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Great watch: The Senseless Death of EPCOT

Epcot82Guy

Well-Known Member
It's a place that has lost all meaning. Epcot went from being my favorite park, to a place that I now actively hate as I'm always reluctantly dragged there. It's difficult not to be sad and angry with such out-of-touch leadership. I highly recommend this as a companion video as well:



Same here. It's not so far gone as to not be correctable. (And in a way that could satisfy most camps of fans.) But, there is no desire to do so, it seems. Quite the contrary, in fact.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Epcot died a long time ago after it had been on life support for years. For those that lament about what it is today, where was the mourning when the place had gone from a very classy edutainment, one of a kind, to a place where the big thing was to "Drink around the World". It was already dead by then.

Although I do miss some of the stuff from before it was near dead just about 10 years after it opened,. Sure a few of us devoted fans always went for as long as things still were what we remembered, but there weren't enough of us to even carry the casket. The new stuff is, of course, very different from what we all remember but it has created "one little spark" of inspiration that has it breathing on its own again. No small accomplishment! Is it the same? Certainly not, but it is beginning to show a bit of life that has been missing for years. It still has a lot of the old, but the new is what is clicking the turnstiles.
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
The targeted demographic audience, its expectations, and the ubiquitous technologies are quite different than it was when it opened in 1982. Parts of the concept still work like the word showcase which, with the assistance of cultural representatives, displays good parts of foreign countries, regions, or cultures.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
So let me say that I did not experience this great Epcot Era and ive watched a number of these recommended videos and sorry not a one has ever shown me a ride that made me say "dang, I wish that was still in the parks". That's one of the issues, simply saying the parks were better in 1982 is no different than any old timer saying how much better life was "when I was a boy "

I totally admit, that I'm probably part of the problem 😅 I really don't care about Walt Disney's original plan for the park and Ip isn't evil to me.
Now I agree that maybe some care could be given to updating these rides and that they may have been better but that's another thread. Ellen's energy was tired and dull, so sure maybe they could have upgraded it but no imo it had outlived its value. Lol I love how he called the original attraction as "thrilling" seriously??
 
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WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
The targeted demographic audience, its expectations, and the ubiquitous technologies are quite different than it was when it opened in 1982. Parts of the concept still work like the word showcase which, with the assistance of cultural representatives, displays good parts of foreign countries, regions, or cultures.
Epcot as a whole works just fine... As you mention, World Showcase still "works." .... And yet... Frozen, Rat, and LeFou have definitely made themselves cozy... eh?
 

Epcot82Guy

Well-Known Member
As someone on these boards for years, this conversation has been ongoing for years. I've read and made the posts. Been to the meetups. Even been a CM at Epcot during this.

And the calls for investment came before the concerns about IP integration. This has been a slow degradation, and that hasn't gone unnoticed in the fandom. But, Disney was throwing bones for awhile before more recent leadership, so it was easier to hold out hope.

Whether you agree with it or not, the conversation has been much longer. The nails in the coffin have just finally tipped for many of us.
 

DreamfinderGuy

Well-Known Member
For those that lament about what it is today, where was the mourning when the place had gone from a very classy edutainment, one of a kind, to a place where the big thing was to "Drink around the World". It was already dead by then.
I mean if you look around the boards there's been lamenting pretty much since the dawn of this website. This fandom has been mourning the loss of EPCOT for about 20 years, and as more is lost the voices get louder. It's just never been in worse shape theme-wise.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
I mean if you look around the boards there's been lamenting pretty much since the dawn of this website. This fandom has been mourning the loss of EPCOT for about 20 years, and as more is lost the voices get louder. It's just never been in worse shape theme-wise.
Theme in Epcot died years ago, however, it is still a beautiful park and as long as they put entertaining things it is indeed worth just enjoying. It is time to let go of Walt's coattails, he has been dead for 56 years and has only a miniscule amount of pull. Either accept what the place is or do what I did and that is to stop spending my money there. I can assure you that it is a personal protest, and not a single thing has changed to my liking. As long as thousands crowd into the place throwing money around like a water gun, they will not care what we think as individuals. So the choice is to stop thinking that complaining will make any difference and go there for what it is or find some other places to go to enjoy yourself and the world holds many of those places.
 

Poseidon Quest

Well-Known Member
It is time to let go of Walt's coattails, he has been dead for 56 years and has only a miniscule amount of pull.

EPCOT Center was never about Walt, but rather the imagination and quality that went into its theme and attractions. It's destruction isn't just about theme, but rather quality as well. A whole slate of attractions on par or better than Pirates or the Haunted Mansion have been lost.
 

networkpro

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
I mean if you look around the boards there's been lamenting pretty much since the dawn of this website. This fandom has been mourning the loss of EPCOT for about 20 years, and as more is lost the voices get louder. It's just never been in worse shape theme-wise.

Its the change of themes that's the cause of friction. They are using a 1982 measuring stick that has long been replaced.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
EPCOT Center was never about Walt, but rather the imagination and quality that went into its theme and attractions. It's destruction isn't just about theme, but rather quality as well. A whole slate of attractions on par or better than Pirates or the Haunted Mansion have been lost.
I know that! My point is that the old Epcot, in spite of some loving it, me included, was a theme that was not retainable. It didn't have a strong repeatable process. Once a lesson is learned, there is no desire to be taught it again and the cost of constantly updating especially after the introduction of the internet was not physically possible nor financially wise to do in a timely manner. In short, by the time they could get it planned, engineered and built, it would be old news.

Quality wise, they were on par with those you mentioned, in some ways they were superior, but they were not based on total fantasy, like the ones you just mentioned. People spent thousands to be entertained and allow their imagination to expand. As idolic as that seems, education is not something that people wanted to deal with on vacation. Even to people like myself that loved Epcot, it wore thin quick. You can live fantasy over and over but you cannot take the same class over and over before it becomes tedious, at best. The decline in popularity over the years was painfully obvious for those of use that were regular visitors. There were a few that were so spectacular in their design and jaw dropping engineering that they stayed. I'm speaking of Spaceship Earth and American adventure. Even SSE was subject to change if they could figure out what else could go in the sphere and seem like it belonged. So far it has happily stayed in place as one of the last four omni-movers in WDW.
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
Ive cried my last tears for Epcot 20 years ago. Now i just enjoy it for what it is or is trying to become. I cant look at the park remembering the past glory or as others said here, i wont want to go. I still love WS and for the rides in east and west.. I pretend im not in Epcot which makes them all better. It is what it is , and a lot I dislike but trying to enjoy it for what it is.
 

Poseidon Quest

Well-Known Member
I know that! My point is that the old Epcot, in spite of some loving it, me included, was a theme that was not retainable. It didn't have a strong repeatable process. Once a lesson is learned, there is no desire to be taught it again and the cost of constantly updating especially after the introduction of the internet was not physically possible nor financially wise to do in a timely manner. In short, by the time they could get it planned, engineered and built, it would be old news.

Quality wise, they were on par with those you mentioned, in some ways they were superior, but they were not based on total fantasy, like the ones you just mentioned. People spent thousands to be entertained and allow their imagination to expand. As idolic as that seems, education is not something that people wanted to deal with on vacation. Even to people like myself that loved Epcot, it wore thin quick. You can live fantasy over and over but you cannot take the same class over and over before it becomes tedious, at best. The decline in popularity over the years was painfully obvious for those of use that were regular visitors. There were a few that were so spectacular in their design and jaw dropping engineering that they stayed. I'm speaking of Spaceship Earth and American adventure. Even SSE was subject to change if they could figure out what else could go in the sphere and seem like it belonged. So far it has happily stayed in place as one of the last four omni-movers in WDW.

I wouldn't equate Epcot's early attractions to a class and if they really lost popularity, why is Spaceship Earth still around (other than it was too expensive for Eisner and now current leadership to touch)? If Hershey's Chocolate World is still popular almost 50 years later, then I see no reason that Horizons wouldn't be either. The myth of outdated Epcot came from Eisner's desire to implement edgier and more IP based attractions into the park and that's what essentially killed it. I don't buy the idea that contemporary audiences wouldn't still enjoy the original Journey Into Imagination or World of Motion as long as they were updated in the same manner as Pirates or HM. The highly atmospheric and ambitious, substantial nature of these attractions was what made them appealing, not the educational value. That came second, as Disney Imagineers have been pretty upfront about creating an inspiring experience first, with the education following.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
Regardless of the quality of the original Epcot attractions, there absolutely was a need to diversify the offerings. Despite largely being excellent executions, there was too much "sameness" among the classic FW rides that while they greatly appealed to some folks left others bored. The principle of Disney parks was always to have wide appeal and something for everyone.

At least with Test Track and Mission Space, I give Disney credit for trying to diversify the experiences of FW while sticking to the basic conceit of that half of the park. We can debate on how successful they were or compare them in quality to what they replaced, but the attempt was there.

The real crime in FW was destroying JII for the lousy ride that is there now. Fix that to a proper experience anywhere close to the original (plus finally finish all the other stuff that is being worked on so it's not a construction site) and the calculus for assessment that half of Epcot changes significantly
 

aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
that blue box I have finally come to accept, I dont even notice it anymore hardly, obviously its there, just saying.
The lagoon however is an absolute crime. They have found every bit of this park they can to either ruin or bulldoze or let rot (sse, imagination, etc)
Yet they can throw away millions upon millions for ripping out the middle for a giant green space, garden, and hospital like cafetaria. That kind of funding could of gone to imagination and so much more along with a revamped middle with what was there. the moana garden thing should have gone to AK, I just dont get it. They have put a california design team in charge that knows nothing about the park.
 

KaliSplash

Well-Known Member
The reason Epcot's original theme was lost has been obvious for years. As with the problems with Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, it's hard to have cutting edge stuff when a new edge is cut constantly. Tomorrow arrives and it's not tomorrowland any more. It's what was futuristic when we planned it.

Having said that, I think the original World of Motion and Horizons were serious losses. But then, my favorite attractions are those Heavy with audio-animatronics, not necessarily heavy on thrills.

My favorites at the Magic Kingdom are COP, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Hall of Presidents, etc. Not that I don't like Space Mountain and Big Thunder and as my user name indiates, Splash Mountain, the best attraction of all time.

But the idea of slow-moving rides past extraordinarily detailed scenes that tell a story is what I love about Disney and what makes it so much better than your local Roller Coaster Park.

But in today's world, slowing moving rides past heavy AA attractions are not something that grabs people so much any more. I personally hate it is that way. It does not change the fact that it is the way it is.
 

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