Journey to the Center of the (Spaceship) Earth

For my first four trips to Walt Disney World, we were able to take the monorail almost everywhere, which was a major attraction in and of itself in early era Walt Disney World. The main monorail loop between the hotels and the Magic Kingdom was a spectacular part of those early journeys, but you could see where you were heading from almost every angle. To get to EPCOT Center, you had to journey to a separate part of Walt Disney World property, that at the time could not be seen much at all from outside the theme park. That monorail trip had the added glory of taking you around Future World before stopping to let guests off, enabling the monorail system to be part of Future World itself. It was a symbiotic relationship: the view of EPCOT from the monorail was breathtaking, as was the sight of the monorail looming above while walking around Future World. On the Magic Kingdom loop, it was certainly a spectacle to behold, but at EPCOT Center, the monorail felt very much like it was part of the theme park.

Jack Wagner's monorail spiel is embedded in the DNA of every guest who ventured to Walt Disney World in the 1970s and 1980s and the above video thankfully captures that narration while also offering a glimpse of the journey itself. (Credit to metroplan for the video and Michael Crawford at Progress City, U.S.A. for pointing me to it.) I still have very fond memories of my Dad busting my chops and going to grab my hand when prompted by Wagner (and when I was no longer a small child) and we also laughed at Wagner's Spanish translation of "Please stand clear of the doors." To this day, riding the monorail to EPCOT is one of my most cherished experiences visiting EPCOT Center and one of the reasons why the proliferation of bus transportation between destinations has lessened the experience of journeying within Walt Disney World.