I was recently reading a blog post about EPCOT that put it into perspective for me. If I can remember where I read it, I'll post the link. The author made the fantastic point that everything EPCOT was about - education, awareness of who we are/our bodies/etc, technology, communication, and the growing-ever-closer global community - is what we all deal with on a daily basis today. The "older" attractions at EPCOT would fit right in with the mainstream viewpoint now. I'd love to see some of them brought back and updated a bit, or other rides in the same vein brought in. EPCOT has been my favorite park for as long as I've been going to WDW, and I'd love to see it restored to the promise that it once held.
25 years of EPCOT
I couldn't make it to EPCOT opening day. As I recall, it was on a Friday (10/1/1982) and I didn't have seniority so I couldn't get the day off. (I was working for Siemens in Boca Raton.) I did manage a trip on the following weekend (10/9). The things that generated the most buzz at the time:
1) The leaping water in the fountain outside Imagination.
2) The fiber optic lighting in the Mexico boat ride.
3) Magic Journey--3D movie.
4) The space shuttle was everywhere.
The things I liked best then (and now, if they're still there):
0) The idea that you could buy edible food at a theme park. And not only was it edible, but it was world class!
1) Horizons and how it tied into the carousel of progress--same family.
2) Listen to the Land.
3) Kitchen Kabaret
4) Figment with Dreamfinder
5) Impressions of France
6) O, Canada!
7) The horticultural detail.
8) Universe of Energy PRE-SHOW.
9) Original nightly light and fireworks show. Nothing since has come close.
10) Playing with all the "toys" in the interactive part of Imagination. My favorites were walking through the rainbow-light tunnel and bouncing around on the instruments on the carpeting. The stepping on the carpet to play music is now somewhere else in WDW, I just can't seem to remember where. Am I losing it?
The best improvements, IMHO:
1) Adding Walter Conkrite voice-over to Spaceship Earth--when it originally opened there was just music and it made the whole thing sort of pointless.
2) Adding "The Lion King" characters to the ecology/enviornmental film at The Land while maintaining the integrity of the film.
3) Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (see stupid Management Tricks below.)
4) Getting rid of the fake elevators (hydolaters?) in the Living Seas.
5) The menu at the counter service in the Land, though I miss Hermit Cookies!
6) Adding Morocco
7) Adding "The Living Seas"
8) Introducing the backstage tour of the greenhouses at "The Land"
9) Food and Wine Festival
Stupid Management Tricks, IMHO:
1) Captain EO (I almost gave up my annual pass on this one. The film was stupid and didn't even make use of any gratuitous 3D effects!)
2) Replacing Dreamfinder with Eric Idle. (though I adore Monty Python.)
3) The Ellen version of the universe of energy preshow.
4) Body Wars (maybe if they'd given everyone a barf bag on entry . . .)
5) Food Rocks (fondly referred to as Food Rots! in my family.)
6) The new "Finding Nemo" ride at the "Living Seas" ( I saw it the week it opened on a trip the week of 10/29/2006. Maybe they've added something since then.)
7) Getting rid of the movie at the Living Seas.
8) Replacing the original gourmet fare at The Land's rotating restaurant with Applebee fare. (No, that's not a compliment.)
9) The short-lived, mid-afternoon smoke and noise show over world showcase lagoon. (I think they called it Fantasmic, but that might have been the name of a show at MGM.)
Things I hope will never change:
1) Impressions of France
2) Listen to the Land
3) The following restaurants:
All three french eateries
Coral Reef at the Living Seas
Rose 'n Crown
Yakatori House (in Japan)
4) Fourth of July Fireworks!
Ah, the memories!
Wow Janet you and I think way too much alike... I feel you on most of that. I'm so there!
When last were you there? A LOT of the stuff you listed is gone now... not sure if you knew or were just reminiscing.
I was just reminiscing. I spent a week at WDW last year, mostly at EPCOT. I was there the end of October and beginning of November. We really enjoyed the Food and Wine Festival. We stayed at the Dolphin and had a great time! This year we're going back for the same week, only we're staying at the Polynesian Resort with the expectation that we'll spend more time at the Magic Kingdom. I wish I could go more often, but then I'm lucky to have the time to go every year!
Jenn, Your reply was fantastic! I too feel that way. People should still want to use there imagination and enjoy more than a rush of a feeling for 45 seconds in there bellies. I really miss the rest of the backlot tour that had the houses sets from tv shows. Now the stunt show wiped that out.
Originally Posted by BamaJenn
A very good Point that you have made.
Originally Posted by nick.jeschke
I guess to me, there are ways to make things thriling without making a thrill ride... if that makes any sense. Unfortunately it seems there is a grand 50/50 split on most of these views that forever will exist. I know Epcot was hurting for visitors and the decisions to put things like Mission Space in were, though not entirely, mostly made for financial reasons. More thrills equals more attendance because kids want to go, which of course equals more profit in not only ticket sales but merchandise and food. I guess it's all a product of how society has changed. When I was a kid, when Epcot opened, kids were more apt to play house and things of that nature that were strictly imagination based. Society as a whole was more laid back I guess. Today's kids want different things. It's not good or bad or worse or better... just different.
True, Kids today are way too grown up before there time. They are growing up in a time when technology is changing every day, so they need new, now!
Myself and my oldest DD were discussing this not too long ago. Off the top of our heads, b/c of our VERY strong love for WDW, we were thinking " Why can't they just keep the old and also build the new too? " Of course, about 2 seconds later the " Duh " moment hit us! For one thing ( which has already been mentioned ) Walt wanted WDW to be continuously evolving and changing - especially EPCOT. And the other realization was, can you imagine how long it would take to see all those attractions and rides!!! We had 6-day hopper passes for this last trip and still did'nt see and do everything we wanted to! As we all know, Walt was very fond of and nostalgic of the past and wanted to preserve a sense of it. But he was also a great visonary who had great hopes and ideas for the future and its technologies and advances. It is just one of the classic human conditions!!!
For some of Us, it is great to just walk this park and take in the great atmosphere. Fun to hear the sounds of the countries too.
Found this FANTASTIC site today.... I'm emersed in it right now...
Wow! That is a pretty neat site. Good Find!
Originally Posted by BamaJenn
That site is great. I bookmarked it to look at it over and over!
The more I look the more I keep finding sites out there dedicated to the old Epcot. It's comforting to see so many others out there who feel the same. Unfortunately the more I look at that site the more I realize just how much imagination they truly took from Epcot over the years and it all seems to come down to cost. The originals were long rides and had soooo much to look at. There were animatronics around every corner. It was incredible. Now, things are so quick you barely have time to look and there isn't near as much animatronic. Why is it that the simple days were more complicated? LOL!
Originally Posted by InStitches
Here's another site I found that has some good pictures of extinct Epcot attractions: