The Timekeeper started life in Disneyland Paris before being replicated in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, taking up residence in the “Tomorrowland Metropolis Science Center” where Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor now stands.
The film revolved around two robots, the brilliant scientist The Timekeeper (voiced by Robin Williams) and his assistant Nine-Eye (Rhea Pearlman). Nine-Eye would be sent back in time, and thanks to her cameras, we could see her travels on the Circlevision screen.
After a disastrous start encountering dinosaurs and medieval warriors, then crashing Mona Lisa sitting for her portrait and a Mozart recital, Nine-Eye finally emerges at the 1900 Exposition in Paris where she witnesses a meeting between Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.
Trying to bring Nine-Eye to the present, Timekeeper inadvertently brings Verne as well, who marvels at the possibility of time travel and begs to see the future, to which Timekeeper agrees. The author is sent across Europe, races a Formula 1 car, rides a hot air balloon and a bobsled, ventures into space and deep undersea before being returned to his present. As a finale, Timekeeper transports Nine-Eye to the year 2189, where Verne and Wells appear in their own time machine explaining “In the future, anything is possible”.
This attraction was the first to use the Circlevision format to tell a story, rather than simply show landscape footage, and the 360 screens created an uncannily immersive experience, leaving you holding onto the lean rails for dear life. Not to mention the hilarious, and often improvised dialogue of Robin Williams. Out of all the time-travel rides, this was hands-down the most breathtaking.
Trivia: The film features a flyover of Neuschwanstein Castle which was the inspiration for both Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Cinderella Castle.