Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Hey pals. I've mentioned this before but it's become very important to me lately so I'll spill it out again.

In the four or five years before this blog started I became increasingly interested in the "hows and whys" of the late Horizons pavilion. This lead me to collecting information from our local library and similar outlets nation wide. What I found, now that I'm reading over thousands of photocopies of news articles, is that Horizons was never very popular with the general public!!! What the good lord FUCK!

Opening day reviews from newspapers from here to Tulsa PAN the attraction on opening day with the general comment "we've seen this all before". WHAT!?

I'm a broken man right now because I can't believe what I'm reading. I want death hard and fast. GIVE ME THE SWINE FLU, LORD!!!!!!!!!!!


I just went outside for some fresh air and I think it might be important for us "cool people" to read over this horseshit, for what it's worth, and decide for ourselves.

I'm going to post these clippings little by little. Please try not to get upset like I have.

I'll drink bleach and end it all. I swear.

I DID find a cool opening day interview with Wathel Rogers about Audio-Animatronics. Light in this supreme darkness.


  1. As upset as these news articles may make me when I read them, I'll still laugh at you typing "what the good lord fuck." Made me laugh out loud. Nicely done.

  2. It's not surprising to hear that. I mean, look at the wait times. I can't remember waiting longer than 10 minutes. But, froma different perspective, it did give you the opportunity to do what you did so well.

  3. You're in a dark, vulnerable place right now Hoot and you need your friends (aka: the Cool People) around you right now for support as you sob uncontrollably and try to find sense in an upside down world. If you pass out, it's ok man - we'll be here to dab beer on your lips and bring you back to consciousness.

    Look at the bright side - I just noticed the Cool People count has recently increased to 140. That's somethin' to hang onto man.

    (PS: I also agree with ztredway. I loved the "What the good lord FUCK!" exclamation. Very Cartman-ish)

  4. HOOT! You cannot end it all!!There is so much more you need to share! Your life has meaning and purpose! It is NOT your time and you WILL pull through this!
    If I win the lottery, I am having Horizons re-created in my back yard! And you guys will be invited for the opening day cerimony! Just think of the reviews you can write about it. It will make up for all the negetive comments you are reading now! :D

  5. Horizons was by far the most elaborate, engrossing display of futurism ever. It was a work of art. But the general public doesn't appreciate art, it just wasn't flashy enough for them. What the good lord fuck, indeed.

  6. I agree with Anonymous, The majority or visitors to WDW do not appreciate the detail that goes into any of the attractions. Everyone is looking for the next 2 minute thrill. If only 140 of us think that Horizons was awesome, Who cares about the rest. We will stand united!

  7. Surely you arn`t believing the press are you?

    I rode in `87, `90 and `93 and there was always a line. Not a massive one, but a line. With smiling people coming off it. There were some great excited comments in the exit tunnel I overheard.

    Plus it was an Omnimover hybrid. They always swallow up lines.

    Remember the real reason the pavilion shut was lack of Sponsorship. Nothing else.

    And don`t forget the Messe Verde photos with THAT backdrop ;)

  8. Well there is a reason printed media is dying.

    I would love to step back in time and share with my friends and family the attention to detail these long-lost attractions maintained. Here's hoping the person from Emeryville is someone who can get things rolling again in Glendale.

    We were so spoiled beyond belief to be surrounded by so many audio animatronic masterpieces - it's too bad there's too much of a reliance on video now.

  9. Four words: ahead of its time.

  10. My belief is there were not long lines because this monster could handle almost 2000 people an hour.

    Poor Disney, where once attractions had literally hundreds of AA's, now they boast they have 1 in front of Toy Story mania. Sad Sad Sad.

    And now they add some bush league Princess meet and greets and you think they decided to build 'Western Expedtion'.

    Disney likes to talk big but deliver small--- just look at everything delivered since Eisner took over-- all of it starts very grand and then what we get are basically carny rides.

    My view is that WDI has become a bunch of dainty artistes. No real technical innovation or creativity or engineering. They have no budgets and are basically a shell now-- all is outsourced. Can you tell:-) LOL

    But thats what they want to be, when the executives see Six Flags as the competion you know things will only become more dissappointing.

    Can you imagine what Walt would think if he knew Annette Funichello was doing nude magazine shoots---- would never happen.

    But that Hannah Montana actress is encouraged by the company to behave like that---- wow how soon before they put brass poles in the princess meet and greets. No class and crass.

    The real question is who will build the park that replaces disney as the real leader in innovative family entertainment. Waiting for Rasulo et al. is just wasting time. As a business they are just milking it, did you hear they are putting gift shops in the washrooms and monorails.

    Why not -- if they can find buyers for their product then why should they improve it. The crapification rolls on...


    What is needed is a new vision, new ideas and some courage AND capital to build something great Innovation will happen but not at Dismey--
    Maybe Cedar Fair?

    Sorry but so-called Disney "Magic" which use to extend beyond the powerpoint slides in marketing is an empty promise.

  11. Hoot and Chief -- you see this? A little Imagineer love on the refurb of Space Mountain?


  12. Ok. I'm cool. I drank enough beer to was this horrible reading material out of my head.

    Justin, WHO? OH WHO? Will be the first person to print a little sticker that says "Times" and stick it right under that lovely tribute? First person to do it, photograph it, and send the pic to mesaverdetimes@gmail.com gets THREE FEET of actual Horizons film featuring the Red Head chatting with that wierd guy! Cast member, guest, terrorist, we don't care! Anyone can enter. You will of course remain anonymous if you'd like.

    The contest starts riiiiiiiiiiight.......NOW.

    Oh and don't give me any Photoshop. I work with that all day and can spot a fake a mile away:)

  13. Sarah, thanks for talking me down from the ledge.

    I think rebuilding Horizons is a fine idea! Maybe we should start by buying a carnival dark ride and transforming it into a blacklight vision of the future! Cief and I have earned $36.00 total from Google adsense so we're almost there!

  14. Hoot (et al) - Check out this vid:

    Ok, it's Soarin' and it's cheesy but it's an example of what can be done with simple shit in one's garage. There's another video by the same people about how they put it all together. Could be the impetus we all need to create a backyard Horizons.

  15. I don't think sponsorship had much to do with why Horizons closed. That income is small potatoes. The reason these great old rides closed is they were so expensive to maintain, compared to say, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Horizons must have cost 100x that to maintain. And bozos like Eisner didn't see the point. Turns out they were right, from a blind capitalist point of view. We need a system better than capitalism for amazing things like Horizons to survive - its amazing it ever got made at all.

  16. Anonymous, Horizons didn't become (don't get me started) "unpopular" and the famed "sinkhole" didn't form until the sponsorship was pulled. Small potatoes? I think that sponsorships were on the order of millions a year.

    Thanks to Martin for beating me to the punch on hourly capacity. I'm glad someone said it! Horizons was one of the most efficient rides in FutureWorld.

    More in a moment... my full commment was too long to post.

  17. As to popularity--let's having a showing of hands for all who have been to The Mission Space Tribute. Mission Space Times? Mission Space One? Mission Space...uh... anything? I didn't think so. I've never seen so much web space dedicated to one attraction since The Haunted Mansion.

    All that said (and before reading on, be advised that I've run The Horizons Tribute on Yahoo for nearly a decade now), the first time I rode Horizons I was disappointed. "WHAAAAAATT??!!", you say. Yep, it's true. (OKAY, STOP PELTING ME WITH L'ORANGES AND LET ME 'SPLAIN!)

    For me, Horizons was THE single most anticipated ride ever. I read about it years before EPCOT Center opened (in Richard Beard's gorgeous book, Walt Disney's EPCOT, first edition; and in the beautifully illustrated EPCOT Center Preview booklet), and I waited impatiently for another year to see it built and open. If I'd had the means, I would have been there the second it opened (as I was for EPCOT Center itself). As it was, I was there about a month later.

    So why was I disappointed? And how did I come to my senses? Epcot of today doesn't have anywhere near the same feel as it did in 1981; I'm not talking just about different attractions, but about the scale and grandeur of nearly everything. While the Magic Kingdom, despite its size, maintains a feeling of intimacy (to the point of claustrophobia at times in the crowds), EPCOT Center was big, open, airy. Remember the original Communicore hallways? They were just hallways for Godsakes, but they were grand, massive, spectacular. A lot of that feeling has been lost with Communicore turning into That Thing That Creeps Me Out Just Walking Into It; The Land into a cluttered and crowded airport terminal; the once grand queue space of Motion becoming a junk yard;the grand and open Imagination becoming a claustrophic harbinger of Imagineering horrors ahead; glorious Earth Station becoming a dark maze daring guests to escape (prior to Siemens, at least); and so on. But at one time, everything was just immense in scale and vision. Really the only thing left of that scale is Universe of Energy. I'm still in awe of Energy's Theater 1 and Theater 2, not to mention the diorama and even Preshow.

    The books showed these lavish illustrations of a massive space station. You've probably seen them--the ones with some kind of docking port/tube attached to the nose of a shuttle. And the cityscape with its maglevs and flying vehicles. I expected to pass through something of that scale. Granted, these things were hinted at in the backdrops, but I expected to be in the middle of it. Never mind that even one of those scenes would have filled the whole building. (For what it's worth, as as kid, I thought the entire Haunted Mansion ride took place in the mansion building). Okay, geometry isn't my strong suit.

    What I saw instead was--except for the Ominisphere and the space scene--much smaller in scale and more intimate. It was an adjustment. I made that adjustment within 15 minutes and rode two more times. I've now ridden Horizons probably more than any Disney attraction save for Listen to the Land (and that's only because I sailed the endless waters of The Land as a Cast Member; "Let's listen to it! Let's LISTEN the land!").

    When I worked at EPCOT Center on a morning or mid shift, I'd almost invariably change out of costume, head to Horizons (so conveniently located right in front of Cast Services!) for a few rides, then head home. For nearly two years.

    Oh, and did I mention, I've lovingly tended the The Horizons Tribute for nearly a decade? Did I mention that I named my first business after Horizons? Did I mention that, any time anyone mentions the (don't get me started again!) sinkhole theory, I form a posse and hunt them down like animals?

    The moral of this story is, first impressions don't always mean *anything*. Once I discovered what Horizons was, rather than what I was expecting it to be, I loved it for what it was. And I miss it to this day. How's that for "unpopular"?


  18. Oops, no, I'm not a total rube. I know EPCOT Center opened in 1982. Blame the rented fingers for the typo.

  19. One last thing, and then I'll shut up for a while. As to being expensive to maintain, Horizons was (at least when I worked there) THE most reliable attraction in all of EPCOT Center. The next-closest would have been the uber-simple but still surprisingly problem-prone Listen to the Land.

    Rounding out the bottom (in terms of reliability) were in order: Energy, Spaceship, Imagination, and World of Motion.

    This of course is all anecdotal--but when you work these rides, you see what can and does go wrong, and you get a clear picture of how often on average they go down. I didn't call my beloved Energy, the "Universe of 101" for nothing.

    As I understand, Horizons became less reliable over the years, but only because it was severely neglected. Neglect is the death of any mechanical system.

    Now compare that to Mission Space, which is many orders of magnitude more complicated than Horizons (it may look like like a glorified Aladdin, but of course it's not). That thing has to be a beast to maintain.


  20. Wait, G7: "A lot of that feeling has been lost with Communicore turning into That Thing That Creeps Me Out Just Walking Into It"

    Are you saying that Communicore creeped you out, or that Innoventions creeps you out? Because if it's the former, then WOW, I thought I was the only person who was creeped out by Communicore.

    The dark, expansive rooms full of computers always scared me when I was little. I have no idea why. It just looked like one of those places in my nightmares where I would get lost and the lights would go out, and I'd be running from scary monsters in the dark.

    But strangely, the Haunted Mansion never scared me.