“Be entertained and enlightened during a zany, 45-minute multimedia trip through time and Ellen DeGeneres’s subconscious.” (Excerpt from Epcot attraction page of the Walt Disney World website)
The Universe of Energy pavilion in Epcot’s Future World is the current home of Ellen’s Energy Adventure. I use the word “current” only because there have been rumors floating around of a possible takeover by the Guardians of the Galaxy; however, nothing has been confirmed and Ellen’s is still safely tucked into her home at Universe of Energy in Epcot. If you’ve never experienced Ellen’s Energy Adventure you might want to do so just in case those rumors are true.
The attraction, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, is a 45 minute adventure that transports Guests back in time to the dinosaur era. With the help of her next door neighbor, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, the attraction’s hostess, Ellen DeGeneres, learns all about the history of energy.
Warnings and Accessibility Information
While the attraction sign warns of loud noises, periods of darkness and that it may be frightening for children, my children have never been scared. There is a scene in the first portion of the show that depicts the cataclysmic event believed to have shaped the universe as we know it, the Big Bang. That, along with some mighty dinosaur roars are pretty loud but, again, nothing that frightened my children. Your ride vehicle takes you through various sections of the attraction and, other than a few dinosaurs and dark areas, it is not super intense.
The following information is posted to the Walt Disney World website:
- Must Transfer to Wheelchair
- Audio Description
- Assistive Listening
- Language Translation Devices
Ellen’s Universe of Energy Pre-Show
When you enter the building, you’ll stand in a large pre-show area which has only a few benches scattered around the perimeter of the room. The 8 minute pre-show film shows Ellen, while watching a television program, dozing off and then dreaming of competing on the game show Jeopardy! One of Ellen’s competitors is her know-it-all former college roommate Judy. Unfortunately for Ellen, every category deals with energy in its various forms and Ellen is failing miserably in her attempts to beat “Stupid Judy”. At this point, Ellen seeks the help of Bill Nye and the Guests are allowed into the next theater to join Ellen on her adventure.
DIStracted Tip: You may see several people sitting or even lying down on the floor in the pre-show area. I’ll forewarn you though, just prior to the start of the pre-show, a cast member will ask all Guests to stand and remain standing until Guests are let into the main theater.
The Attraction Itself
Upon entering the large theater, Guests will take a seat in one of the six sections. Where you sit doesn’t matter as the seating area rotates 180 degrees to face the large movie screens and everyone will have a close up view of the dinosaurs and various scenes. The first film is a four-minute computer animated film in which Bill Nye takes Ellen back billions of years in time to witness the Big Bang and the formation of the Earth. The two eventually end up in a prehistoric jungle where Bill explains how fossil fuels were formed. Of course with Ellen being a comedian, it should come as no surprise that there are a few funny jokes thrown in.
Once the film is over, the seating slowly rotates once again and the entire seating area moves into the diorama where it then breaks apart into six multi-passenger vehicles. This approximately seven minute section of the attraction is where Guests will get up close with the near life size animatronic dinosaurs that inhabit the area. Dinosaur loving Guests will be excited to see numerous dinosaur species including the Brontosaurus, Pteranodon and even a Stegosaurus!
Is this Attraction Educational?
Guests will leave the dinos behind and enter another theater where they listen in and watch as Bill Nye takes Ellen on a journey. This journey provides Ellen (and the Guests) with an in-depth look at the various forms of current and future energy sources. The screen starts out as just a single screen but Ellen asks that the screen be widened and Guests are treated to amazing views above, around, and even under the Earth. Ellen and Bill float far above Earth with satellites and atoms and explore a future powered by fusion. The conversations between the two are humorous and upbeat which makes you forget the fact that this is a educational attraction and you may actually be learning something while on vacation.
Once Bill Nye has educated Ellen on where energy comes from, Ellen decides that it is time to return to her game of Jeopardy! and attempts to beat our her old college roommate, Stupid Judy. Watch Ellen’s moves with the buzzer closely and you’ll notice that she comes up with some ingenious ways to ring in with her answer to the questions. I won’t give away the end result of the game but let’s just say there’s a good reason Bill Nye is called the Science Guy.
Should I Skip This Attraction?
While some Guests may decide to skip Ellen’s Energy Adventure because they don’t want to take 45 minutes out of their Epcot park touring schedule, we never miss it even after 23 visits to Walt Disney World. If you haven’t experienced the attraction, consider adding it to your schedule. And, as my fellow Magical DIStractions writer, Connie S., said in her article, Beating the Summer Heat, its a great escape from the hot Florida temps.
DIStracted Tip: If you have taken your child out of school and have promised their teacher that they’d write a report on the things that they did while on their trip, this is a great attraction for the kids to write about. Their teacher is sure to be impressed that they learned about energy while at Walt Disney World!
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