One of the weirdest parts of Disney‘s massive acquisition of 20th Century Fox is realizing that 30+ years of The Simpsons parodying Disney will soon be available to stream 24/7 on Disney +. While most fondly remember season 4’s “Itchy and Scratchy Land” take on Disneyland, many seem to forget Season 14’s “Special Edna,” which found The Simpsons traveling to their most boring vacation yet, “Efcot Center”!
The conceit of the episode has Bart nominating his teacher Ms. Krabappel, for the teacher of the year award. Which occurs after taking pity on her relationship with Principle Skinner, where every chance of romance is interrupted by his unwavering devotion to his needy mom. The thrill of the episode for Disney fans comes with the latter half of the story taking place at “Efcot Center” where the award show is being held. On a side note, There was in fact an awards show for teachers that happened at Disney’s Epcot.
“Special Edna” features a bevy of gags and references making fun of all the sights and sounds at Epcot. Here are a few with some in-depth analysis.
- Homer and Marge enjoy a meal in France where they dine on authentic French cuisine including “le pizza and seigneur grilled cheese.”
- Guests get soaked in slime at “Honey I Squirted Goo on the Audience” (a reference to Future World’s Honey I Shrunk the Audience).
- Spaceship Earth is referred to as “The Future Sphere.” As Lisa puts it, “It’s what people in 1965 imagined what life would be like in 1987.” As another insider Disney reference, the ride is revealed to be sponsored by Eastern Airlines, which was one of the initial sponsors of Walt Disney World. Eastern Airlines may be best known for sponsoring the attraction “If You Had Wings,” which was unique for being one of the few free rides at the Magic Kingdom (back in the days of ticket books). Eastern Airlines was also already long gone at the release of this episode.
- Another attraction “The Electric Car of the Future” takes an aim at the corporate bias of Epcot pavilions, as this ride is sponsored by the gasoline producers of America and shows the electric car as being slow and lame. Similar to how the Universe of Energy was also sponsored by ExxonMobil, an oil company.
- “The Home of Tomorrow” facade is shown briefly before cutting inside, is inspired by the Disneyland Tomorrowland exhibit Monsanto’s House of the Future.
- The end of “Special Edna” has Homer escaping into the Magic Kingdom and being charged $14 for a churro.
Did you enjoy my breakdown of The Simpsons parody of Epcot? Let me know in the comments if you would like more analysis of the many Walt Disney World parodies offered up by Fox’s animated comedies. If you look closely, you may be able to see another show in the distance…
To learn more about Zack Kaplan and read his other posts on the WDW Radio Blog, visit his author page.
(Images © 20th Century Fox/The Walt Disney Company.)