Ok, so I was going to do a formal post on the history of Animal Kingdom with my review of it, along with some armchair imagineering this week, but I got kind of busy. I mentioned in my Epcot post that I would make a smaller post about the Universe of Energy, so I’m doing that instead of Animal Kingdom this week. Sorry if I let anyone down, but here is my plan for the Universe of Energy!
The Universe of Energy is a wonderful pavilion at Epcot. However, in recent years it has become very outdated. Ironically, despite this being a pavilion based on energy, this is one of the least energetic pavilions at Epcot. A majority of the ride has guests sitting in a slow moving car in front of screens, and the one physical show scene that the ride does have is very weak and outdated. I propose that the Universe of Energy ride should be re-imagined into an E-ticket attraction with quality equivalent to that of Harry Potter and the Forbbiden Journey at Universal.
The newly imagined ride would use a variation of Vekoma’s, “Pandora’s Box” ride system. For those unaware, the Pandora’s Box ride system is an innovative ride system that is similar to the ride system on Harry Potter and the Forbbiden Journey, except it has greater capacity, can complete a full 360 degree inversion, and can switch from being on a standard dark ride track to being on a suspended dark ride track mid-ride. The ride vehicle is a tall column with two wings. The wings are where the riders are seated. Each wing can tilt and rotate individually. The wings can swivel around the column as well as slide up and down it. The column is what is attached to the ride track, and can switch from being on the floor to hanging from the ceiling. Below is a diagram of the ride system to help you better understand it. Sorry for the poor photo quality. If you are still confused on how the ride system works, give it a google.
This re-imagining would require the building to be expanded a bit. Below is a diagram showing the building’s expansion. The red line is the ride’s path, the blue numbers are the different scenes, the blue lines show where a scene changes, and the dotted line is the ride’s matinence bay. The red dot in the middle is the load and unload station.
The story of the ride would take us to The Energy Labs, a high-tech facility where various different forms of energy are being studied. Our host Bill Nye the Science guy would tell us all about the Energy Labs and tell us that we are going to be taken on a thrilling ride showing us the science of energy using the Energy Labs special research vehicle. Bill would also be the narrator for the ride’s onboard audio. The loading and unloading would take place in the same room it is in now.
Scene 1: Dinosaur scene. Have the narration explain that this is the time when fossil fuels were being developed. The ride cars would go under the volcano at the end of the scene into scene 2.
Scene 2: Fire scene representing combustion. This would be a short scene in a small room filled with fake smoke lit with red LED lights. The narration would explain that we burn combustibles to make heat energy. This room is really just here as a way to make time for the ride system to switch into a suspended track.
Scene 3: Wind farm scene representing kinetic energy. In this scene the ride flies by and through some windmills. The narration would explain what kinetic energy is.
Scene 4: Space scene representing asteroid mining. The ride would fly past some asteroids and the narration would talk about how we can mine for energy sources in space.
Scene 5: Sun scene representing solar. The ride would fly into the sun and into a room just like the combustion room. The ride would switch back to a normal track and the narration would talk about solar energy.
Scene 6: Atoms representing nuclear. The ride would then fly past a bunch of atoms, and the narration would talk about nuclear energy.
Scene 7: The ride would then return to the currently existing final room with show screens. It would show a compilation of all energies and end off with a message on how we can never run out of .brain power. The ride would then move into load/unload room.
So that’s it for now! Hope you enjoyed!