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Universe of Energy

Opened

October 1, 1982

Closed

January 21, 1996

Designer

WED Enterprises

Vehicle capacity

100

Ride length

45 minutes

Audio-Animatronics

34

Sponsor

Exxon

Replaced by

Ellen's Energy Adventure

The original Universe of Energy pavilion itself was an innovation in energy technology, as the entire roof was covered in 80,000 photovoltaic solar cells that partially powered the ride vehicles. Visitors were transported through the pavilion in large battery-powered "traveling theatre cars" that followed guide-wires embedded in the floor, as opposed to riding along conventional ride tracks. The attraction featured numerous films that presented information on the subject of energy in a serious fashion, as well as a ride through a primeval diorama complete with Animatronic dinosaurs.

Attraction Description[]

The pre-show featured a unique eight minute film presentation known as the "Kinetic Mosaic," which was invented by Czech film director Emil Radok. The film was narrated by voiceover recording artist Peter Thomas. The mosaic screen consisted of 100 rotating prism-shaped flip screens (reminiscent of those on the classic game show Concentration), arranged in a twenty-five wide by four high array. These flip screens rotated under computer control and were synchronized to a live-action motion picture that was projected onto their surface. Each flip screen contained three sides, with white projection surfaces on two sides and a matte black surface on the third. The combination of the film and the screens' rotation created undulating, sometimes three-dimensional-appearing images. During the conclusion of the pre-show, the song "Energy (You Make The World Go ‘Round)" was played.

Upon entering the theatre, guests were seated in one of six seating areas. Here, they viewed a four minute hand-animated film that depicted the beginnings of life on earth and the formation of fossil fuels. This film was narrated by Peter Thomas.

At the conclusion of the film, the entire theatre seating area moved into the primeval diorama. Here, the theatre seating broke up into six multi-passenger vehicles that took guests on a seven minute journey through the diorama, which was populated by numerous Animoatronic dinosaurs including an Edaphosaurus and a family of Brachiosaurus in a swamp, a Stegosaurus fighting an Megalosaurus on an overhead cliff, several Trachodon bathing beneath a waterfall, a number of Ornithomimus watching helplessly as one of their own sank into a boiling tar pit, an Elasmosaurus that lashed out at guests, and numerous Pteranodon that were perched around an erupting volcano. The diorama also featured a deliberately "swampy" smell.

Leaving the diorama, the vehicles entered the EPCOT Energy Information Center where they reassembled back into their original theatre seating formation. Here, guests viewed a twelve minute live-action film that took them on an in-depth look at various current and future energy resources around the world.

At the conclusion of the film, the entire seating area moved back into Theatre I where guests viewed a two minute computer-animated film of laser-like images that were reflected off of mirrored walls within the theatre. The film was accompanied by an upbeat song entitled, "Universe of Energy."

Sources & External Links[]

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