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"If we can dream it, we can do it."

Basic

Horizons (1983-1999) was a pavilion about living in the future centered around the family unit. Presented by General Electric, it applied Future World into one attraction by exploring communication, energy, transportation, imagination, land, sea, and life in futuristic families.

Horizons opened on October 1, 1983. It was sponsored by General Electric (GE) from its opening until September 1993. Horizons closed in January 1999. The entire pavilion was demolished in the summer of 2000 to make way for a new pavilion called Mission: SPACE. Mission: SPACE opened in August 2003.

Exterior & Area

The Horizons exterior was intentionally designed to be ambiguous so there could be many interpretations of what it was supposed to be. The design goes along with the pavilion's theme of the future. Nobody knows exactly what the future will hold. The future is mysterious with many interpretations.

The angular gem-shape of the pavilion is also seen in the angular green areas that surround it. The Horizons sign in front is a diamond-like pentagon. The sign originally had "Presented by GE" written under the word "Horizons." After GE left as sponsor in 1993, the "Presented by GE" was replaced by the Horizons symbol.

Ride

After entering, you would proceed in the dark queue line hearing the pavilion's theme song "New Horizons." It went, "If we can dream_ it, then we can do_ it. Yes, we can,_ yes, we can." The queue was lit by pink neon borders and FuturePort boarding signs. The FuturePort was like an airport to the future. The signs listed departures for destinations such as Mesa Verde, Sea Castle Resort, and Brava Centauri. Each departure had a flight number, destination name, service, gate number, and status. Also in the queue were greenish window-murals of some of the destinations. For example, the mural for Brava Centauri had a shuttle docking at a space station.

The omnimover vehicles you boarded faced sideways and were suspended from a track above. They could hold three to four guests. After boarding, you heard "Horizons 1 is now departing. Our final destination today: the 21st Century." "Hey, that's some destination," says the mom of a fururistic family. The futuristic family's mom and dad would then take over as narrators for your trip. Your vehicle would then pass by some flashing clouds against a dark background.

Looking Back at Tomorrow

"People have been dreaming about the future for centuries," comments the dad. We pass by projections of some ideas that people of the past thought the future would be like. One idea seen is a bullet-shaped rocket being blasted out of a cannon towards outer space. "Yep, it's always fun looking back at tomorrow," says the dad.

We pass by Jules Verne in a bullet-shaped rocket that he would have imagined in the late 1800s. The rocket is lined with plush red walls. Jules Verne is floating in the rocket with a dog and a chicken. In the next scene, we see the moon with a video-projected face. A rocket has gotten stuck in his eye.

We then pass by a scene of what Paris would have looked like in the future year of 1950, according to ideas of Albert Robida. The scene looks like it has been drawn out with pencils. Some of the ideas seen here include a plane with flapping wings, a vehicle made up of two sharks, and various types of blimps and zeppelins. People are boarding some type of vehicle that has the words "Express Madrid" written on it.

We then enter a house where a man idly gazes out at a futuristic city while his robot butler vacuums the floor. "Easy living - it's always been just around the corner," says the dad. The song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" from the Carousel of Progress is heard. Another man is seen getting a haircut by a robotic barber's chair. A futuristic lamp is giving him a tan. A multi-armed chef robot is in the kitchen sweeping the floor, scrubbing the dishes, tending the stove, pouring milk in the cat's dish, and spinning its head.

We enter a dark room filled with neon signs and marqees for movies about the future from around the 1920s and 1930s. Neon houses are seen in the back. We enter another room with neon vehicles, wheels, and people. Music of the 1950s is being played in the background. While in the neon rooms, our vehicles are going up a slope. We then pass by some moving light.

The OmniSphere

"Tomorrow's horizons are here today," says the mom as we enter the OmniSphere. The OmniSphere was a massive theater that your vehicle rode past. It was made up of two round Omni-Max screens, each measuring eight stories tall by eight stories wide (80 feet in diameter). The screen seemed to stretch on forever in all directions. It felt like you were floating with the images on the screen.

The screen pans down and we zoom over a thermal cityscape. The thermal view switches to a view of a normal city with tall skyscrapers. We then see up-close of "a new kind of cityscape: the microprocessor - an entire computer on a tiny silicon chip," as the dad tells us. Crystals begin floating by and forming shapes. The dad says, "Crystals: inspired by nature, now engineered by man for an ever-growing role in microelectronics." We see hundreds of fish. We see a diver in the underwater "world of liquid space" with "oceans of minerals and food ready to fuel tomorrow's needs."

Computer-genterated DNA helixes roll into view and we zoom through one as it spirals. "The DNA chain," says the dad, "life's molecular bluebrint." The DNA forms into molecules. We zoom out of the molecules and the sun forms. "The sun," says the dad, "Today we're learning ways to harness its limitless energy." The sun fades into a space shuttle blasting off a launchpad. The shuttle turns into a computer-generated grid rendering of a shuttle. We quickly zoom out and see that the shuttle is docked at a grid rendering of a round space station. We pass by some more moving light, transitioning out of the OmniSphere. The dad says, "What you've just seen are the building blocks of the future up ahead."

Nova Cite

"Come on take a look at 21st Century living, on land and sea and even out in space, but let's start off at our house," says the dad. We enter the mom and dad's house in Nova Cite. Futuristic skyscrapers at dusk (or dawn) are seen through the windows in the back. The dad is sitting next to their dog, while the mom is talking to their daughter on a hologram. The daughter is "doing wonders out there on one of those desert farms," according to the dad. We pass by some vegetables being grown by hydroponics.

Mesa Verde

We exit Nova Cite and move into the desert of Mesa Verde. We see vast orange groves growing in the desert. White futuristic machines are tending the groves. The smell of oranges fills the air. The smell was created by WED Smellitzers. The daughter is seen coordinating the machines in a control post overlooking them. The dad says, "You know, this really makes me proud." "And you wanted her to go to law school," says the mom. A desert hovercraft is parked next to the control post.

We pass by a desert waterfall and by a round house where the daughter's husband and son are in the kitchen. The husband is talking to his wife about a storm that's coming up. In the next room of the house, we see the granddaughter (the daughter's daughter) talking to her boyfriend next to a submarine on the TV.

Ride (cont.)

Sea Castle Resort

We exit the desert and enter a diving facility on a city floating above the sea. The city is called Sea Castle Resort. We see the boyfriend repairing his "SoloSub 1" personal submarine. Part of the city is seen in the window in the background. Our vehicles begin to go down a slope, going below the waterline. Another mini-sub is seen next to an entry pool in the back. A diving class is going on with three kids, a teacher, and a seal.

We go outside the city and are now underwater, looking at bubble-windows of a section of the city. Seaweed is growing on the section of city. Watery light dances on the ocean floor. In one window, we see a restaurant, and in another we see a girl looking at a seal swimming outside the window. A third window shows a man sitting at a desk.

We finally reach the ocean bottom and we see an octopus sitting on a rock. We pass by a video screen where we see the diving class going through exercises. The city is seen in its full underwater glory in the back. Our vehicles begin to go up another slope. We then see crab-like machines looking for resources on the ocean floor. "Oh, we've found lots of good things under our oceans," comments the dad. "And don't forget space," says the mom, "we've found lots of good things out there, too."

Brava Centauri

We enter space. Stars are illuminated in the back. We see massive round space stations and planets. The space stations have parts rotating to create artifical gravity. Astronauts are working on structures that look like satellites. We enter a space station and see a mini-space shuttle docked. On the shuttle's side is its name "Century3." Century 3 was a working name for Horizons - it came from the fact that the USA had just entered its third century of existence in 1976. We go inside the space station, and see part of the city in the distance with its many houses, lakes, and roads. This is Brava Centauri.

We go into a zero-gravity exercise center. A virtual biking machine is seen upside down in the zero-gravity atmosphere. Also in the room is a health scan machine. We pass by a zero-gravity space-wheel room where a family is trying to orient themselves after just arriving. The kid, the dog, a shoe, and a teddy bear are floating around. The kid says, "Hey Mom, what if I just float away?"

We enter a crystal harvesting room. People are working while robotic arms are handling the crystals. "Just think, material from space for all kinds of industries back on Earth," comments the dad. The mom and dad are reminded that they need to get to their grandson's birthday party. In the next room, we see the family's son with his wife and the grandson. The mom, dad, and other family members are singing him "Happy Birthday" via hologram screens.

Choose Your Own Flight Path

We enter a launch station. Our vehicles descend down a slope once more. Over the intercomm, we hear a voice that repeats, "Attention please. Horizons 1 earth shuttle now available for boarding at Gate 22. Final boarding call for Horizons 1." We see lighted signs for our flight paths: Omega Centauri, Mesa Verde, and Sea Castle Resort. Lights flash as we get ready to launch.

We hear the intercomm voice again. She says, "Attention Horizons passengers. You are invited to choose your own flight path back to the FuturePort. Please look down at the lighted panels in front of you. Press one of the three ride choices: space, desert, or undersea. Everyone can choose. Majority rules. All passengers, make your selections now." After selecting our choice on the panels, a screen appears in front of us. The screen is shaped to fit our ride vehicle alone making it like a simulator. Through the screen simulation, we go on whichever flight path the majority chose. Each one is thirty seconds.

Space - We're in a mini-space shuttle. We blast out of a launch tunnel and into space. We follow another shuttle as we zoom past satellites and barren planets. Our shuttle docks in a space sation's launch port.

Desert - We're in a desert hovercraft. We fly over desert cacti with a sunny sky above us. We go past futuristic desert houses and through the orange groves. We fly past cliffs and bluffs. We set down on a hovercraft pad next to a round futuristic building.

Undersea - We're in a personal submarine. We start out above the sea and then dive below. With our headlights on, we follow another sub and zoom past sunken wreaks, futuristic diving machines, and parts of the undersea city. We dock in the undersea city.

Exit

After we go through the ending of our choice, we pass by some stars. "If we can dream it, we really can do it, and that's the most exciting part," says the dad. We exit our vehicles in the FuturePort and proceed past a large mural of a family gazing at a futuristic city. As we leave, we hear the "New Horizons" theme song again.

Mission: SPACE

In 1993, Horizons lost its sponsor, GE, and fluctuated between opening and closing. Horizons officially closed in 1999. In the summer of 2000, the entire pavilion was demolished to make way for Mission: SPACE. Opening in 2003, Mission: SPACE is a G-force space simulator. While the pavilion is different, the surrounding green areas retained their angled looks from Horizons. Two Horizons symbols can be seen inside Mission: SPACE - one is in the middle of the huge space wheel in the queue line, and the second is just below the check-out counter in the shop.

In 2006, Mission: SPACE launched Orange Team and Green Team Missions. The Orange Team Mission is the original ride with the intense G-forces. The Green Team Mission is the same simulation minus the G-forces. Guests choose which mission they want at the beginning of the queue line and get a ticket for that mission. After the queue, guests proceed to either an Orange Team or Green Team preshow room. Each team has two rooms, making four total preshow rooms. Prior to the Green Team and Orange Team change, the four preshow rooms were divided by four different colors: blue, green, yellow, and red. Those early colors only designated which preshow room was which.

Horizons Reference in Space Mountain

After Space Mountain's extensive 2009 refurbishment, a reference to Horizons can be seen inside. After you exit your rocket, look for the suitcases adorned with travel stickers for futuristic destinations. One of the suitcases has a travel sticker with Mesa Verde on it.
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Created April 2001
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