Mission SPACE announcement press release

Apr 20, 2000 in "Mission: SPACE"

Posted: Thursday April 20, 2000 by WDWMAGIC Staff
The next Walt Disney World Resort attraction will go where no thrill ride has gone before -- deep space, announced Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World Resort and Michael Capellas, CEO of Compaq Computer Corporation.

Walt Disney World Resort’s newest attraction, Mission: SPACE, to be presented by Compaq Computer Corporation, will lift off at Epcot in 2003. It’s the latest in a series of new attractions and entertainment offerings at Walt Disney World Resort, continuing a period of phenomenal growth that includes the resort’s current year-long Millennium Celebration.

Offering guests a one-of-a-kind "astronaut-like" experience, Mission: SPACE will launch guests into a simulated space adventure -- from pulse-racing lift-off to weightlessness in outer space.

In association with former NASA advisors, astronauts and scientists, Walt Disney Imagineering created Mission: SPACE with new technologies, making it the first ride system ever created to take guests straight up in simulated flight. Set decades into the future, guests are transported in time and place to an International Space Training Center where they will encounter simulated challenges faced by real astronauts.

Plans for Mission: SPACE will be aboard NASA’s International Space Station shuttle flight, the scheduled April 24 launch of Atlantis.

"The combination of Disney magic and Compaq technology will create a truly one-of-a-kind guest experience," said Weiss. "Epcot is the perfect setting, continuing the park’s dedication to the explorer in all of us with its unique attractions that inspire us to discover new worlds."

"Computers are vital in developing space programs today and well into the future," said Capellas. "With some of the most advanced technology ever produced, Mission: SPACE will provide guests with a rare glimpse into a world where the possibilities for computers and space flight are endless."

With a career in the NASA space program that spanned more than 30 years, six-time NASA shuttle astronaut Story Musgrave is an ongoing consultant to Disney’s Mission: SPACE project. Musgrave calls the new attraction, "a place where guests can imagine our future in space and their role in it, walking in the footsteps of heroes and building on the wealth of technology we’ve developed to date."

Mission: SPACE will be in a new Epcot Future World facility next to the popular attraction Test Track presented by General Motors.

Compaq is a major provider of servers, PCs and services to The Walt Disney Company and its Internet initiatives. Mission: SPACE represents a broadening of the relationship between Compaq and The Walt Disney Company.

Second Press Release

BURBANK, Calif., april 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS - news) and Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ - news) today announced a broad 10-year corporate alliance highlighted by Compaq's sponsorship of the new Mission: SPACE attraction at Epcot, located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The pact will enable Disney's theme park guests to enjoy entertainment and discovery experiences based on entirely new combinations of imagination and technological innovation.

Compaq is a major provider of servers, PCs and services to The Walt Disney Company and its Internet initiatives. Both companies hope to expand this relationship through the new alliance.

Compaq is the world's second-largest computer company and provides the technological infrastructure for many Disney theme park attractions. Compaq will provide its knowledge of computer systems and technology, along with funding, for Mission: SPACE. This ``thrill ride of the future'' will use new proprietary ride systems to provide guests with a deep space adventure that simulates challenges faced by real astronauts, as well as the experience of lifting off, leaving Earth's atmosphere and soaring millions of miles through the solar system on a space ship.

``Disney and Compaq are both highly regarded and well-known global brands that strive to achieve standards of excellence in their respective fields,'' said Disney Chairman and CEO Michael D. Eisner. ``This new alliance demonstrates how storytellers can use technology to entertain audiences in new ways and how technology can enhance the way guests experience the story.''

``The ability to entertain millions of people on some of the world's largest stages -- theme parks -- requires mission-critical technological innovation and support that Compaq provides on a daily basis to all types of businesses and individuals,'' said Compaq CEO Michael Capellas. ``Today's announcement further confirms Compaq's commitment to contributing to the ever- expanding entertainment world and the education of children -- both big and small.''

``The combination of Disney's entertainment expertise and Compaq's unparalleled capability in computer systems and technology will provide our guests with a highly compelling and true-to-life adventure at Mission: SPACE,'' said Disney Vice Chairman Sanford M. (Sandy) Litvack.

Under terms of the alliance, Compaq also will:

Be a sponsor of and the production power behind the "Believe, There's Magic in the Stars" Skystravaganza, a spectacular fireworks display that is highlighting the 45th anniversary celebration of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif. Compaq computers were used in the development of Skystravaganza, and also are integral to the production of each live event. The "Believe, There's Magic in the Stars" Skystravaganza began in February and is the largest fireworks display in Disneyland history.

Continue its existing sponsorship of Disneyland's Innoventions pavilion, an interactive attraction that showcases cutting-edge technologies developed by an array of highly respected companies. A sponsor of Innoventions since its opening in November 1998, Compaq has demonstrated the breadth of education, entertainment and information opportunities available via computer by showcasing products such as the Internet PC, notebook and handheld computer.

Compaq also will continue to play a key sponsorship role in Disney's Regional Entertainment business, the DisneyQuest interactive family entertainment centers.
Scheduled to open in 2003, the Mission: SPACE attraction will be located in a new Epcot facility at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is the first ride system ever built to use technologies to simulate weightlessness in outer space.

Mission: SPACE is the latest in a series of new attractions and entertainment offerings at Walt Disney World Resort, continuing a period of growth which includes the resort's year-long Millennium Celebration.

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