Space Horizons: Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions Part 40

Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions

Brava Centauri Horizons Epcot Center Station
© Disney

The space pavilion at Epcot Center went through a multitude of different versions before Mission Space was eventually built, and while by the late 1990s the Horizons Pavilion had been selected as its future location, it was not always supposed to be completely demolished and replaced.

Hello and welcome to Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions where we share never built attractions that were designed for the second theme park at Walt Disney World. Check out the series so far here. Today we are exploring a never built replacement for Horizons that would have rethemed the existing Omnimover system.

Mesa Verde Horizons Epcot Center
© Disney

Horizons is generally considered amongst Disney Parks fans to be one of the best Disney rides ever built, and its demolition was a tragedy, especially given that its replacement did not live up to Horizons at all. But there was a way at least parts of Horizons would have been saved and incorporated into a new attraction.

Horizons was a ride based on traveling back in time to the twenty first century. At the end of the 1990s it was in need of a massive overhaul or replacement. You just can't have a ride about going back in time to the twenty first century once the twenty first century actually arrives.

A proposal was developed to retheme the pavilion based on the future of space travel. It would have reutilized a shortened version of the suspended omnimover system that Horizons had used, with a reimagined entrance changing the ride building into a pyramid and including a new iconic entrance statue.

The ride would have taken you on a journey with humanity from merely imagining reaching the stars to actually flying among them.

The pavilion would also be modified to include a second ride where track from Horizons had been removed, incorporating a unique cross between a simulator and 4D theater attraction known as the Speculator. It would have featured a thrilling journey through the universe, starting from a space station.

This was explored in the early 1990s as the end date for Horizons (the start of the 21st century) came closer. At this time a lot of elaborate ideas for the Disney Parks were being developed. But in the middle of the decade it would be abandoned in favor of Mission Space.

The reason for the change remains unclear, with potential rumors being structural instability of the building, budget problems following the Euro Disneyland disaster, or a lack of a sponsor willing to cover the cost.

It is unknown how this retheme would have been received. In a way it is similar to Journey Into Your Imagination, shortening the track of an attraction to add in a side one while reimagining it into a new attraction. The Imagination redo was considered to be one of the worst rides in Disney history, but maybe this would have been better received, and Horizons fans would still have a piece of the attraction left in Epcot.

We will never get to experience this, but it is interesting to think of an alternate Epcot where this did happen and how it would have changed the history of the park, and what would be happening with the attraction now.

Thanks for exploring this attraction with us and be sure to check out the rest of the series here. Also be sure to come back next week when we explore a never built Italy attraction for Epcot Center's World Showcase.