"Braddock, you've used too much power - you can't beam out!" Basic Wonders of Life (1989-2004) was the last pavilion to receive a symbol and open without replacing an older pavilion. It revolved around the concepts of life, health, and the human body. Opening on October 19, 1989, it housed many attractions, a shop, and a restaurant. After closing in 2004, Wonders of Life would continue to operate seasonally for awhile, until it became the new showcase building for Epcot's festivals. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (MetLife) was its sponsor from 1989-2000. Exterior & Inside Area The Wonders of Life pavilion is a gold-colored dome back amidst many trees between Universe of Energy and Horizons (now Mission: SPACE). The dome opens up into two back building unseen by guests. The pathway to the pavilion first passes two overflowing fountains. It then curves up around a shallow pool where a giant 72-foot DNA strand towers over guests trekking up to the entrance. The pavilion orignally had an arched entrance sign with "Metropolitan Life" spelled out underneath the words "Wonders of Life." The arch sign was taken down and a newer vertical sign was put in its place with "Metropolitan Life" being shortened to "MetLife." The inside of the pavilion had a lot of walking area to get to and from the various attractions, with windows in the ceiling that let light in. The area had many indoor trees and bushes bordering the attractions, shop, and restaurant. During MetLife's time as sponsor, a MetLife remote-controlled Snoopy blimp would float around the pavilion. Body Wars Body Wars was Epcot's first height required thrill ride at 40 inches. It was a motion simulator very similar to Star Tours. The queue for Body Wars began underneath a giant mural showing the inside of a body. You then traveled through a series of Dermatopic Purification Stations, discovering that you are in some kind of research facility. Along the way you can watch overhead monitors to learn about the company running the facility, called MET (Miniaturized Exploration Technologies). MET has created a ship called an LGS-250 Body Probe Vehicle that can be miniaturized and beamed into the body. Calls being made and subtle machine noises were heard, making it seem like you were in a busy research facility. After going through the queue, you would see a preshow with your control officer. The control officer explained that Dr. Cynthia Lair was just beamed into the body of a volunteer ten minutes ago to study the immune system's response to a splinter. Your objective was to board body probe ship Bravo 229 and retrieve Dr. Lair. Your pilot was Captain Braddock. After the preshow, safety information was given as you boarded the simulator. After boarding, your body probe was zapped with the miniaturizer and beamed into the body just under the skin. You find Dr. Lair with the splinter and white blood cells. Before you can get Dr. Lair aboard, she gets sucked into a capillary. Your ship flies into the vein, following her into the heart. You then follow her getting sucked into the lungs. The control officer makes constant reminders to Braddock that the ship is running low on power. Dr. Lair gets attacked by a white blood cell. Braddock stuns the cell with the ship's lasers and we finally get Dr. Lair aboard. The control officer tells Braddock that he's used up too much power to beam out of the body. To get an energy boost, you start racing towards the brain because it works on electrical impulse as Dr. Lair explains. To get there, you pass through the heart again. With only five percent power, you use a heart beat to propel out. Your ship makes it up to the cerebral artery, which takes you just above the brain in the spinal fluid. With only two percent power, your ship crosses the blood brain barrier and enters the cerebral cortex inside the brain. Braddock deploys the fuel cell shield to act as a lightning rod and grab power from neurons shooting impulses back and forth. It works, your ship gains power, and you beam out. Cranium Command Cranium Command was a show about Buzzy, an Audio-Animatronics Cranium Commando recruit. Guests were first shown an animated preshow with Buzzy and his commanding officer General Knowledge (voiced by Corey Burton). The General is giving a briefing about brains to the new recruits. He whips through many slides, including one of a brain success (Albert Einstein) and one of a brain failure (Ernest P. Worrell). Buzzy is late to the briefing. The General gives everyone else assignments to pilot brains, leaving just Buzzy left. The General tells Buzzy that "some genius at HQ has picked you to pilot the most unstable craft in the fleet" - the brain of a 12-year-old adolescent boy. After the preshow, guests were seated in the command center/brain's cortex, which was a tiered theater wrapping around the area with the Buzzy Animatronic. The theater was meant to look like the inside of a mechanical brain. Two round video screens showed a view through the 12-year-old's eyes. More video screens showed the different brain and body parts who talked to Buzzy. The parts were played by actors (many of which were from Saturday Night Live): Jon Lovitz as the right brain, Charles Grodin as the left brain, Dana Carvey as the heart's right ventricle, Kevin Nealson as the heart's left ventricle, George Wendt as the stomach, and Bobcat Goldthwait as the adrenal gland. Guests saw Buzzy trying to pilot the brain while talking to the body parts inside of the 12-year-old boy, Bobby. Buzzy tried his best to maneuver Bobby through the typical day of a 12-year-old, incuding running late in the morning, falling in love with the new girl, dealing with bullies, and facing the principal. Fitness Fairgrounds Fitness Fairgrounds was the main central area of Wonders of Life. Many of the attractions here were housed in tent-style theaters with seats that were tiered downwards to the stage or screen. The attractions were Goofy About Health, The Making of Me, AnaComical Players, the Wondercycles, Coach's Corner, Met Lifestyle Review, Frontiers in Medicine, and the Sensory Funhouse. Well & Goods, Limited (shop) and Pure & Simple (restaurant) were also within the Fitness Fairgrounds. Goofy About Health Goofy About Health was a small open theater near the front of the pavilion. The stage was a cartoon city backdrop with a series of video screens displaying clips of old Goofy shorts. The clips followed patterns of Goofy exercising or eating healthy. Guests could walk in and out of the theater whenever they wanted.
The Making of Me
The Making of Me premiered on October 30, 1989, shortly after the rest of the pavilion opened. It was housed in Birth Theater.
Making of Me was a lighthearted 14-minute film about conception and childbirth, starring Martin Short. Due to the sensitive nature of the film, there was a warning at the entrance to advise parents.
The film begins with Short wondering how he was created by his parents. It then shows how his parents got together and them enjoying life as young adults (Short played his own dad). The film goes on to an animated segment showing cartoon eggs and sperm in a comical fashion.
The next part of the film shows actual fetal development. It goes on to show a live-action birth taking place, viewed from over the shoulder of the mother.
Housed in the open AnaComical Theatre, the AnaComical Players were actors and actresses who performed improvisational skits about health, exercise, and nutrition.
The Wondercylces were simulated bike machines. Guests would sit on the bike and pedal to "move" through the course on the monitor directly in front of them.
The faster you pedaled, the more rapidly you moved through the video course. The courses included a micro course (where you seemed shrunken down), a Disneyland course, and a course through the Rose Bowl Parade. The machines would display your speed and distance.
Coach's Corner was an area where you could go into a batting cage area and swing either a baseball bat, golf club, or tennis racquet. A video was then displayed for you. The video was of a professional athlete - either Gary Carter, Chris Evert, or Nancy Lopez - giving you taped advise on how to improve your form.
Met Lifestyle Review
This was a series of video consolses that allowed guests to fill out a survey based on their health habits, including whether they exercise, smoke, have a lot of stress, etc. They also fill out their age, weight, and height. It would then tell you what to do to improve your health.
Frontiers in Medicine
Located in the back between the restrooms and Body Wars, Frontiers in Medicine was an exhibit displaying research and achievements in medicine. The flat displays were kept up to date with current research.
The Sensory Funhouse was an area dedicated to the senses (mainly touch, sight, and sound). In itself it had many small attractions, including: