The History of Epcot
E.P.C.O.T., or the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, was Walt Disney’s last brain child before he died. It was to be the heart of the Walt Disney World Florida Project, and a source of inspiration and hope to all of the world. Walt Disney described it as, “a special kind of new community that will always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future, where people actually live a life they can’t find anywhere else in the world.” Sadly, after Walt’s death in 1966, the Disney Company felt that they could not complete the ambitious plan without his guidance. Walt’s E.P.C.O.T. was dead, but its philosophy was not.
Plans began to form for a new kind of Epcot. The second theme park on Walt Disney World property was to be a sort of permanent World’s Fair, split into two sections. The first section was Future World, which would showcase modern technologies and breakthroughs in the most advanced scientific industries. The second section was World Showcase, which would be an ever expanding global neighborhood, showcasing the many diverse cultures of our world. This park was named Epcot Center to pay homage to Walt’s great idea. It demonstrated a philosophy similar to that of Walt’s plan, which is that it was to never cease being a living blueprint of the future. Epcot Center would show us how to make people’s lives better in an ever-changing modern world by showing us how scientists make scientific breakthroughs and by giving us a better understanding different cultures around the world. And not only would it teach us these importantant things, it would present them in an exciting and entertaining way.
Epcot Center opened on October 1st of 1982 and fulfilled the promises it had made. It was truly something Walt Disney would have been proud of.
My Review of Epcot
Since this is my first real post, I guess I’d better explain my rating system. I rate based on a scale of 0-5 stars, 5 being the best, zero being the worst. Each star represents a specific attribute of the park that I think is important in what makes a theme park good. Those five attributes are, Thematic Uniquness, Thematic Consistency, Guest Experiences (quality and quantity), Service, and Value. Each attribute is rated out of ten to determine how many tenths of a star a park will receive for a specific attribute.
Thematic Uniqueness– 10/10. Epcot’s theme is extemley unique. No theme park like it has come before it or after it.
Thematic Consistecy– 7/10. Epcot has mostly held true to its theme over the years, (even though it has been dumbed down a bit), but it does have a few experiences that ruin its thematic consistency, namely Frozen Ever After, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and all of the Disney character meet & greets seen around World Showcase.
Guest Experiences– 8/10. Epcot has 10 rides and 18 other miscellaneous attractions, totaling 28 attractions. Personally, I think a theme park should have at least 15 rides above the A or B ticket level, as well as at least 20 other miscellaneous attractions. In terms of quantity, Epcot is lacking a little bit, but where it falls short in quantity, it makes up in quality.
Service– 10/10. Disney employees are always very kind, understanding, and helpful.
Value– 8/10. Like all Disney parks, it’s extremely pricey, but it’s very easy to have a good time there, and very easy for guests of all ages to enjoy.
All in all, Epcot gets 4.3 stars from me.
If I were given complete control over Epcot, this is how I would make it perfect.
Spaceship Earth- I would give it an update reminscent of 1994 version. The new narration would remind us that we have a responsibility to use our technology to further human achievement, (similar to how the 1994 version did), especially with smartphones. I would also re-add the the physical sets to the planetarium and descent scenes.
Universe of Energy- I would transform this into an E-ticket ride utilizing Vekoma’s, “Pandora’s Box,” ride system. This would require the showbuilding to be expanded a bit, but there is certainly room. Expect a smaller post with more details on this within the week.
The Wonders of Life- I would transform the Wonders of Life pavilion into a digital technologies pavilion. It would include interactive exhibits based on modern digital technologies that enhance the different sciences seen in Future World. I’m not sure what to do for a ride with this pavilion, but if anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear it!
Mission: Space- I would update the video in the simulator, expand the mars base post-show (as well as make it look more realistic), and add a new EMV mars rover ride behind the pavilion.
Horizons- I would bring back Horizons on the land between Test track’s outdoor section and the land behind Mission: Space. Keep the same essential ideas of the original Horizons, (traveling to the future and showcasing the high points of all the other future world attributes), just modernized.
World of Motion- I would enclose all of Test Track’s outside track and change it so that it will wrap around a new building, almost identical to the original World of Motion building, put on the land where Test Track’s main outdoor track is currently. Inside would be an indoor autopia, with hover cars, (using maglev technology), on the bottom floor, and the World of Motion ride on the upper floors. World of Motion, like Horizons, would keep the same essential ideas of the original, but modernized.
Imagination- I would bring back the original version of the ride with updated tech and effects. It would use an LPS trackless ride system. Bring back the original Imageworks, but with modern technology. The Magic Eye Theatre would be the new home of the One Man’s Dream movie, with the queue building expanded to add room for the museum exhibits.
The Land- I would replace the Circle of Life movie with one that would really press the message that progress and conservation can coexist together. One is not more important than the other, they are equal.
The Skies- I would add this entirely new pavilion between the Land and the Living Seas. It would feature interactive exhibits on new airliner, aerodynamics, and meteorology technologies. It would also include a clone of the Stormrider ride from Tokyo Disney Sea.
The Living Seas- Bring back the Sea Base Alpha theme and the hydrolators. Include new darkride similar to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Tokyo Disney Sea, but with a more reality based theme.
Communicore/Innoventions- I would overhaul three of the four quadrants. The NW quadrant would have a live, guest participation based show where you can learn to become one of the main types of earth scientists; animal biologist, botanist, geologist, meteorologist, or marine biologist. The SW quadrant would have a timeline of WDW and a rebuilt Progress City/E.P.C.O.T. model. It would be as big as the original one that used to be at Disneyland in California. The NE quadrant would include an expanded and more well themed version of the Sum of All Thrills simulator ride, as well as a house of the future exhibit. I didn’t have many ideas for the SE quadrant, so let me know what your ideas would be! If it were to remain a gift shop, I would at least change the extremely gaudy eyesore that is MouseGear’s interior, by making it more sleek and modern.
Canada- I would add a river rafting ride similar to Grizzly River Run in Disney’s California Adventure
U.K.- I would add a small scale replica of the London Eye.
France- I’m not really sure what I would add here. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!
Morocco- I would add a dark ride based on 1001 nights.
Japan- I would add the once-planned Mt. Fuji rollercoaster.
American Adventure- I would update the projection quality in the show, and rework the menu of the quick service restaurant.
Italy- I would add a gondola ride through the Venice canals.
Germany- I would add the once-planned Rhine River Cruise boat ride.
China- I would add an indoor rollercoaster themed to the Chinese dragon. It would probably be around the same thrill level as the Seven Dwarves Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom.
Norway- I would bring back an expanded version of the Maelstrom boat ride. It would include a climax scene in the middle of a battle between some Viking ships and a sea monster, similar to the climax seen in Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride
Mexico- I would bring back the El Rio Del Tiempo boat ride, with updated videos for the screens.
Since there are eight expansion pads left on World Showcase, I would create eight new country pavilions!
Brazil- I would add a Brazilian pavilion on expansion pad 1.
Egypt- I would add an Egyptian pavilion on expansion pad 2.
Spain- I would add a Spanish pavilion on expansion pad 3.
Switzerland- I would add a Swiss pavilion on expansion pad 4
Russia- I would add a Russian pavilion on expansion pad 5.
India- I would add an Indian pavilion on expansion pad 6.
Greece- I would add a Greek pavilion on expansion pad 7.
Polynesian Islands- I would add a Polynesian Islands pavilion on expansion pad 8.
So that’s my post on Epcot! What did you think? If you have any constructive criticism on my posting style and formatting, or if you have any ideas for Epcot of your own, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear! Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. If the owner of an image would like for me to remove it, notify me and I will remove it.