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Day 10 - September 11, 2012

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Rescuers Down Under, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. Why on earth am I listing different Disney sequels? Today we are going to be talking about an attraction that was proposed around the concept of being a sequel to another Disney attraction. The original attraction was the classic Carousel of Progress. It's sequel? The just as classic Horizons.

The attraction was first going to be referred to as Century III in recognition of America's third century (1976-2076) and the promise of the future that was in store for us. Due to the fact that several Walt Disney World guests being international, it was decided that the name of the attraction would be changed since others may not appreciate the reference to America's history. There were definite nods to Carousel of Progress, with our host being an older gentleman hanging out in a living room with his dog as he discussed the different technological advancements that awaited guests in the future.

However, it wasn't just a nod to Carousel of Progress that made this attraction such a classic. The attraction helped launch Phase II of Epcot when it opened on the one year anniversary of Epcot, October 1, 1983 and was actually the attraction that would help tie Future World together. While traveling aboard guests were shown concepts and ideas found throughout the rest of Future World. For instance, the man's daughter was learning how to live with the land (referring to Living with the Land) while other portions showcased the idea of energy (a nod to its neighbor Universe of Energy). You could also find elements of space, sea, innovation, and more throughout the attraction.

Unfortunately, GE, the original sponsor of the attraction dropped their sponsorship in 1993, ten years after the attraction closed. The attraction would remain operational for another year but then became seasonal. Luckily for Horizon fans both World of Motion and Universe of Energy closed down around  the same time (World of Motion was making way for Test Track while Universe of Energy was adding Ellen) and Horizons was reopened in order to give guests more options while visiting Future World East.

1999 saw the end of Horizons, however, as it was decided that Epcot needed to have more thrill options available. The pavilion was taken down extremely quickly to make way for Mission:SPACE, but have no fear, Horizons still has some references found throughout Walt Disney World waiting for guests to discover today.

The first one can be found while in line for Mission:SPACE. When Epcot first opened in the early 80s Future World had a very distinct idea: each attraction received its own symbol that was unique to the attraction (we'll go into further detail about these before our 30 articles are up). When Horizons was taken down, the queue line of Mission:SPACE received Horizons' old symbol. Next time you are in line take a look at the giant space wheel. In the middle you can find the Horizons logo:

After Space Mountain went through its major refurb back in 2009 the post show area received a few nods to Horizons. The scenes that you pass while on your moving walkway symbolize the different elements of future you could experience on Horizons (at the end of Horizons guests could actually choose between three options of the future they would like to experience). Here you can find under the sea, the dessert, and space!

Before getting to this section, however, you will pass a baggage claim area. Upon one of the bags you will find different stickers showcasing the locations that particular traveler has visited. Luckily for them, you can see that they two once visited Horizons in the form of traveling to the desert farm area of Mesa Verde (one of the futures guests could have visited):

It's hard to believe that it's been 13 years since Horizons was part of Epcot, however, as we've discussed over the past ten days, Epcot was always meant to be a showcase of the future with the attractions always changing and providing new experiences to guests. Until tomorrow remember that "if you can dream it, then you can do it!"

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