Sep 30

Five Epcot Attractions (Almost) Known by Another Name

With Epcot’s 30th anniversary this month, we thought we’d take a look at some little known history behind some of the parks past and present attractions. Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s all in a name”? Well there are five classic Epcot attractions that were almost named something else. Each of these attractions had their original names changed prior to their opening to the public. Some of them were changed in order to more accurately describe the premise or story behind an attraction, while others were changed to something that sounded a little catchier. Irregardless, the names of these attractions have all become part of the history and influence of the park that’s become the focus of so many memorable moments for Disney families over the past three decades.

Five Epcot attractions originally named something else, prior to their opening:

1. Horizons – This past attraction was originally planned to show a retrospective on how Thomas Edison harnessed electricity, rather than the final product which focused on a vision of the future. The attraction actually went through several name changes, including “Century 3”, and then “Futureprobe”, before finally opening as “Horizons”, with the focus of the attraction on inventions that would change the future.

2. World of Motion – This attraction which celebrated the many milestones of transportation and its future possibilities, also went through a number of name changes before it opened as “World of Motion”. It was originally known as the “Transportation Pavilion” before being changed to “Transcenter” and then “Transcenter 2000”. I’m thinking “World of Motion” has a much better ring to it!

3. The Living Seas – Before the popular “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” attraction, “The Living Seas” was home to the attraction “Seabase Alpha”. This 80’s submarine style attraction was originally set to open as “The Seas”.

4. Journey Into Imagination – The popular attraction that brought us that cute little character,  Figment, and Dreamfinder was once going to be part of the “Images & Imagination” Pavilion, before being changed to “Journey Into Imagination”.

5. Maelstrom – Up until two months before opening, Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion was set to be named “SeaVenture”, with even the attractions signage bearing the intended name. Apparently someone had second thoughts about the wisdom of this name though, because on opening day the attraction opened with the Nordic name, “Maelstrom”, meaning a very powerful whirlpool. A much more fitting name based on the attraction itself.

And while each of these rides had name changes prior to their opening, 4 of the 5 attractions have since undergone actual changes to the attraction itself or in the case of “Horizons”, “World of Motion”, and “The Living Seas” are not even in existence anymore. But I believe that change is inevitable, especially in a place like Epcot that continues to show us what the future might hold. So rather than moan and groan about what we’ve lost, let’s remember all of the great things Epcot’s given us over the years, as we anticipate the next 30 years and the exciting changes to be revealed. So here’s to another 30 years of magic and memories at Epcot!



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