrete vision of the future so rooted in the ‘80s. We chronicled this incredible rebirth in its own in-depth entry, Possibilityland: Epcot’s Project – GEMINI.

Image: Disney

More than just new rides or attractions, this comprehensive foundational shift would’ve been on par with the monumental changes made to the subject of another Disaster File: Disney’s California Adventure. It all hinged on slowly changing Epcot from an educational World’s Fair into a scientific thrill park.

And the idea of an ambitious thrill ride in General Motors’ trusty line-up of automobiles merged perfectly with Epcot’s growing need for a rebirth.

World of Motion was scheduled to close forever on January 2, 1996. General Motors executives were on hand to take the final ride. Mid-way through the last ride ever, World of Motion broke down, and the GM executives on-board had to climb out and walk back to the loading area on foot – a deeply ironic “last laugh” finale for a ride based on transportation.

Speaking of Disney’s California Adventure, the underbuilt Anaheim park featured one of the most prominent and short-lived references to World of Motion out there… Amidst the “junk” scattered around its industrial Hollywood Pictures Backlot was a vehicle straight from Disney’s Disaster File: Rocket Rods and… 

Image: Loren Javier, Flickr (license)

… a familiar friend from World of Motion.

While it may be hard to consider a “silver lining” to the closure of World of Motion, there was one. Just as World of Motion was shut to being its transformation, another Lost Legend: Universe of Energy was also closed to become Ellen’s Energy Adventure with Ellen Degeneres. The two simultaneously closed attractions took a major toll on a park infamously short on rides, and decimated traffic flow to Future World East. To make up for the untimely closures, Horizons was surprisingly re-opened in December 1995… though, of course, it was only temporary.


Image: Disney

And just like that, Disney Imagineers dusted off their decades-old plans for an attraction focused on prototype vehicle testing, harkening to their trip to the Milford Proving Grounds. The thrilling, modern dark ride that GM and Disney developed would become TEST TRACK, a wild race through a safety testing facility where guests would take on the role of crash test dummies.

On TEST TRACK, riders would get an inside look at GM’s process for ensuring that their vehicles can survive extremes, put “through the paces” in tests measuring maneuverability, braking, weatherproofing, extreme conditions, and acceleration.

Image: Disney

But the story of Test Track is one of debilitating mechanical issues, prototype ride systems, and delays. And despite the pomp and circumstance surrounding Epcot’s cutting edge thrill ride, it didn’t last. Disney Imagineers have learned that as quickly as they predict tomorrow, it becomes today… and sometimes, yesterday. The Test Track Disney developed in the mid-90s didn’t hold up and just 13 years after its debut, it, too, was gone…

That’s why the story really continues in its own must-read entry – Lost Legends: Test Track. You’ll want to make the jump to pick up the story of Epcot’s transportation pavilion as it transformed into Disney World’s fastest ride ever.

Everything Changes

It may well be that World of Motion wasn’t a lynchpin to Epcot’s thesis the way Horizons was.

World of Motion may not have made lifelong admirers like Journey into Imagination.

Maybe its closure wasn’t as destructive to Epcot’s legacy as Maelstrom.

Some may even offer that, of all of Epcot’s closed classics, World of Motion was simply the least consequential. That may be due, in part, to the consensus that its replacement is a wonderful attraction in its own right, and a fitting 21st century look at transportation with a thrill ride that people will queue hours for.

But like each of Epcot’s lost wonders, the end of World of Motion also signaled an end to the park’s once-brave concept and the loss of a major work of art: an opening-day dark ride created by some of Disney’s Imagineering Legends.

The story continues in the tale of another Lost Legend: Test Track, a closed E-Ticket in its own right, and we encourage you to explore that tale just the same. Or, pick up with our In-Depth Collections Library to set course for another Lost Legend. But before you do, take a moment in the comments below to share with us… did you get a chance to ride World of Motion? Was this epic dark ride a worthy companion to Spaceship Earth or Journey into Imagination? Or is Test Track a replacement worth the loss? Which masterful scenes do you remember from this Imagineering classic? We can’t wait to read your memories.