The Dawn of Simulations
Monday, September 3, 2018 at 12:43PM
Joshua L Harris

From room-temperature lava to laser animation and advanced fiber optic displays, among EPCOT Center's many notable accomplishments was the development of close to 100 special effects (over 30% for Journey Into Imagination alone). Many of these were entirely new high-tech creations, while others were avant-garde reinterpretations of centuries-old illusions. 

Welcome to The Future World Simulation Series

In this series, we'll be exploring the many evocative special effects of EPCOT Center beginning, appropriately enough, at the dawn of time, with a recreation Spaceship Earth's hypnotic Lumia Effect... 


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Originally developed by 
Thomas Wildred in the 1920's, this technique of projecting refracted light was initially put into small custom-built cabinets for home use. And is now achieved largely thru laser projection. However, Spaceship Earth continues to achieve the effect through classical means and has done so for over 35 years - making it the longest-running special effect in the park. 


Article originally appeared on E82 - The Epcot Legacy (
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