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WDW Theme Parks Discuss What to do with Future World? in the Vacation Planning forums; This is something that one of my very good friends and I talk about all the time, and I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion with more ...
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    MedTG's Avatar
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    What to do with Future World?

    This is something that one of my very good friends and I talk about all the time, and I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion with more fellow Disney lovers. As many people do, I often find myself lamenting the Future World of my youth. A time when Wonders of Life was thriving, the dreamfinder reigned supreme, Horizons showed me the future, and food rocked.

    I am not saying Future World now is awful, but I feel like the old future world had a very cohesiveness to it. All of the attractions had this great "edutainment" feel and it seemed like they had a symbiotic relationship. Not to mention the post attracion areas were amazing. I feel like Future World is this jumbled mix of attractions that do not really work well together, at the moment. Sure, Mission Space, The Seas with Nemo, and Soarin' are all awesome, but I do not really feel that they really fit with the story of Future World. Although who is to say what the story of Future World really is anymore. In any case, I really feel like Future World needs some work.

    Do you guys feel the same way? What do you think would make Future World better? Or, do you think Future World is good as is and doesn't need anything to change? I am excited to hear your thoughts!

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    This is a discussion often had among folks who grew up with EPCOT Center. In fact just yesterday I was reading a blog about this exact topic.

    I am one of those children of EPCOT. My most clear and fondest memories of trips to WDW in the 80s include visions of the World of Motion, Horizons, Imagination, the Hydrolators at the Living Seas, Tomorrow's Child on Spaceship Earth and the awesome Radik preshow of the Universe of Energy. At a young age I'd chose EPCOT over a trip to the Magic Kingdom any day. I could ride every ride in Future World over and over again and never get bored. I soaked up every bit of the visions of the future I was given and learned so much of the past.

    The changes that Future World has gone through over the years are the result in a cultural shift. When we were young, people went to places like EPCOT for the experience of it. Today folks want "more bang for their buck" in the sense that the more they can fit into a day, the better. It's not bad or wrong, it's just a different way of vacationing. Most families these days don't want to spend 30 minutes on a single attraction that simply moves them through scenes like say Horizons or Imagination, especially not after waiting at least that long in a line to get to that point. It's just a different world.

    It's hard to put a finger on specifically what has changed. Is it today's children or today's parents or maybe a mix of both? It's not a "blame" thing but I suppose a curiosity thing. For example, my 6-year old son absolutely loves Future World and every attraction in it. Some of his favorites are Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land and the Universe of Energy (attractions that in the grand scheme of things differ only in presentation). I am fairly sure that if I could go back in time, he'd be absolutely fascinated with Horizons. I don't know that he's different from any other kid out there so my only conclusion is it's because of my childhood at EPCOT and my personal fascination with the attractions "wearing off" on him. Sure, in another 6 years or so I'm sure he'll be bored silly but I can't help but think that when he's my age he'll be posting in threads like this looking back on his love of the version of Epcot he remembers.

    So, I've done a whole lot of babbling here to lead to the bottom line: Can Future World be improved? Absolutely! First step... less clutter! Go back and look through photos from the 80's and compare them to today and that's one of the first things you'll see. Beyond that, some attractions and pavilions are in need of some updates (i.e. Energy - Jeopardy isn't even on so kids don't get that at all)... BUT...

    Here's my thinking... the reason those of us who grew up in the 80s are largely displeased with today's Future World is because it's so much different from what we remember and loved. Today's children are growing up with THIS version of it though and many love it as it is today as well. In other words, every generation is going to look back on what they remember as the "good ol' days" and long for them to return but that definition of the "good ol' days" subsequently changes with each generation too. Sometimes going backwards isn't a good thing. A perfect example being the 3D theater at Imagination. Sure many of us remembered fondly Captain EO and his ragtag crew and many, like me, were SO thrilled that it came back... but y'know what? My son just doesn't get it. He loved HISTA so in his eyes we took away something he remembered fondly just like how I felt when they replaced EO with HISTA to begin with (I hated it and it was probably more because I wanted EO back).

    It's the circle of life... in Epcot attraction form. Keep updating... keep moving forward (as Walt said)... and it will all work out in the end!
    Last edited by BamaJenn; 05-04-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    No easy answers here. The long and short of it seems to be that the American Society at large is very "NOW" centered, we want it, NOW, make it faster, make it more spectacular.

    But keeping ti changed up helps keep it interesting. Think of all the attractions we all love, that get very little attention. TTA, is one of my favorites, adn DD loves it as well. We can normally walk on, be nearly alone on the trolley, and got three or four rounds without ever getting off. BUT, it's emptiness indicates that not everyone loves it like I do. Same with several beloved attractions-I have loved many since DL when I was tiny and we went several times a year. But at WDW they just are not "hot" they are filler. And attractions I find rather lame, are super hot.

    But faster, more interactive, better hands on and more personal interaction appears to be what guests are looking for. SO maybe, the pavilion isn't as grand as it was before computers and internet brought all information into our homes, but it is manageable to keep folks moving, interested and returning-even if only to entertain the younger kids as we long for the "other days".

    Bottom line, in our increasingly instant society, even WDW has a hard time holding the interest of most humans for longer than it takes to flip on the ipad. But as long as i can walk around gorgeous grounds, have a seat on Soarin and eat at Crystal palace once per trip, i am all good.

    Can't wait to read other responses.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    That is a very good point. Attention spans are definitely getting shorter and shorter. Even though I do miss the old attractions, and two of my favorites to this day are the TTA and Living With The Land, but I feel like the overall feel is what bothers me. It would just be nice if there was a more concerted effort to keep that vision that Future World once had. Perhaps someday it will.

    I do think Future World does need some work though. The Imagination Pavilion has nothing popular in it. As BamaJenn mentioned, Universe of Energy is quite outdated. I love Jeopardy, Ellen, and Bill Nye but none of them are culturally relevant anymore. Ellen does have her daytime talk show, but I would not call that broad appeal amongst all age groups. Even though it is fairly popular, it makes me sad that the best use they can come up with for The Seas pavilion is a Nemo themed ride. Above all it is sad that the Wonders of Life Pavilion sits empty.

    It seems like there is something they could do with those spaces. I feel like they could still put in attractions that are made for this generation but still working well together to encapsulate that spirit of Future World. It would be no easy task though. Maybe we could just get the Jeremy Irons Spaceship Earth narration back, along with the old scenes at the end of the ride.

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    I am sad to say that I also feel that Future World has been slowly going down hill. I am a child of the 90's (I missed the 80's by 1 month). I love Future World, don't get me wrong, but World Showcase is where my family and I seem to spend majority of our time. Spaceship Earth is great (even if I do miss the Jeremy Irons narration), Test Track was fun (it does need this new refurb, but I'm skeptical of the tron feel), I like Universe of Energy (but it is getting outdated), and Living with the Land is still nice.


    When Mission:Space opened, we were excited, but then we rode it and now we don't come near it. It does not impress us. We ride Soarin' but I am personally tired of it. The Imagination ride is just terrible now. The Nemo ride is cute but we only ride it when we just need something to do in that area. And I'm sure Captain EO wont last much longer.

    I just feel like Future World is disconnected. Is it just me or are the attractions spaced really far apart? From what I have read and what I have been told by my parents, I would have really liked Horizons. I have pictures from when they were tearing the Horizons building down but I cannot remember riding it. I wish Epcot was like it was in the 80's because it sounds like it was everything Walt wanted. It was more educational and interesting. I hope after the Fantasyland expansion they work on Future World!
    Love, Kerri

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    I think Bama Jenn got it right.

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    What to do with Future World? HelI, I say implode it and just start over. Too much is in need of repair/updating/replacement at this point.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Quote Originally Posted by NC_WDW_Daddy View Post
    I think Bama Jenn got it right.
    Every now and then I do... though sadly I'll admit it's more often when discussing this exact topic than anything.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperStarKerri View Post
    From what I have read and what I have been told by my parents, I would have really liked Horizons.
    I wish Epcot was like it was in the 80's because it sounds like it was everything Walt wanted. It was more educational and interesting. I
    The last sentence there tells me the first one is absolutely true.
    Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperStarKerri View Post
    I wish Epcot was like it was in the 80's because it sounds like it was everything Walt wanted. It was more educational and interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by BamaJenn View Post
    The last sentence there tells me the first one is absolutely true.
    That's actually not true. Either of you. It's not what Walt wanted at all. Walt wasn't concerned about education when it came to Epcot (I think his Imagineers set him straight when he tried to overdo the education at Disneyland and they had to start pulling him back), nor was he concerned about building a second amusement park. He wanted EPCOT to be a city. Horizons and World of Motion were not on Walt's agenda.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Either way I'd be willing to bet he'd have been very happy with the original EPCOT Center.

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Future World is dangerously close to just needing to be leveled and started fresh. Not physically leveled but completely new attraction save for SSE, but that does need a new update.
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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    They just updated it. They need to finish it.

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo Noyz View Post
    Either way I'd be willing to bet he'd have been very happy with the original EPCOT Center.
    Here here!
    Love, Kerri

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    Re: What to do with Future World?

    Quote Originally Posted by supernova View Post
    What to do with Future World? HelI, I say implode it and just start over. Too much is in need of repair/updating/replacement at this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by WDW4Ever View Post
    Future World is dangerously close to just needing to be leveled and started fresh. Not physically leveled but completely new attraction save for SSE, but that does need a new update.
    Great minds...
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