‘Thank the Phoenicians’ Water Reflection Effect Returns to Spaceship Earth Scene After Being Gone for 15 Years

Shannen Ace

Spaceship Earth and EPCOT fountain

‘Thank the Phoenicians’ Water Reflection Effect Returns to Spaceship Earth Scene After Being Gone for 15 Years

A water reflection effect has been added back to the famous Phoenician scene on Spaceship Earth at EPCOT. The effect has been missing for several years, seemingly since the 2007/2008 update to the ride.

Effect Returns to Spaceship Earth

X user @FrankMakesStuff noticed the return of the effect and shared a video (embedded above). It comes on a landscape scene across from the main set piece of the Phoenicians section.

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We hopped on Spaceship Earth to see the reflection for ourselves. The dark “water” below the mountains now appears to reflect light back from the tiny village.

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According to a Cast Member, they simply added plastic that looks like moving water.

The scene originally had a miniature boat floating in the water, too, but this was also removed circa 2007/2008. Martins’s Videos included the mini boat, but not the water reflection, in his 2014 video of the 2007 version of Spaceship Earth, but both are missing from his 2017 video about the 2007 update. Since the water is across from the main scene at this part of the ride, most don’t pan to it during their POV videos.

Spaceship Earth was an opening-day attraction at EPCOT in 1982. The original version of the ride, narrated by Vic Perrin, lasted for only four years. It was updated and the new version, narrated by Walter Cronkite, operated for another eight years. 1994 brought another renovation and new narration from Jeremy Irons. It closed again in 2007 and officially reopened in 2008 with updates including Judi Dench as narrator.

spaceship earth reimagining concept art

With over a decade since the last reimagining, coupled with the 2017 departure of Siemens, Walt Disney Imagineering was ramping up for another round of changes to Spaceship Earth when the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Spaceship Earth was originally scheduled to close for over two years beginning on May 26 to become Spaceship Earth: Our Shared Story. However, the major reimagining was delayed after the parks closed for three months due to the pandemic. The ride ultimately reopened with the rest of the park in July 2020. Despite rumors over the past few years that the reimagining would still happen, and concept art leaking in March 2022, Disney hasn’t made any official announcements regarding Spaceship Earth: Our Shared Story.

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  • Shannen Ace

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.