Featured Attractions

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Florida Project: Where's EPCOT?

As the Florida operations settled in, the consequences of Roy Disney's decision to open up the Magic Kingdom park with less attractions began to become problematic. The park had to add attractions anywhere it could. Swan boats were quickly added to the ponds in front of the castle. DISNEYLAND's Main Street vehicles were "borrowed" to create more capacity. A low tech version of Space Mountain was rushed into construction, as was a cut down version of Pirates of the Caribbean. As the complaints about a lack of things to do began to lessen, a new question began to pop up- "Where's Epcot?"

Of course, Roy Disney didn't make a flashy announcement when he killed Walt's plans for EPCOT. People still remembered watching Walt Disney talk about it on TV (though not, apparently, what it was) so they bombarded guest relations with questions about it. Walt Disney Imagineering had been working on ideas for new theme parks but was told to put everything on hold. They now needed to come up with something- anything- that could be called "Epcot".

Time went by with little progress. Roy Disney's hand picked successor E. Cardon Walker grew impatient and asked to see any progress that had been made. As luck would have it, two models of unrelated projects sat in the room- one for a theme park called "World Showcase", another for a separate theme park called "Future World". Unsatisfied with the plans they had for him, Mr. Walker stood up and walked over to the models. Thinking for a minute, he pushed the two of them together. He told the staff that this would be Epcot.