Last month at D23 Expo it was announced that Ellen’s Energy Adventure at Epcot would be closing on August 13, 2017 to make way for a Guardians of the Galaxy Attraction. The announcement was met with mixed emotions but I was happy. Ellen’s Energy Adventure replaced the opening day attraction, Universe of Energy in 1996, 14 years after Epcot opened. While the update to the ride was timely and relevant at the time, a lot has changed in 21 years that made this attraction outdated. My opinion is that after losing its sponsor, Exxon, in 2004, Disney just didn’t invest their own funds into changing or updating the ride.
Mom Maven’s Thoughts on Ellen’s Energy Adventure
Our family was never a fan of this ride but it was a great place to take a 37 minute nap in the air conditioning. Our problems with the ride weren’t that it was sorely outdated, it was with the evolutionist views portrayed throughout the ride. Over the years we have had similar issues with other Disney attractions. We are Christians and therefore we are creationists. As such, the timelines given in billions of years and the big bang theory go against our belief system. We didn’t allow our children to ride this attraction until they were old enough to understand that not everyone agrees that the earth is about 6,000 years old as the Bible states and that they have the right to their opinion.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure
All that being said, conceptually the 1996 version with Ellen, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Alex Trebek, and Jaime Lee Curtis was genius but not timeless. Ellen falls asleep watching her favorite TV show, Jeopardy. She dreams she is on Jeopardy and is playing against Einstein and her college roommate, Dr Judy Peterson, professor of energy at Princeton University. Ellen says she called Judy, “stupid Judy” in college because she was so smart. After the Jeopardy round, Ellen has -$100 and Judy has $17,800. During the commercial break Ellen’s neighbor, Bill Nye, takes her on an adventure to teach her all about energy. When she comes back for Double Jeopardy, Ellen knows all about energy and ends up in a tie with Judy heading into Final Jeopardy. The Final Jeopardy answer is, “This is the one source of power that will never run out”. Judy didn’t answer the question because she says there is no right answer. She wagered all of her $17,800 and goes down to $0. Ellen’s answer is, “Brain Power” she also wagered her $17,800 and ends up doubling that to $35,600.
The catch phrase, “stupid Judy, stupid energy” is one heard in Disney fan circles whenever this attraction is mentioned and it will live on long after its extinction.