Monday, June 26, 2006

What Epcot Taught Me


Since I first set foot in EPCOT Center in 1983, I’ve learned a lot from my favorite theme park. So have you, I bet … even if you’re one of those who think education and entertainment just don’t mix. Some of the things that EPCOT Ce-- er, Epcot has taught me over the years.

Some of it’s honest-to-goodness information, some of it’s stuff that affected me personally, and some of it’s just fun recollections of a once-great theme park that, we can all hope, will soon be great again:


* My hypothalamus monitors all of my vital functions (Wonders of Life)

* Jewish and Islamic scholars were vital to mankind’s intellectual development after the Dark Ages (Spaceship Earth)

* DNA projected on an IMAX screen can make you queasy (Horizons)

* Windmills in San Francisco Bay would be an awesome sight (Universe of Energy)

* Manatees are wonderfully gentle, intelligent and friendly sea mammals whose habitats are constantly in danger from pleasure boaters (The Living Seas)

* The printing press was important because it was the first time people could easily share information and knowledge – a lot easier than having monks transcribe things by hand (Spaceship Earth)

* Nuclear energy exists in a minute way in every single atom (Universe of Energy)

* Touch screens are, even today, very, very cool (WorldKey kiosks)

* Seen from space, the wake from a cruise ship disrupts water and can be visible for many hours (The Living Seas)

* Nothing smells finer than the scent of fresh oranges (Horizons)

* Earth’s supply of oil is not inexhaustible … yes, I really did learn this from Epcot 23 years ago -- kind of meaningful today! (Universe of Energy)

* No matter how commonplace videoconferencing gets, you still say, “Can you see me OK”? (EarthStation)

* Three species of tigers disappeared from the planet in the past 60 years (Universe of Energy)

* Few things match the magnificence of a space shuttle liftoff (Universe of Energy)

* The first toll booth appeared long, long, long before cars or even boats (World of Motion)

* Conch may taste great, but it is one ugly little critter (The Living Seas)

* Alternate hot and cold coils and the mind plays tricks on you (Wonders of Life)

* We always think the future is going to be grand, gleaming and hopeful (Horizons)

* I’d love to live under the ocean (Horizons)

* On a spot between the Fountain of Nations and World Showcase lagoon is (or, at least, until Disney began selling off and swapping real estate, was) the geographical center of Walt Disney World (Undiscovered Future World Tour)

What lessons, memories and ideas has Epcot left you with over the years? Click on the comment link and let everyone know!

21 comments:

Klark Kent 007 said...

I learned that Walt was right! (EPCOT center)

I learned that other countries are very interesting (World Showcase)

there is too much to put in here

CoffeeJedi said...

A yard of beer is very very, very very, very good.

You can put kilts on them, they can play the bagpipes, and it can still rock.

One little spark of inspiration is at the heart of all creation.

When the oceans were forming, it rained, and it rained, and it rained....

A conversation between Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin would have been an amazing dialogue if they were contemporaries.

Jackie said...

I learned, "If we can dream it, then we can do it!" (Horizons, and EPCOT itself)

Cliff cot? said...

This may seem moronic, but...........I learned that people from all over the world were..........people. Mario from Italy may of grown up a 20 hour plane ride away, but it was nice to meet him (he fussed over my daughter at Alfredo's).

Got to echo the Horizons mantra. Good call Jackie.

I began to understand that we occupy a point on the continuum of history. There is no reason to believe we won't someday have a real sea base alpha or multi country video class rooms.

Anonymous said...

Cars go through a long and strenuous list of tests before they are deemed ready to sell. (Test Track)

The importance in the Roman Empire's roads for communication (Spaceship Earth)

I learned about the potential of hydroponic gardening (Living with the Land)

Kodak. Kodak. Kodak. (Honey I Shrunk the Audience)

2G's are intense to some (MISSION: Space)

Gary Sinese is a sophisticated puppet made by the Jim Henson company. (MISSION: Space)

Free soda is an effective way to rehydrate without spending any money. (Coca-Cola club cool)

People from Canada are nice and decent people. (O'Canada)

French composers wrote some wonderful music. (the French film)

There are places in the third most popular theme park in America where one can go and not see anyone at all. (The museum in Morocco)

Animatronics can make a compelling medium for a stage show. (American Adventure)

The World Showcase players are hilarious. (Italy)

The spirit of Norway is filled with adventure. (Maelstrom)

Mexican volcanoes are cool. (The River of Time)

Anonymous said...

might want to check you links for universe of energy and horizons.....

Chris said...

BTW, some of the music in the French movie is by Camille Saint-Saens, called "The Aquarium"...hard to find a good version of it though, some versions just don't sound as good.

I learned that Smart Watermelon is the best soda on Earth! (Club Cool-whatever its called now-Coke exhibit)

Ivonne R. said...

You said this:

* Few things match the magnificence of a space shuttle liftoff (Universe of Energy)

But you also could of learned this from Horizons also. Remember the omnimax sequence also featured a space shuttle lift off. :)

Great list by the way. Reminds of those "All the things I learned about life I learned from..." That might actually made a good shirt! lol.

Epcot82 said...

Links to Horizons and Universe of Energy have been updated. Thanks for the tip and sorry for the mistake!

SilentSpectre said...

"Nothing smells finer than the scent of fresh oranges (Horizons)"

Weren't those actually a cross between lemons and oranges? I can't remember the exact word they used... something like leoranges.

Epcot82 said...

I dunno ... but I loved it!

Anonymous said...

What I learned at Epcot


3 words Nine Pound Lemons (Living with the Land, the Land)


Hydrolators would be a cool way to get to an undersea base. (The Living Seas)

Three Heaed Trolls are magical (Norway)

And, that there is nothing, nor will there ever be anything as GREAT and Magical at EPCOT.

SilentSpectre said...

Although I haven't yet ridden it, a similar scent (some claim it's the same scent) is used in Soarin'.

Epcot82 said...

I don't think it's the same scent; similar to my nose, but not quite the same. Perhaps an Imagineer could tell us ... if any are reading! :-)

Ivonne R. said...

I just think the oranges scent inside of Horizons was a little bit stronger than the one they use in Soarin'. On Soarin' I think it's due to the fact that the fans in the visor that distribute the scent are right in your face so maybe they didn't want to overpower people with it.

Digital Jedi said...

That Disney doesn't mind recycling special effects, as long as you can't quite remember what movie it came from (TRON sequence in the Horizons Omnimax sequence)

That dude from The Carousel of Progress REALLY holds up well thought the centuries. (Horizons)

Animatronics are worth waiting for, even when you have to sit through ten minute montages of watercolor paintings (The American Adventure)

Used car (or chariot) salesmen have always been greedy. (Spaceship Earth)

Norway is only interesting in a boat, not on a screen, no matter how big (The Maelstrom)

Fireworks are bigger and better on the 4th of July (Illuminations on July 4th)

Lasers are cool. (Illuminations)

Oh Canada! is not so cool. (Oh Canada!)

With forced perspective, you can recreate any environ. (France, Mexico, Norway, Canada)

French girls who can hardly speak English make me feel funny. (French Bakery)

The French are superior Bakers. (French Bakery)

Even nutrition can be entertaining. (The Land)

Pumpkins can be shaped into Mickey Heads. (Listen to the Land)

We have the ability to grow food in space, we simply don't have a good reason yet. (Listen to the Land)

That getting separated from your parents and looking for them for half a day walking World Showcase back and forth is a good way to have a coronary. (World Showcase)

Anonymous said...

I learned that solar power is a wonderful resource. Little did I know that I would mary a man who now installs solar panels,and that I would use it as my prime energy source.
And I agree with both living under the sea,and the wonderful smell of fresh oranges!

Ivonne R. said...

Digital Jedi said...

That Disney doesn't mind recycling special effects, as long as you can't quite remember what movie it came from (TRON sequence in the Horizons Omnimax sequence)

-------------------------------------------------------------

I thought the TRON sequence was featured in the speed tunnels of World of Motion?

Anonymous said...

I have to say one of the most illuniating things was what you already said, from spaceship earth- that Jewish and Islamic scholors were hard at work during the dark ages. I remember being really suprised at that (I was 8), since you learn so little about them in history class.

I love that kind of non-preachy diversity teaching that wdw can do well (at times!).

Chris said...

I learned that "It's fun to be free" (The World of Motion)

ginko618 said...

What, didn't learn about hydroponics or integrated pest management from the greenhouses in the Land?