The famous rolling ball that almost flattened Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark will soon be part of the makeover for the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot. This comes in response to the backlash over projecting an image of the Death Star from the Star Wars films onto the beloved attraction.
“We were shocked by the reaction of some Disney fans online to the Death Star projection on Spaceship Earth,” said Remi Angeles, Vice President of Social Media Relations for Walt Disney World. “We weren’t shocked that people were rejecting the change because that is commonplace with everything we do. We were more shocked that people thought there were better ways to makeover the popular attraction.”
As soon as Disney announced the Death Star projection, suggestions came pouring into Guest Relations on what the guests think are better options, Angeles said.
“People suggested some great ideas. We heard everything from changing it from a replica of Mars to modeling it after Lance Armstrong’s remaining testicle,” concluded Angeles.
Ultimately, plans were drawn up and approved by the Guest Satisfaction Council to change the surface of Spaceship Earth from beautiful triangular glass panels into a rough, rocky surface of the rolling ball from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Guest Satisfaction Council is a guest-led committee which overseas all changes Walt Disney World plans to make. They then vote on whether to give those projects the green light or not. The committee was created by frequent park guests and has no affiliation with The Walt Disney Company whatsoever. As of this writing, Angeles claimed to not even be aware such a committee existed.
We spoke with Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, who founded the Guest Satisfaction Council about the changes.
“We are very excited that the surface of Spaceship Earth will be changed to represent the rolling ball from the Temple of Doom,” Geronimo said. “It was a beautiful work of art for more than 30 years but the time has come to shake things up a bit.”
Instead of the temporary change of the Death Star version of Spaceship Earth, this change will be completely cosmetic, meaning crews will be spending the next six months adding a rough, rocky texture to the exterior of Spaceship Earth. The interior of the ride will remain the same, save for some key Audio Animatronics being replaced with the likeness of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, most notably the “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” kid and the hot black woman in the 1970’s computer mainframe room.
The changes are to begin immediately and be ready for a new round of guest complaints by Spring 2017.