News Big changes coming to EPCOT's Future World?

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
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One that tries to keep the basics of the original, while also staying fresh and appealing to today’s audience which, keep in mind, is nothing like the 80s. Simply saying “IP bad” or “the park is ruined because they replaced a decrepit building with a much more modern and aesthetically pleasing one but it has alcohol so it’s bad” is not a very good argument in my eyes. Of course I never experienced the original park, but that also means I’m not blinded by nostalgia.
That’s not really an answer. What ideas are being retained? What is being discarded? What is new or unique?

In a themed environment the buildings are more than just their base aesthetic. They shape and define space in a relationship with one another. How does the “Egg” relate to and define a spatial and thematic relationship with the Imagination Pavilion, CommuniCore East and Spaceship Earth?
 

adimond

Member
Symmetry is one of the fundamental considerations of aesthetics. I seem to recall Epcot's spine was inspired by the embracing "arms" of the Vatican in St. Peter's Square. Why not compromise and build an all-glass building with the see-through Apple store look and a rooftop bar or whatever, but keep it in that same curved footprint?
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
they replaced a decrepit building with a much more modern and aesthetically pleasing one but it has alcohol so it’s bad” is not a very good argument in my eyes.
It goes much deeper than that.

West was decrepit because of the fault of the company.

The entire building could be beautiful again with some relatively cheap and sensible design and execution

The entire building could be put to good use again, and that’s not saying put museum pieces in it.

Ripping it out destroys the symmetry of the front of the park

The bar on legs isn’t needed given the choice in the rest of the park.

The bar on legs budget could be spent far better elsewhere in the park in areas that really need it.


None of that is nostalgia. In a nutshell.
 

Horizons1

Well-Known Member
While the IP push isn't going to abate, keep in mind there were/are some non-IP elements of 'new EPCOT'...
  • Entrance re-do
  • Beer park of the sky
  • Space 220 (just a few winky cameos, AFAIK)
  • the dream tree, whatever that was
  • it's unknown AFAIK if the new merch store and/or restaurant will have an overarching IP theme
  • the new film in The Land (a stunning reversal in *removing* IP)
  • the new film in Canada
  • is the Walt statue in dreamer's point considered IP?
  • the new Spaceship Earth probably featured Disney storytelling in the history of storytelling, but it wasn't going to become an IP-ride
Entrance re-do will be filled with character topiaries all year round, not just for FG.

Beer park of the sky may not have IP but it has no purpose either. It’s just...there. It kills the aesthetic of the area. No I’m sorry. It murders the area.

Space 220 is a nice touch. This works.

Why a dream tree? Why are we pushing “magic” in the discovery park?

Like you said the new store it TBD, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

My jaw hit the floor when that happened. But you are correct about the new film in The Land. Someone high up must really love that pavilion because it’s pretty much IP free... and it is wonderful.

New film in Canada is great. Let’s keep that trend.

The Walt statue...why? I love the story behind EPCOT with its origins as a city and WDW exists because of it, but I don’t get the point of this one. At least not in the form Disney has shown in concept art. Maybe something else that highlights Walt designing EPCOT, that I wouldn’t be opposed to.

Disney was going to murder Spaceship Earth with its “storytelling light”. I really don’t have faith in Disney to do a true EPCOT update to Spaceship Earth.
 

Horizons1

Well-Known Member
I don’t need personal experience to have a practical and realistic mindset. With everything we have in today’s world, it would be much too difficult and impractical (not to mention expensive) to try and have the types of pavilions like the original park had. The kind of money and amount of times they would have to update them is just nonsensical from a business perspective. Argue all you want, but it just wouldn’t work.
Oh, I will. It’s a mindset like that which creates a toxic environment for the existence of a park like EPCOT. A park like this would require real commitment to uphold its mission. It’s easy to say it wouldn’t work because it would too expensive. I disagree. With the technology we have today we could make a bigger, better, and broader EPCOT. One that builds upon the already solid foundation of what was there before. Pavilions could offer more, be updated more, be broader in scope and topic, have more options for entertainment and interactivity. Today’s technology could propel EPCOT into the future leaving a solid impression on both the young and old. So yes, I will argue with you on this all day long. I’m also sorry you never got to experience the park first-hand. It was, and still could be, amazing.
 

DreamfinderGuy

Well-Known Member
I know this will never happen but I would love to see Horizons brought back on the SW plot. Probably a different type of building but similar ride experience.
As someone who would give an arm and a leg to be able to ride Horizons, I have to say I hate that idea. I can't think of a single way that would work in that plot.
 

Rich Brownn

Well-Known Member
I've never heard about a pavilion for Lebanon. By chance did you get a photo?
Alas, no. But it was in the future listings (complete with logo) in the old annual reports too. Someone stole all of mine though. One of the ones Disney is probably glad never got started (like the Iran pavilion)
 

Rich Brownn

Well-Known Member
The problem with the current redo of EPCOT isn't that it's not a 1982 version. Its the mindset. In 1982 the company went all-out, almost insane in design/building. Things never tried before. Ride systems that were unique. Pavilllions with high concepts. Rides that were lengths rarely found outside of Pirates of the Caribbean (DL version). Everywhere you turned was stuff that was unique and couldn't be found anywhere else, even in a Disney park. As someone pointed out, we're basically getting Magic Kingdom 2.0 now.
 

CaptainTeo

Member
One that tries to keep the basics of the original, while also staying fresh and appealing to today’s audience which, keep in mind, is nothing like the 80s. Simply saying “IP bad” or “the park is ruined because they replaced a decrepit building with a much more modern and aesthetically pleasing one but it has alcohol so it’s bad” is not a very good argument in my eyes. Of course I never experienced the original park, but that also means I’m not blinded by nostalgia.
I tried to get on board with the IP thing, but the problem is that they're sticking in IP at the expense of the educational aspect. Maelstrom was about the culture and folklore of Norway, whereas Frozen is just a random collection of scenes from the film (I finally got to see it for myself in January, and... I don't think that I'll bother again). The Living Seas (while I admit that the ride itself wasn't quite the main attraction of The Seas and could have done more to be interesting) was about seeing live sea life and how they're conserved and cared for in captivity, whereas Nemo & Friends actively hides that to show you popular scenes from the film. El Rio del Tiempo had a somewhat better fate, but Grand Fiesta Tour still downplays the aspect of showing off Mexico's culture more than I'd have liked (and suffers even more from being made during Disney's weird peekaboo "where is [titular character]?" phase).

My point is that all of these attractions that have been replaced by IP attractions definitely did need some updates and probably some reimagining in general, and, while the things that they got replaced with aren't amazing, I would have been alright with them if they weren't in EPCOT. None of the replacements actually addressed the problems that the rides were showing in the first place, and it's left EPCOT without any kind of theme whatsoever, particularly not the one that it started with that was educational while still being fun and hopeful for the future.

It also shows a broader problem across the Disney World parks - what I loved about it was that every park offered a vastly different experience, and gave me a specific reason to go to each one. Magic Kingdom had popcorn-length and very Disney-esque rides about fantastical things, EPCOT had a series of long dark rides made to educate you about a particular subject, MGM Studios had a bunch of tours and rides showing off the history of film and how it was currently made, and Animal Kingdom had actual live animal exhibits and areas realistically themed around different parts of the world. Now I feel like I can just go to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and get the full experience.

I do understand that the entire concept of EPCOT was very risky in general, and the sponsored pavilions model probably won't hold up, today, but I feel very strongly that there are ways to still keep to that theme today, and that giving up on it and defaulting to a cynical parade of "look at how great Disney is" isn't the answer. I won't get too much into it, but, to me, it just highlights a depressing problem with the shift in cultural attitudes over the last few decades.

(and I will entirely admit that I just really love dark rides and have always been a massive nerd, so there was never a more perfect park for me than EPCOT. There's nothing else in the world like it.)

I do apologise if I come across as depressing and cynical so much. This is just a subject that I feel very strongly about, and it's been eating at me, recently.
 

Theme vision 1955

Well-Known Member
I tried to get on board with the IP thing, but the problem is that they're sticking in IP at the expense of the educational aspect. Maelstrom was about the culture and folklore of Norway, whereas Frozen is just a random collection of scenes from the film (I finally got to see it for myself in January, and... I don't think that I'll bother again). The Living Seas (while I admit that the ride itself wasn't quite the main attraction of The Seas and could have done more to be interesting) was about seeing live sea life and how they're conserved and cared for in captivity, whereas Nemo & Friends actively hides that to show you popular scenes from the film. El Rio del Tiempo had a somewhat better fate, but Grand Fiesta Tour still downplays the aspect of showing off Mexico's culture more than I'd have liked (and suffers even more from being made during Disney's weird peekaboo "where is [titular character]?" phase).

My point is that all of these attractions that have been replaced by IP attractions definitely did need some updates and probably some reimagining in general, and, while the things that they got replaced with aren't amazing, I would have been alright with them if they weren't in EPCOT. None of the replacements actually addressed the problems that the rides were showing in the first place, and it's left EPCOT without any kind of theme whatsoever, particularly not the one that it started with that was educational while still being fun and hopeful for the future.

It also shows a broader problem across the Disney World parks - what I loved about it was that every park offered a vastly different experience, and gave me a specific reason to go to each one. Magic Kingdom had popcorn-length and very Disney-esque rides about fantastical things, EPCOT had a series of long dark rides made to educate you about a particular subject, MGM Studios had a bunch of tours and rides showing off the history of film and how it was currently made, and Animal Kingdom had actual live animal exhibits and areas realistically themed around different parts of the world. Now I feel like I can just go to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and get the full experience.

I do understand that the entire concept of EPCOT was very risky in general, and the sponsored pavilions model probably won't hold up, today, but I feel very strongly that there are ways to still keep to that theme today, and that giving up on it and defaulting to a cynical parade of "look at how great Disney is" isn't the answer. I won't get too much into it, but, to me, it just highlights a depressing problem with the shift in cultural attitudes over the last few decades.

(and I will entirely admit that I just really love dark rides and have always been a massive nerd, so there was never a more perfect park for me than EPCOT. There's nothing else in the world like it.)

I do apologise if I come across as depressing and cynical so much. This is just a subject that I feel very strongly about, and it's been eating at me, recently.
I completely agree with everything you said. I agree that Epcot should’ve at least maintained the aspect of edutainment, since that was essentially the most important aspect of the park originally. Now, there were things at Epcot that would’ve become dated, most of it coming from future world. There were things that could’ve been easily updated by investing in new animatronics and effects. That’s something that applies to maelstrom, El Rio Del Tiempo, etc... Maybe not so much to horizons or energy though, since despite them being amazing attractions, unfortunately dated themselves, although it would’ve been nicer to see something better than the previous attraction go in the place of those two. I’m sure gotg will be impressive in terms of effects, but it should’ve gone into hollywood studios. Anyways back to the point, things in the world showcase could’ve become timeless attractions with updated effects over the years, same thing with imagination V1. Epcot without the edutainment aspect, and instead unoriginal lazy concepts, isn’t Epcot. It’s just MK next door...
 

rwinger24

Member
In the Parks
No
As they failed to update the monorails by replacing them. And failed to give us a Figment update.

Somehow they have been stingy in how they decided to update/renovate the parks.

Figment ended up on the chopping block for the sake of trendy IP like Frozen Ever After. And giving us IP no one wants at Epcot.

The outdated 2002 aesthetics need to be gone in place of Pandora/Galaxy’s Edge standards.
 

rwinger24

Member
In the Parks
No
The EPCOT overhaul will just end up half-baked and awful.

I would not want to go to EPCOT and see something just awful. Until Disney makes up that money, I will never visit until I see some well-worthy updates.

Not anything that screams Journey into YOUR Imagination or any piece of lackluster Eisner-era failures like Primeval Whirl.
 
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