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Bob Chapek Confirms Disney Will Overhaul Epcot

mikejs78

Premium Member
pro·to·type
/ˈprōdəˌtīp/
noun

  1. 1.
    a first, typical or preliminary model of something, especially a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied.
    "the firm is testing a prototype of the weapon"




The organization of the city was the prototype. Not necessarily all aspects of it.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Or as you two talk past each other...

You can have a 'protyotype' deployment without using actual prototype products. Your first or early deployment is often considered a trial or prototype. But classically actual prototype PRODUCTS don't get used outside of direct testing by the company or it's vendors.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
When they originally built EPCOT they made some very big mistakes which have caused the changes we now see in that park. The rides lacked memorable IP and mental or physical excitement.

Horizons and World of Motion were slow moving tours that appealed to intellect only. There was very little emotional connection to the guests at least in my opinion.

Energy destroyed the thrill of experiencing dinosaurs by putting a boring movie in front and behind the real experience the guests wanted. I rode those rides dozens of times and did enjoy them but to this day I can't say I ever emotionally bonded with any part of the rides.

I did dream of living long enough to see those futures but that's about as far as I can say I went internally. Go on name any of the characters in those original rides.

The IP could have been original ideas and not as we see IP today. For instance after riding the haunted house you remember seeing Madam Leota and the Bride and the Hitchhiking ghost, The best EPCOT had was Figment and Dreamfinder.

Then there's World Showcase a mall with a "c" ride, 3 movies (2 you have to stand for) and an "E" ticket.

They have had forty years to address this and have done almost nothing. Maelstrom now Frozen, and a Three Caballeros overlay.

The things they could have done like a Matterhorn attraction or a Pinocchio or Snow White Boat ride to fill out the park with Disney tried and true IP remain unrealized.

If they would have added a dark ride to Italy and one to Germany plus a Rollercoaster in Japan or as a new country like Switzerland and a ride in England like Poppins and a log ride in Canada the time between new additions would have been an average of 8 years and the cost would have been about 70 million a year.

No one would even be complaining about changing the park today.
The mistake with the original EPCOT Center was not understanding that Disney fans expect characters. The themes probably painted them in a corner in the sense that they don't necessarily lend themselves to easy expansion with characters without diluting the theming.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Frozen is very popular. Disney knocked it out of the park with that concept.
However moving it in EPCOT wasn’t necessary... especially since you needed another ride concept at DHS to balance the park.
The thing with IP based attractions is you never know why people are lining up for them. Are they lining up because they like the movie Frozen or because it's a good ride? Recognizing those aren't the only two reasons some gets in line for a ride, I think the overall point is relevant.

Attractions tied to movies are easier to market. The decisions are largely based on the initial marketing push and not the long term "fit" or performance of the attraction. The long term concern is primarily their ability to depreciate the cost and draw crowds. The long term concern is exactly the same on a non-IP based attraction.

My objection is that aside from the initial marketing push, there's very little reason to break with the thematic integrity of an area. With Frozen, I almost understand it sadly because I'm sure the initial mandate was "what's the quickest way we can get Frozen into the parks". When you make decisions based on "the quickest way to do something" you're going to make poor decisions. When those decisions are likely going to last for 20+ years it's that much worse.
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
The mistake with the original EPCOT Center was not understanding that Disney fans expect characters. The themes probably painted them in a corner in the sense that they don't necessarily lend themselves to easy expansion with characters without diluting the theming.

Well... original EPCOT was IP driven... by the corporate sponsors. Without them, would any of those big edutainment rides have been built?

Then there was the issue of upkeep. Showcases of modern technology grow stale and outdated. The World Fairs which EPCOT was emulating takes care of that by breaking down and re-opening every five to ten years later with new sponsors and brand new attractions featuring the brand new technological edge. Did anyone planning EPCOT also plan to scrap the attractions and build new ones in their places every 10 years like World Fairs do? Did they really think those pavilions were good to go for the next 50 years?

Or did anyone think that a sponsor would want to pay the sponsorship cost for 10, 20, 50 years? Or that the sponsor would have the cash to do so? Or even continue to exist (sorry, Kodak). Or pony up for expensive refurbs and updates?

Are there sponsors beating down the doors of Disney looking to pay a hundred million dollars for an edutainment attraction so they can put their name on it? Is Apple looking to create and sponsor a Personal Tech Pavilion (one that they'd have to update every 18 months)? Is Amazon looking to create and sponsor an Economics of Trade Pavilion?

And if sponsors aren't sponsoring them... then Disney has to sponsor the attractions. And if Disney's doing the sponsoring... well, they have a product to advertise... their established IPs.
 
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twilight mitsuk

Well-Known Member
Same
Well... original EPCOT was IP driven... by the corporate sponsors. Without them, would any of those big edutainment rides have been built?

Then there was the issue of upkeep. Showcases of modern technology grow stale and outdated. The World Fairs which EPCOT was emulating takes care of that by breaking down and re-opening every five to ten years later with new sponsors and brand new attractions featuring the brand new technological edge. Did anyone planning EPCOT also plan to scrap the attractions and build new ones in their places every 10 years like World Fairs do? Did they really think those pavilions were good to go for the next 50 years?

Or did anyone think that a sponsor would want to pay the sponsorship cost for 10, 20, 50 years? Or that the sponsor would have the cash to do so? Or even continue to exist (sorry, Kodak). Or pony up for expensive refurbs and updates?

Are their sponsors beating down the doors of Disney looking to pay a hundred million dollars for an edutainment attraction so they can put their name on it? Is Apple looking to create and sponsor a Personal Tech Pavilion (one that they'd have to update every 18 months)? Is Amazon looking to create and sponsor an Economics of Trade Pavilion?

And if sponsors aren't sponsoring them... then Disney has to sponsor the attractions. And if Disney's doing the sponsoring... well, they have a product to advertise... their established IPs.
Formerly the same with cop and old Tomorrowland’s
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Is the increasing lack of sponsors due to a lack of sponsors wanting to sponsor or Disney not wanting them anymore?

The part that confuses me is.... there is no lack of people paying tens of millions just to put their name on some college level stadium and up.

I said long ago that Disney misread the problem of evolving appetite for sponsorships in the way Disney had approached Epcot with. But what is interesting is if you look at other examples in the castle parks... Disney scales it way back and doesn’t put the attraction solely on the sponsors back. Yet at Epcot, even to this day, they still lean that way heavily.
 

rle4lunch

Well-Known Member
Yet at Epcot, even to this day, they still lean that way heavily.

do you think that's because it was supposed to mimic a world expo type vibe, where every exhibit is sponsored by a corresponding industry that *could* or *is* involved in developing whatever the attraction is showcasing?
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
do you think that's because it was supposed to mimic a world expo type vibe, where every exhibit is sponsored by a corresponding industry that *could* or *is* involved in developing whatever the attraction is showcasing?

No - I think Disney just didn’t want to pay for it all themselves. Based on the idea of holding back refurbs, operating hours, etc until sponsors were secured.
 

rle4lunch

Well-Known Member
No - I think Disney just didn’t want to pay for it all themselves. Based on the idea of holding back refurbs, operating hours, etc until sponsors were secured.

it's not a dumb idea. just frustrating for the regular park visitor(s) who want and expect something fresh when they visit.
 

geekza

Well-Known Member
No - I think Disney just didn’t want to pay for it all themselves. Based on the idea of holding back refurbs, operating hours, etc until sponsors were secured.
Well, they were still going on the idea that, if you want to go overboard with spending, corporate sponsors can help fund that. Disneyland had to get corporate sponsors to be built and the MK had corporate sponsorship as well. You have to remember that EPCOT Center was, like Disneyland before it, a completely new concept. Yes, it was modeled after World's Fairs of the past, but nobody had ever built anything on this scale, especially someplace that was meant to be permanent. To the credit of the folks in charge when EPCOT Center was built, the result exceeded the expectations of nearly everyone. It was a true technological and design showplace unlike anything else on Earth. Where the problems arose is when it became apparent that, in order to remain a technological showplace, it would have to be updated on a much shorter timeline than Disneyland or the MK. The sponsors didn't see the kind of return on their investment that they had hoped, so some dropped out and had to be replaced, some who stayed demanded drastically different or even brand new attractions for their money, and some pavilions lost sponsorship altogether. When you have that kind of chaos, combined with management who were entirely different than the folks who truly believed in the park, it starts to break down.

It's a mess, now, but boy, oh, boy was it something to behold during its heyday. If you didn't experience it, it's almost impossible to convey how wonderful it was.
 

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