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The WDW Radio Show Disney Podcast Discuss The Epcot That Never Was - Your Thoughts? in the The WDW Radio Show forums; In the segment about The Epcot That Never Was, we spoke about original plans for Epcot, unrealized attractions, characters in the parks, etc. I would like to hear YOUR thoughts ...
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    Lou Mongello's Avatar
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    The Epcot That Never Was - Your Thoughts?

    In the segment about The Epcot That Never Was, we spoke about original plans for Epcot, unrealized attractions, characters in the parks, etc.

    I would like to hear YOUR thoughts - what do you think of the planned attractions/pavilions? How do you feel about characters in Epcot and specifically World Showcase (especially in light of original plans, etc.)
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    Hi all--

    Make sure to check out my two recent Lost Imagineering posts at 2719 Hyperion. You'll see some background art and descriptions for the proposed Meet the World attraction for Japan, and some blue sky concepts for a Russia pavilion. And continue to check back throughout the week for more Lost Imagineering from World Showcase.
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    "What if...."

    anyone remember those "What if...?" comics from the 80s? they always had titles like, "What if.... Wolverine was a bad guy?" or something like that. that's how I think of Walt Disney's original plan for E.P.C.O.T.

    I, personally, would love to live in the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. Unfortunately, I believe that any dream of utopia, even one as well-planned as, I'm sure, Walt Disney would have made his, is doomed to fail. I think the ultimate failure of Walt Disney's dream of a utopian society would have been infinitely more sad than the destruction of Horizons or anything people currently perceive as a tragedy or, worse yet, a betrayal of Uncle Walt's vision. I can't imagine this glittering, self-contained world, looking vaguely like something out of Logan's Run, crumbling apart at the seams, as I (ever the jaded cynic) feel it would be by this point, only twenty-some-odd years later. I think that, eventually, human nature (i.e. greed, egotism, etc.) will always conquer a dream and its dreamer, no matter how strong it is, in the end, especially if the dreamer himself is no longer with us. I think that that is why so many people resent the encroachment of Pixar onto the grounds of WDW (or the addition of Jack Sparrow to POTC, or thrill rides in Epcot, or any number of things that people are in an uproar about concerning the ever-changing landscape of Walt Disney World) , because deep-down they may see it as the almighty dollar finally creeping its way into an ideal world dominated by dreams and fantasy.

    But despite my innermost feelings that E.P.C.OT. would not work, I would have loved to give it a try and do my part to keep everything ideal and to keep Walt's dream alive, long after his demise.

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    I really wish the Africa Pavilion had been done. The space still exists of course. Maybe they'll get around to it.
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    Lou Mongello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
    I really wish the Africa Pavilion had been done. The space still exists of course. Maybe they'll get around to it.
    I think with Africa in DAK, we will likely never see the Africa pavilion as originally conceived... although and Egypt pavilion would be AWESOME!!!
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    Can you imagine what Disney could do with an Egypt pavillion!? Imagine walking through a door that is located right under a giant sphinx.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKQJ10 View Post
    I think with Africa in DAK, we will likely never see the Africa pavilion as originally conceived... although and Egypt pavilion would be AWESOME!!!
    Egypt would be a fabulous pavilion. The possibilities are endless for the great things they could do there. There could be a great King Tut exhibit not to mention the pyramids and the sphinx. The detail that could go in there would be fabulous what with all the hieroglyphics and architecture. The hidden Mickey's possibilities...

    Lou, we have got to find a way to inspire Imagineering to pursue this!!!
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    It would have been nice to have seen some more of those planned attractions materialize, especially in World Showcase. There are times when I've heard people walking around the U.K., Germany, or Italy pavilions say "Is that all there is? Where's the ride?" Things have improved, IMHO, from what the park was when it opened - at least in terms of variety. When I first visited EPCOT Center in 1984, there was Spaceship Earth (Omnimover w/animatronics), Horizons (Omnimover w/animatronics), World of Motion (Omnimover w/animatronics), Journey to Imagination (yet another Omnimover w/animatronics), the only different shows were Universe of Energy (moving theater cars with animatronics) and Living with the Land (boat ride), and the stuff in Communicore. All of it was pretty slow and educational. Enjoyable, yes. Entertaining, yes. But not a lot of changes of pace.

    World Showcase had the same lack of variety: El Rio del Tiempo (boat ride that looked an awful lot like It's a Small World), two circlevision movies (China & Canada), and Impressions de France (not quite a circlevision movie but close enough), and the incredible American Adventure (so THAT's where all the money went!). Had any of the other attractions mentioned been included - Mt. Fuji, the Rhine River ride in Germany, etc. - it would have had more variety and fewer complaints from the public (especially the younger public) that there was nothing to do.

    It has been too many years now without a new permanent country added to World Showcase. I think the Millennium Village just underscored how much more of the world there is yet to showcase. I'd love to see something from Australia, Russia, Egypt, or any other part of the world that is under-represented right now. I half-agree that with Africa being featured at Animal Kingdom, the likelihood of the Equatorial Africa pavilion being built is slim, I don't think that it necessarily should be excluded. Epcot provides a forum for countries to be shown in both historical and modern-day terms (and allows it to be updated as the year pass - the new film in China does a good job of this), where AK does a fantastic job of recreating one aspect of the region.

    Maybe someday.
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    I couldn't make it down in time for Millenium Village . . . was that something that could/should have been more permanent? Or was it like the Outpost x 15?

    Also, my poor memory recalls that Celebration was originally sold as being a descendent of Walt's vision to have a residential community be part of EPCOT. I don't think this was achieved . . . am I wrong?

    Thinking of the Food and Wine Festival, the one country that I wish could be represented is India . . . but, again, it's probably the Samosas calling!

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    EPCOT has always been my favorite park along with the MK. As an oldtimer I can still remember when EPCOT was new. I really miss the original rides/attractions. especially Horizons and World of Motion. In the beginning it really had that World's Fair feel.

    Yes,I would like to see more national pavilions and a few more rides, including moving CoP there after a much neeed update

    As for more Disney characters, I guess Disney has no choice but to bring more characters there to appeal to the younger guests and to increase attendance.

    I have mixed emotions about the updating of Spaceship Earth (thank goodness they did not put a roller coaster in there, or at least in my lifetime), but I guess it was time. I am sure Siemens with its deep pockets will make SE spectacular.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Morrows Child View Post
    I couldn't make it down in time for Millenium Village . . . was that something that could/should have been more permanent? Or was it like the Outpost x 15?

    Also, my poor memory recalls that Celebration was originally sold as being a descendent of Walt's vision to have a residential community be part of EPCOT. I don't think this was achieved . . . am I wrong?

    Thinking of the Food and Wine Festival, the one country that I wish could be represented is India . . . but, again, it's probably the Samosas calling!
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    Epcot is a very unique park. Of course it is nothing like the plan that Walt originally had. That being said, I think it is time to cut the cord and let that idea go. It is obvious that the Disney Company has. Jeff made a good point about the new Nemo ride in the Living Seas. Itís a great dark ride, but where is the education? Was it behind Bruce? Or somewhere in the EAC?
    Even though it sounds wrong, if you donít look for the educational value of everything at Epcot, you wonít miss it. However, if you finish the quote from Walt that Danny Kaye began while talking to Alex Haley, you might get an idea of what the Disney Company might be thinking:
    ď I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.Ē
    Letís make sure all are entertained and hope that some might pick up a useful fact or two.

    As for the other ideas for Epcot that did not happen. I had heard about Russia and Israel and Eq. Africa before. Hearing about the proposed rides in Japan, italy and the UK was cool. I also had always thought that the UK was a little barren entertainment wise.
    Based on the way Epcot does things I would not expect to see another pavilion for at least another 10 years if ever. I did see the land available and Egypt would be a great idea. Other countries to throw up for consideration would be Greece, Australia, India, Madagascar, and maybe even putting Russia back in the mix.
    Realistically speaking since a sponsor is needed, what country in the world has disposable income and a need for PR?
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    I really like the idea about the rollercoaster in japan, but even if it was made theres no way i could ride it as im afraid of hights.

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    I thought that the segment was very good and very interesting. Thank you for running it.

    It's really too bad that corporate problems prevented some of the attractions/pavilions from being built. I sure hope that they are able to add some attractions and pavilions at some point.
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    Without question, for me, Epcot evokes more memories and emotion than any in WDW. My family was there about 3 days after it's opening in October of 1982 and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I recall being more excited to see the "big golf ball" than I was to see Cinderella's Castle. All of the things about Epcot were, at the time, so revolutionary and to an 8 year old kid - just amazing and wonderful. I often find myself waxing poetic on messgae boards across the Disney Internet galaxy on how I remember going on the World of Motion and Spaceship Earth late into the evening even though my parents knew my brother and I would fall asleep before the end and how, even though we missed the finale, we wanted to ride it "one more time". I remember being enthralled by the thought of seeing dinosaurs that were as close to life-like as you could imagine and being even more amazed when we were actually face-to-face with them. I remember being interested, too by World Showcase and it's ability to transport you out of Central Florida and into Japan or Paris. I remember all of these things with immense fondness and joy.

    As for the Epcot "that never was" when it opened - I wouldn't have changed a thing.

    As for the future of this park - and I can't say it enough - staying ahead of the curve is key! While this may sound like the obvious answer it is not always as easy as it may seem. Mission:Space was being discussed for,litteraly, years before it came to fruition. While Soarin' (which is my favorite attraction in all of WDW) is amazing, it's nothing we haven't seen before, for the most part. And while adding things like the Gran Fiesta Tour and Nemo and Friends is great and enhances the overall appeal of the park - it does nothing to set it apart. I think Lou said it best in this past week's show when he mentioned that it would have been great to have a "gate-buster" coaster in Japan to almost force people all the way around the other side of World Showcase. I can't imagine Disney not assessing Epcot's need for a higher-profile attraction now that they have accomplished what they have in MGM with TOT and RnRC and in AK with E:E. The need is there, the space is obviously there and, in my opinion, the demand would be there - especially in World Showcase. Imagine being able to experience more than just a stroll through any of these beautiful countries and really being able to have a full-on "experience" like a Rhine River Cruise or riding a bullet-train coaster or riding a magic carpet in Morrocco. Or to have the option to visit other coutries like Greece and see the legendary Colossus of Rhodes or even Australia and visit the outback or Sydey Harbor (now there's the tie-in for Nemo!) The options are, quite litterally, endless!

    This is what is so great about WDW and it's ability to capture our imaginations - because no matter what our opinions or thoughts are - we know that at some point something great will come our way and when that day arrives it will all (hopefully) make sense.
    Last edited by EpcotNut; 04-20-2007 at 09:05 AM.

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