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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Walt Disney's EPCOT

Walt Disney had big plans for his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, yet like many of his biggest dreams, there were many in the company who doubted it would be a success, including his own brother. It would be nice to point to Walt Disney World's EPCOT and say that it was living proof of the success of Walt's dream, but that EPCOT was never built. After Walt's passing, his brother Roy quickly canceled all of Walt's plans for the Florida project. The resort as built reflects the vision of Roy Disney, not that of its namesake. Only DISNEYLAND park in Anaheim stands as a fully realized vision of one of Walt's dreams.

So where did the current EPCOT come from? It seems that people never forgot how Walt spoke about EPCOT on his television show and flooded guest relations at Florida's Magic Kingdom Theme Park with complaints about not getting to visit EPCOT during their visit. All design work on other potential theme parks was halted as the company concentrated on solving the EPCOT problem. They found the answer right on front of their faces; two of the many competing theme park ideas they were considering before it was decreed that "EPCOT" would be the 2nd Florida park were "Future World" and "World Showcase". They were not seen as compelling ideas on their own, but smash them together and they could become something bigger. So that's exactly what they did. Two dissimilar ideas thrown together became EPCOT Center.