Monday, August 12, 2013

The Best EPCOT?

Yes, I know ... it's been a while since I've posted, thanks to business travel and all sorts of other distractions.  But with the recent rumors floating fast and furious that Phineas and Ferb will join Nemo and the Three Caballeros in the endless dumbing down of a half-empty EPCOT, here's a video I stumbled across on YouTube that shows off EPCOT Center in 1992, arguably the very best it ever got.


I'll have more to say about the head-scratching choices allegedly in play for the Imagination pavilion once Disney confirms (or denies) what they are actually doing there.

For now, ain't it a shame that Universe of Energy hasn't been updated in 17 years, The Wonders of Life is an empty shell, Horizons doesn't exist, World of Motion is a noisy hodgepodge, half of Imagination sits unused (and has a 26-year-old 3-D film as its "centerpiece"), and the Living Seas has been cartoonized?

Well, I think it's sad.  So I mostly try not to think at all about it.


TongaXtine said...

In total agreement. There are so many missed opportunities here. It used to be so thoughtful in its message AND entertainment. It looked to the future with wonder and showed all the things we could do tomorrow. I fully appreciate that things change so fast that you have to re-think how this is presented but they don't need to start from scratch. Just look at some of the great museums out there who are able to do this.

I can appreciate if funding is of concern but does that mean that all creativity has to be lost?

Epcot82 said...

Funding being a concern is a straw-man argument for Disney. They have so much cash it's crazy -- they just want to spend it on getting Johnny Depp into the next Pirates movie, buying Lucasfilm and things like that. $75 million to create a great ride that will bring in an audience for 10-15 years pales in comparison to spending $250 million on a movie that no one wanted to see and now can't make its money back. That's what you need to understand about Disney's priorities! :)

Galen Gallimore said...

Yes, I'm sad that EPCOT has morphed into something off-base and far from what was arguably the most important theme for our time, hope for the future in a world community. You know, the 'Community Of Tomorrow' part of the name.

But I'm also glad I got to experience it in those glory days. I was a Junior in High School in 1992 and a regular visitor to EPCOT each year around that time.

Celebrate the memories of the glory that was, and keep alive the hope of that 'great big beautiful tomorrow'. Maybe someday, some youthful imagineer will be able to chart a new course for EPCOT and bring it back in line with that hopeful vision of the future.

Dawn said...

Gosh, reading your post has left me less than excited about my upcoming trip to Epcot. But I'm still going to go. I'm 46 and have never been and I think the food and wine festival will be fun, though maybe not to the level you expect.

I think everything has gone down from people's expectations to an extent... except perhaps universal.... Lord knows music isn't as good as it was in the 80's. :-)

So I'm going to drink the koolaid and go have fun at Epcot. I hope you share your thoughts with Disney and not just via this blog. The only way to change something is to tell the people in power (not that that always happens).

Anonymous said...

"World of Motion is a noisy hodgepodge"

Clearly you haven't been to EPCOT lately.

I've been furious over the state of EPCOT in recent years. But in all honesty, the new design-centered reinventing of the attraction gives me a sliver of hope for Future World. It offers a "what-if?" look at what automotive design could be in the future. It proposes cars that can drive themselves and detect traffic for us to keep us safe in our daily travels. Once we design our own vehicles, we see how our choices affect the vehicle we drive. Will efficiency save us money or allow us to conserve our environment? Do we get to out destination more quickly? Is it still a thrill ride? Sure. But that's how you entertain people. But I implore you to see reason. The newest incarnation of Test Track is the closest we've been to EPCOT Center in a long time. Please experience it with an open mind.

Epcot82 said...

Dawn -- You should go, have a GREAT time, and enjoy Epcot for what it is. I don't hate it, quite the contrary. Like a parent whose child can't get his act together, I'm supportive, I'm critical and I'm disappointed but hopeful.

Anonymous -- No, you're right, I have not seen the interior of the redesigned Test Track. I'm referring mostly to the exterior, which was helped with the cool blues, but still looks like a construction site designed by a myopic engineer. It's better, no doubt. But better still has a long way to go.