Monday, October 02, 2006
Belief and Pride
There it is for all to see.
Walk toward EPCOT Center -- well, Epcot (unless you believe one line in the plaque itself) -- and the basic philosophy is spelled out plainly.
"Epcot is inspired by Walt Disney's creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all."
Interestingly, the plaque only furthers the debate over whether the marketing-driven name "Epcot" is preferred over the traditional "EPCOT Center," as it reads both ways.
I question how many Disney marketing executives have bothered to read the plaque (or even know it exists). I question how Princess dresses in Norway, Ellen acting goofy in her Energy Adventure, test-track cars that often don't operate, or cartoon fish usurping real ones "instill a sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere."
In my line of work (which is not too far removed at all from what Disney does), when we lose sight of our goal, when things just don't seem to be working properly, or we begin to question our effectiveness, we pause for a brief moment and go back to our original goals. Do those original goals still apply? If they do, are we sure that what we're doing will lead us to meeting those goals?
The goals of EPCOT Center are carved in bronze for all to see at the front of the park. Except for some half-hearted tinkering with the name of the park, the goals have been the same since 1982. Those are some pretty long-lived, hardy goals. They haven't changed at all.
So, my questions are: 1) Does EPCOT Center, as it exists today, match those goals? And 2) Does anyone at Disney even realize those goals still exist?