Universe of Energy 

The natural forces we tap for our energy are powerfully explored in the Universe of Energy . After a pre-show, guests travel solar-powered vehicles to prehistoric Earth for close encounters with dinosaurs. As volcanoes erupt, you see the creation of fossil fuels and future energy challenges are presented in a breathtaking film.
Comedy star Ellen DeGeneres brings electrifying comedy to this attraction

This ride rated.....family fun!         Get Magic Kingdom Tickets here                 2 Free Disney Tickets here

Step into this dramatic mirrored pyramid pavilion for a multimedia journey starring Ellen DeGeneres. Board vehicles to travel from the dangerous land of the dinosaurs to a future filled with fusion power. Discover big laughs and bigger thrills on Ellen's Energy Adventure!

The "Universe of Energy" was renovated a couple of years ago-and all I can say is THANK GOD!!
The Pavilion is located LEFT of Spaceship Earth, next to the "Horizons" building and on the opposite corner of "Test Track." It looks like a giant triangle with mirrors lining every nook and cranny. The shrubbery is in the shapes of some of the Dinosaurs you will see inside..
The OLD version of this show/ride was a tad on the boring side. It was like entering your old high school Science class again, having to watch a filmstrip on how energy is produced and used. A real snoozer. The only reason people ever went on this ride was to see the great dinosaur animatronics!
NOW, the show is fabulous! They have brought Ellen Degeneres from the hit show "Ellen" as she becomes your host and comic relief for this presentation of energy.
You enter underneath the mirrored tiles of the building and into the pre-show area where Ellen appears on the game show "Jeopardy" with some other familiar faces as well! She stinks at every question and cannot understand why she can't get any of them. She decides to travel through time with you and learn all she can for the final round of the game.
You enter HUGE vehicles which hold half a theatre of people! Their are two vehicles, so everyone should be able to get on the first time without waiting for the next.
You travel into the swamps of the Prehistoric age where Dinosaurs fly over head, try to take bites out of you, and battle to survive. A Sea Serpent swings it's head out to take a closer look at you, a little scary for the younger crowd. As you turn the corner you see Ellen herself trying to fight off a Dinosaur-pretty funny!
Leaving the Prehistoric Age, you come back to reality where you see a film all about Energy that they cleaned up a bit, so it wasn't such a snoozer this time around! Ellen now appears back on Jeopardy, ready to take on her opponents! She answers every question and wins the game!
It is not the most exciting pavilion, or thrilling, but it is a great trip to an Age where Dinosaurs roamed the earth! And as always, have a wonderful vacation at Walt Disney World!

Ellen starts off the show with a cute monologue, but I am curious to know why Disney chose Ellen for this roll. I have a feeling it is because Ellen portrays Disney's stance on homosexuality, but again, I could be wrong. The next scene is Ellen in a New York apartment where she is watching an episode of Jeopardy on which her college roommate (an energy physicist) is winning. During the episode Bill Nye comes in to the apartment to exchange pleasantries with Ellen, while looking for items for a new "energy" invention. Ellen is grotesquely jealous because her roommate is so smart, so she lays down for a nap and has a "energy dream".
She dreams she is on Jeopardy against her roommate and loosing, she chooses to change her dream and it turns into a major lesson about Energy...past, present and future.
Of course the lesson starts out with a sales pitch of the big bang theory, which greatly disturbed me, being that I am a believer in Creationism. Here Disney is, showing this movie to millions of kids and adults a year and they are showing the theory of the big bang as FACT! Not theory, but fact. There was no thought to the possibility the earth was created by God and not some matter than erupted with a huge explosion which put plants, water and earth into existence. I mean it is just a THEORY for crying out loud.
After the big bang, you actually enter the ride. All the people from the theater enter into theater seats which move, and takes you though prehistoric times. Great big caterpillars, dinosaurs, mildew-smelling fog, lots of green plant-life and even a token T-Rex. Again, it is definitely NOT Jurassic Park, but it is pretty convincing. Ellen and Bill's voices take you though the tour and you get to learn about the different types of energy...water, solar, wind, coal, oil...etc.
The ride ends with Ellen coming back to Jeopardy, answering all the questions correctly and winning the match, much to the dismay of her old roommate.
I think the ride is great for kids because of the dinosaurs and the teaching aspect of the different kinds of energy...however, if you are a "Believer" you will probably be disappointed in the Big Bang Theory being presented as fact.

Universe of Energy was one of the premier attractions when EPCOT opened in 1982. The inaugural incarnation of this pavilion should have won a Nobel Prize for finding the cure to insomnia. I still have nightmares about how tedious the original show was...it stand with the Swiss Family Treehouse as my least favorite Disney rides of all time!
Fortunately, in a rare showing of good sense, Disney decided to update EPCOT in the mid-nineties. This was one of the first to get overhauled. In place of the tepid first show, a hipper, funnier, more modern attraction was made in its place. This ride stars a pre-out-of-the-closet Ellen Degeneres, and the always cool Bill Nye the Science Guy. I think my middle school science teacher had a crush on him. Anyway...this ride runs on its own power. After all, it is sponsored by Exxon.
As you get into the first room, we are treated to four or five screens in which Ellen introduces the concept of the show: she has a dream in which she competes against an old friend on Jeopardy, and all the categories (horrors!) are on energy. I found this part very amusing, when I first rode this in eight grade (in 1996) and it was refreshing change from the austere EPCOT presentations of yesteryear. My recommendation is to sit at the very front of the theater when this movie is showing. That way, you can get a good seat on the huge-capacity ride vehicles. I ride up front each time.
The ride continues with footage of Bill Nye explaining the Big Bang, and sure enough, with a loud explosion, this event occurs, setting into motion the creation of Earth, and the advent of the dinosaurs.
The following scenes include animatronic dinosaurs, which was the only saving grace of this ride's first edition. We even see a robotic Ellen having difficulties with one of the reptiles. Still, this scene lost a bit of steam, since Countdown to Extinction is soo like it. But this ride is much more relaxing than Countdown, and you can really enjoy the soothing ride and its' remarkable scenery. A few more movies ensue, with Bill Nye informing Ellen of energy sources in his own inimitable way. Ellen slowly catches on, and in the conclusion of Jeopardy, she beats her roommate!
I like this ride so much better than the first incarnation, its not even funny. Ellen and Bill Nye have a great deal of chemistry together, between Bill's eccentric lectures, and Ellen's crazy quips. But I wouldn't count on any real life chemistry between them! (haha).
Still, this is a show on energy, no matter how hard one tries, you can't make a show about energy interesting to a five year old. At any rate, this ride was brilliantly executed, although the lack of a track and the sheer darkness at parts seem a bit aimless. But it's an EPCOT style show, and although it's not one of the absolute top-notch rides in the park, I'd recommend going on it just the same, and well deserves my four-star rating.

Universe of Energy:
The natural forces we tap for our energy are powerfully explored in the Universe of Energy. After a pre - show, guests travel solar - powered vehicles to prehistoric Earth for close encounters with dinosaurs. As volcanoes erupt, you see the creation of fossil fuels. Barely escaping a lava flow, you’ll arrive at the EPCOT Energy Information Center, where future energy challenges are presented in a breathtaking film.
Comedy star Ellen DeGeneres brings electrifying comedy to Epcot guests daily in "Ellen’s Energy Adventure" at the Universe of Energy pavilion.
The Universe of Energy, presented by ExxonMobil, becomes an "adventure" for Walt Disney World guests with a celebrity-charged film that takes visitors on a humorous journey to the beginning of time, past colorful dinosaurs redesigned to reflect today’s scientific thinking.
Inside the pavilion’s mirrored pyramid, guests ride through one of the most technologically complex attractions at Epcot. The pavilion consists of three motion pictures and a ride-through adventure where guests encounter life-size dinosaurs.
"I think this show is by far the most complicated presentation we’ve ever done," said Tom Fitzgerald, senior vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering Theme Park Productions and executive producer of "Ellen’s Energy Adventure." "We have live action combined with computer-generated imagery. We have Audio-Animatronic® dinosaurs. It’s astonishing how many things we’ve put together into just this one show."
The story itself is simple enough. In a brief set-up before the main show, guests meet funny woman Ellen DeGeneres, who loves watching the popular game show "Jeopardy!"
One evening, Ellen falls asleep while watching "Jeopardy!" and dreams she’s a contestant on the show.
But her dream becomes a near-nightmare when she finds the returning champ is her former college rival Dr. Judy Peterson, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The other challenger: Dr. Albert Einstein. Worse yet, all the categories deal with one thing she knows nothing about -- energy.
Enter Bill Nye the Science Guy, Ellen’s neighbor and all-around science whiz, who guides Ellen (and Walt Disney World guests) on a "crash-course" in Energy 101.
First comes the history of the universe -- in one minute -- on three, 70mm screens, 157 feet wide by 32 feet tall. Next, the theater separates into six, 97-passenger vehicles that travel through primeval dioramas, complete with prehistoric flora, fauna and a terrified Ellen -- cornered by a menacing elasmosaurus.
After the dioramas, guests enter into another theater, where they view a dramatic motion picture on three screens, each 30 feet tall and 74 feet wide and curved to create a 200-degree range of vision. Here, guests follow Ellen as she learns about the world’s present-day energy needs, resources and concerns.
"People can go anyplace and just see a movie," said Robert Ginty, who directed "Ellen’s Energy Adventure." "What we’ve done here is create what is truly a one-of-a-kind theme park experience that will not only entertain people but give them the feeling they’ve learned something as well."
That’s just the right mix.

"I think the way that most people want to learn is to be entertained," DeGeneres said. "You want to pay attention if it’s fun. I tell you, I must have had fun because I learned a lot from doing this role."
For co-star Nye, the show offered a way to deliver an important message.
"I was attracted to this project because it may help make people aware of how much energy we use in our society," he said. "This show is big, it’s cool and everything is done right."
Among the "big" and "cool" things in the show is Nye’s "Helicopter of Science," which not only travels across wind farms in California and refineries in Alabama but also hovers underwater and takes off into outer space.
"A lot of what we did was based on thinking about what would be fun for the audience to see," said Fitzgerald. "For instance, we thought, ‘How about if we’re underwater and we have the Empire State Building under water with us to show how big an oil rig is?"
"Each scene has to have a little twist, a little surprise, a little magic or a little special effect that will make this subject fun and exciting for our guests."

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