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Bob Chapek Confirms Disney Will Overhaul Epcot

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
S.E.A just doesn't belong in EPCOT... It is the wrong note. Wrong theme, wrong feel. The only steampunk character in EPCOT should be Dreamfinder...and beyond that we don't need a fictional character to introduce us to The Land or Energy or Space...or The Seas for that matter... How long before Test Track needs Tow Mater as it's host? A new generation of SEA would seem even more truncated on the back story and appeal to even less people.
Why does SEA mean steampunk?
 

britain

Well-Known Member
SEA can almost serve as backstory. For the average guest, it's basically just going to be "Okay, this engineer woman introduces us to Test Track. And this eccentric farmer guy introduces you to The Land." But by tying the foundation into a well-defined story, that helps inoculate against future abuses (either of the corporate sponsor kind, or of the IP tying kind).

Disney hasn't been perfect at it (see McDonalds in Frontierland or Frozen in Norway) but it gives an extra line of defense that plain ol' Future World didn't have, and now we have Nemo and the threat of GotG.
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
SEA can almost serve as backstory. For the average guest, it's basically just going to be "Okay, this engineer woman introduces us to Test Track. And this eccentric farmer guy introduces you to The Land." But by tying the foundation into a well-defined story, that helps inoculate against future abuses (either of the corporate sponsor kind, or of the IP tying kind).

Disney hasn't been perfect at it (see McDonalds in Frontierland or Frozen in Norway) but it gives an extra line of defense that plain ol' Future World didn't have, and now we have Nemo and the threat of GotG.
I guess I was afraid of yet another contrived story for Futureworld... Like Nemo in the Seas or GOTG... I would rather have one complete story not dependent on Super Hero franchises or thew lates Disney cartoon...
 

Rodan75

Well-Known Member
I guess I was afraid of yet another contrived story for Futureworld... Like Nemo in the Seas or GOTG... I would rather have one complete story not dependent on Super Hero franchises or thew lates Disney cartoon...

I think that is a good fear...I'm sure they would stretch Nemo into being an Adventurer and Star-Lord an Explorer. They can use SEA as a gateway to bring in new IP as well as creating new IP that could find its way onto DC, DXD and Marvel Comics. Honestly, it could be both the bane and the boon of Epcot's future. From a business perspective, I kinda think it is brilliant...but I totally see the dark side of this.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
you know, you are right, it probably doesn't imply Steampunk, but more like a 19th Century secret society....which doesn't jive well with the "Future World" concept... Unless Future World is completely and irrevocably changed into something quite completely different.
I think it can be used to celebrate past, present and future explorers. However, you're right the implication is that it celebrates the past more than the present or future.

The problem with a Future World concept isn't going away though. The future is ever evolving. What they need to do is look at the history of various things as they currently do in Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land and as they did in World of Motion and Horizons. It's why the Discovery theme makes more sense.
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
I think it can be used to celebrate past, present and future explorers. However, you're right the implication is that it celebrates the past more than the present or future.

The problem with a Future World concept isn't going away though. The future is ever evolving. What they need to do is look at the history of various things as they currently do in Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land and as they did in World of Motion and Horizons. It's why the Discovery theme makes more sense.
that...or just UPDATE THE FREAKING ATTRACTIONS TO KEEP THEM RELEVANT! All of the attractions that have gone away could have been saved with a meaningful well thought out update... and that is the nature of both theme parks and The Future... you need to update to keep things relevant...
 

the.dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Just a quick follow up to my posts earlier in the week. Walt Disney World's greatest competitive asset is having four distinct THEME parks. UNI's model can be best described as a multiplex, not just the number of screen based attractions but how IP is very plug n' play. Dropping IP where it doesn't belong in Epcot (Guardians, Nemo, Frozen, Ratatouille, Etc) or Animal Kingdom, (Zootopia) weakens the distinctions between the parks. For the public, these distinguishing factors help set WDW's parks apart from one another as opposed to UNI Park No1 or UNI Park No2 or the upcoming UNI Park No3. Throwing away a competitive advantage like that would be like shutting down Disney's Magical Express as a for instance.
 
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Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
Mr. Chapek, I'd like to present to you a picture that I think captures very well what "Disney" means to me.

CzOQsy7WEAA50ym.jpg


This is a photo of the recently refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Paris. A wonderful E-Ticket experience that 25 years after debuting in France (and 37 after the original in California) people still line up for by the thounsdands every day of the year. Inside the mountain there are no princesses, no appearence by Mickey Mouse, or Darth Vader or Iron Man. There is no gift shop at the end where guests can buy plush toys of the characters who live amongst its peaks, or a DVD of the movie on which the ride is based (of which there is none). The ride has no loop, no flips, no launch and never goes beyond about 40mph.

But guests, and their children, and their children's children, still come back time and again to experience the ride, because it offers them the kind of adventure they can't get anywhere else. Westworld is only a TV show, but that kind of immersive themed experience exists in real life right now at your parks because a team of artists and construction workers had a confident management team that was willing to trust them to bring their ideas to life (often with smaller budgets and shorter construction time frames). Thanks to them, Disney theme parks have developed their own brand of excitement that generations of tourists have come to see.

Epcot is no different. As with all ideas, it presents designers with a blank canvas to explore opportunities to build new ideas and expand upon old ones in ways previous technology could not do before. The broad concepts for the pavilions (Imagination, Life, Engergy etc) and the vast number of ethnic cultures on this earth present hundreds of chances to turn abstract thoughts into tangible attractions for visitors to discover, talk about, and yes, pay for. No intellectual property rights required.

Epcot may not be at its strongest, but it still has the potential to make Big Thunder Mountain look like a mole hill in comparison. The rough outlines and massive supporting infrastructure still exist to uphold new takes on what lived there before. Efficient ride systems, good food, quality merchandise and hard working employees never go out of date. If you give them something to brag about, they'll all work to help sell you a theme park that puts the others that fill central Florida to shame. That's what "Disney" is all about Mr Chapek. I'm sure Walt would agree.

Photo credit: InsideDLParis
 

RoysCabin

Well-Known Member
Just a quick follow up to my posts earlier in the week. Walt Disney World's greatest competitive asset is having four distinct THEME parks. UNI's model can be best described as a multiplex, not just the number of screen based attractions but how IP is very plug n' play. Dropping IP where it doesn't belong in Epcot (Guardians, Nemo, Frozen, Ratatouille, Etc) or Animal Kingdom, (Zootopia) weakens the distinctions between the parks. For the public, these distinguishing factors help set WDW's parks apart from one another as opposed to UNI Park No1 or UNI Park No2 or the upcoming UNI Park No3. Throwing away a competitive advantage like that would be like shutting down Disney's Magical Express as a for instance.

This has been brought up before, but that's an excellent new way of putting it, "plug and play". I have no qualms with what Universal does, I've visited there a couple of times and would happily go again (especially once their Nintendo attractions are ready), but it's a park that was built with IPs at its very foundation, while the Disney theme parks simply weren't, for the most part. Of course all Disney parks have integrated IPs, but not as the identifying, core concept of what they were going for, relying instead on larger overarching themes and largely driven by original ride and show concepts (Fantasyland excluded, of course, and some of the original MGM Studios).

Disney has been playing "follow the leader" too much of late in Orlando...which is funny since Disney technically still IS the leader in terms of overall popularity, but Universal clearly has more buzz around it. This seems like risk mitigation, see what's popular elsewhere and try to provide some version of it yourself, but in the long haul it's a losing proposition, as it involves selling out what made Disney the most popular destination in the first place and invites inevitable "Universal did it first/did it better!" comparisons.

@Animaniac93-98, excellent point about Big Thunder not having a gift shop at the end, even in Florida. I hadn't thought about that in a long time, and in an era where I can't exit Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Imagination, or any number of other attractions without being dumped directly into a gift shop, I think that makes it a big reason I still appreciate the ol' runaway train so much. At least Splash Mountain and Haunted Mansion let you easily dodge their gift shops if you don't feel like dealing with them.
 

ford91exploder

Resident Curmudgeon
Mr. Chapek, I'd like to present to you a picture that I think captures very well what "Disney" means to me.

CzOQsy7WEAA50ym.jpg


This is a photo of the recently refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Paris. A wonderful E-Ticket experience that 25 years after debuting in France (and 37 after the original in California) people still line up for by the thounsdands every day of the year. Inside the mountain there are no princesses, no appearence by Mickey Mouse, or Darth Vader or Iron Man. There is no gift shop at the end where guests can buy plush toys of the characters who live amongst its peaks, or a DVD of the movie on which the ride is based (of which there is none). The ride has no loop, no flips, no launch and never goes beyond about 40mph.

But guests, and their children, and their children's children, still come back time and again to experience the ride, because it offers them the kind of adventure they can't get anywhere else. Westworld is only a TV show, but that kind of immersive themed experience exists in real life right now at your parks because a team of artists and construction workers had a confident management team that was willing to trust them to bring their ideas to life (often with smaller budgets and shorter construction time frames). Thanks to them, Disney theme parks have developed their own brand of excitement that generations of tourists have come to see.

Epcot is no different. As with all ideas, it presents designers with a blank canvas to explore opportunities to build new ideas and expand upon old ones in ways previous technology could not do before. The broad concepts for the pavilions (Imagination, Life, Engergy etc) and the vast number of ethnic cultures on this earth present hundreds of chances to turn abstract thoughts into tangible attractions for visitors to discover, talk about, and yes, pay for. No intellectual property rights required.

Epcot may not be at its strongest, but it still has the potential to make Big Thunder Mountain look like a mole hill in comparison. The rough outlines and massive supporting infrastructure still exist to uphold new takes on what lived there before. Efficient ride systems, good food, quality merchandise and hard working employees never go out of date. If you give them something to brag about, they'll all work to help sell you a theme park that puts the others that fill central Florida to shame. That's what "Disney" is all about Mr Chapek. I'm sure Walt would agree.

Photo credit: InsideDLParis

Exactly, It's EXPERIENCES like this which made Disney, well Disney not the hot IP of the week which when DL was built would have been 'Davy Crockett' Yes Disney built a 'Frontierland' and sold coonskin caps but they did not create 'Crockett Land' as the current inhabitants of Burbank and Celebration Place would have.

Disney created a PLACE where 'Davy Crockett' could exist yet many other frontier experiences could also exist.
 

The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
@Animaniac93-98, excellent point about Big Thunder not having a gift shop at the end, even in Florida. I hadn't thought about that in a long time, and in an era where I can't exit Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Imagination, or any number of other attractions without being dumped directly into a gift shop, I think that makes it a big reason I still appreciate the ol' runaway train so much.
DLP is a time machine to a better Disney age. Hardly any ride exits into a gift shop (gift shop dumping is very recent). One could think himself in 1992, when the guest was respected and treated with dignity, rather than treated as a simpering ATM oaf to be taken for a ride by permanent, aggressive barkering.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure what Disney you are remembering. I was there in WDW in 1983 and the majority of rides emptied out into gift shops. There are actually less now they there used to be in the relation to the number of attractions. Disney has never passed on the opportunity to take more money from it's "guests". Not a new concept.
 

marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
I'm not sure what Disney you are remembering. I was there in WDW in 1983 and the majority of rides emptied out into gift shops. There are actually less now they there used to be in the relation to the number of attractions. Disney has never passed on the opportunity to take more money from it's "guests". Not a new concept.
Hmmmm....

Pirates didn't (the stores were off to the side)
Space Mountain didn't
Toad didn't
World of Motion didn't (TransCenter had no Merchendise)
Imagination didn't (there was a small area of racked plush and shirts to one side of the atrium)
The Living Seas never did
Tower of Terror didn't
Endor Vendors was far smaller and had a defined exit pathway through the middle

Am I forgetting any?
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
Hmmmm....

Pirates didn't (the stores were off to the side)
Space Mountain didn't
Toad didn't
World of Motion didn't (TransCenter had no Merchendise)
Imagination didn't (there was a small area of racked plush and shirts to one side of the atrium)
The Living Seas never did
Tower of Terror didn't
Endor Vendors was far smaller and had a defined exit pathway through the middle

Am I forgetting any?
When did Tower of Terror not?
 

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