Looking on to New Horizons:
A Look Back At The Future
Picture Taken By: Zack Bennett of Nashville, Tennessee (3/31/99)
Looking back on it now.......it was a wonderful ride.
People have asked me numerous times why I really did like Horizons so very much, and the reason
is simple. You see, Horizons captured perfectly Walt Disney's vision for the future that
Epcot was supposed to be. I've discussed in the past how
the Disney company seems bent on removing Disney from its parks. Horizons removal is sadly
another example of how much the modern day Disney company is willing to sacrifice in order to
build the biggest, fastest, and in their minds best theme park in the world. Part of why Disney
bought that land in Florida, though, was that, unlike in California, he would never be limited
by space constraints in the Florida park. There is no need for closure or replacement. Rather,
updating, and maintaining is a better idea. Sure, Horizons was not the most popular ride in
Epcot, but it was probably the most interesting ride there, and had some people who frequented
it regularly, especially on the part of the cast members. Its removal is equivalent to the
removal of the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom......without the Imax screens or the
hanging cars....you get my idea thought.
Recent events in my life have caused me to have a bleak outlook on the future. Yet, somehow,
Horizons managed to capture the essence and flair, the dream of the future we all dream about.
Even to this day, hearing the song "New Horizons" brings a smile to my face.....and reminds me
that no matter how bad things get, you should always have a bright outlook to the future.
With the childrens chorus in the background singing "If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It....."
the dream of the future was truly present, truly understood by all who rode that ride. It was
the vision of the future that Walt Disney had.....and the vision we should all share.
Many of you probably think that I am crazy with my fanatical fascination for this ride. But,
the ride was truly inspiratonal for me. I'll always remember the scary feeling of descent when
the computer animated sequences came on during the Imax sequence......the wonder of the giant
space station on the other big screen.....the thrill of choosing how I wanted to travel back home.....
the humor of the "look back to the future".....the fantastic under the sea sequence.......it was
all truly wonderful. That is why I am so very sad that it is gone.
But, I am not sorry for
myself, as I had a chance to ride the attraction and enjoy it.
No, I feel sorry for all
those children that won't be capable of seeing Century 3 (Horizons original name when it was
in its development stage) in its full glory, and will have to settle instead for some second
rate rollercoaster.....or something that will not have the same impact that Horizons had.
For me, I still have the dream......I still have the vision........and truly,
If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It
I'd like to invite all of you now to read the speech I gave on 5/4/99 to the students of the
High School I graduated from.........Click Here to Continue