The Top Five Most Educational Attractions in Walt Disney World–Runner Up

The runner-up for this bizarre little contest is more than just another Epcot attraction–it is The Epcot Attraction.  When anyone thinks of Epcot, they subconsciously think of this ride, even if they don’t know that it is, in fact, a ride.

#2–Spaceship Earth, Epcot

Many people don’t realize that the iconic ‘golf ball’ at Epcot is more than just a landmark and great photo opportunity.  Immediately upon entering the park, guests encounter the rather dull queue area, and before they know it they are whisked away on an educational and entertaining journey.

Spaceship Earth is a journey through time, recounting the history of human communication.  You begin in ancient times, with cave paintings and shadowy men hunting large mammals with spears.  Continuing along, you encounter the first big technolgical gain for language–the creation of paper in Egypt.  As you ride this animatronic timeline, you learn about the Greeks, the Romans and their road building, the scholars of the middle east, and European monks before encountering my personal hero–Mr. Gutenburg and his paradigm-changing printing press.

After the Renaissance, the timeline speeds up (though the ride does not) as mankind creates new methods of communication faster and faster.  The newspaper, the telegraph, and the telephone are created, radio, movies, and television come into being, and then finally the leap is made into the present day and beyond, with the creation of the personal computer, at one time much larger than an actual person.  Children will laugh to see the model of one of the original computers, about as far removed from the netbook I’m typing this on as a ocean liner is from a jet ski.

The history recounted during this 13-minuteride is more thorough than some 13-week history courses–and it’s much more entertaining, too.  To top it all off, at the end, you get to see what your life would be like ‘in the future’, based on decisions you make in the present.  What a great lesson for children–and adults–of any age.  The choices you make today will impact who you become tomorrow.  I can’t think of a better way to start off a day in Disney’s most educational theme park.

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