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News New Park Entrance coming to Epcot

Brenthodge

Well-Known Member
This mindset really has little to do with EPCOT. Disney was doing this with sponsorships across the board. By the 70s Disney was no longer the guy begging to borrow money but was in the position to charge for access to itself. Be it Disneyland, MK, or the new EPCOT - this was common place.

Disney riding attractions out long after they are stale while they hunt for a new sponsor was not an EPCOT problem at all - it was a Disney problem. Addicted to free money.
TRUE, but I think it just became even MORE obvious at EPCOT because those experiences HAD to be updated or they were out of date - information and content wise. Other parks may have had attractions that were threadbare or in need of refreshing, but they were designed to be "timeless" so it wasn't as obvious as with attractions designed to be TIMELY.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
And at that 10 year mark was when the realities of the shifted business model and the speed at which the "future" was being realized started becoming undeniable. I think at that point was when Disney realized that the model was flawed, but instead of going back to the "source material" and looking at how the core mission could be kept (and even enhanced with the new realities in technology and information availability that the park was facing), they instead dug into the corporate sponsorship model further - either using it as a reason to make changes that altered the vision for the park (new Imagination, test track), or used it to defer ANY changes, which simply eroded the aging areas of the park at an even more rapid pace.

Again, what was more relevant of change - wasn't the park's model itself - but what was happening independent of EPCOT. By the time the original sponsorships were coming up.. the way people advertised and the way companies were viewing sponsorships had changed. We were in the early days of the internet. Technology growth was exploding faster and faster than anyone was expecting. There were a lot more avenues people were looking to spend their budgets on... the smaller upstarts of the world were not looking to get into old world co-branding deals at a theme park. Old blue chips stayed, while they never really got any of the 'newer' companies to buy into the old sponsorship model. Disney's clinging to the sponsorship model was more and more detached from reality - and EPCOT paid the price.

Their attempt at letting companies get involved in smaller chunks at innovations was a concept that going to be short lived. But again, Disney held onto its old thinking and ran it into the ground vs accepting that their old sponsorship model was a dinosaur.

Yes, areas like Innovations etc were always exposed to the problem of aging.. just like tomorrowland faces similar challenges.. or anything that tries to be current or future (MGM suffered this as well... Pearl Harbor anyone??). These were not flaws of EPCOT - these were flaws of Disney for wanting to hold out for someone else's money.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
TRUE, but I think it just became even MORE obvious at EPCOT because those experiences HAD to be updated or they were out of date - information and content wise. Other parks may have had attractions that were threadbare or in need of refreshing, but they were designed to be "timeless" so it wasn't as obvious as with attractions designed to be TIMELY.

I point you to Tomorrowland... MGM Studios... etc. Heck, even look outside Disney... Back to The Future Ride, T2, etc. All these attractions rapidly aged and needed refreshes to feel fresh. You can only look at big honkin 25" CRTs with VHS resolution for so long before they feel woefully stale.. even if the message/content itself is not.

You seem to have this idea EPCOT was predicated on the future, and hence was inherently flawed. Most of Future World was actually wrapped around how we've come from the past, to a long distant future. Most of what aged out in EPCOT quickly was simply the theme park technology so much of the presentation was around. Exhibits like Communicore were expected to be refreshed and changed out. Sponsor post-shows were expected to be refreshed. The problem was... people wouldn't pay and Disney wouldn't either.

The things that aged the worst at EPCOT were the presentation tools and STYLING. Contemporary styling tastes move quickly. Technology moves even quicker. These were not unknowns - Disney just didn't want to pay themselves anymore.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Again, what was more relevant of change - wasn't the park's model itself - but what was happening independent of EPCOT. By the time the original sponsorships were coming up.. the way people advertised and the way companies were viewing sponsorships had changed. We were in the early days of the internet. Technology growth was exploding faster and faster than anyone was expecting. There were a lot more avenues people were looking to spend their budgets on... the smaller upstarts of the world were not looking to get into old world co-branding deals at a theme park. Old blue chips stayed, while they never really got any of the 'newer' companies to buy into the old sponsorship model. Disney's clinging to the sponsorship model was more and more detached from reality - and EPCOT paid the price.

Their attempt at letting companies get involved in smaller chunks at innovations was a concept that going to be short lived. But again, Disney held onto its old thinking and ran it into the ground vs accepting that their old sponsorship model was a dinosaur.

Yes, areas like Innovations etc were always exposed to the problem of aging.. just like tomorrowland faces similar challenges.. or anything that tries to be current or future (MGM suffered this as well... Pearl Harbor anyone??). These were not flaws of EPCOT - these were flaws of Disney for wanting to hold out for someone else's money.
Although a lot of what was happening was company wide, that doesn't erase the fact that the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow was additionally hurt by events that made keeping up unsustainable. That wasn't bad planning because the speed of that growth in technology wasn't easily predicable at that time and what was a sincere intent at the park opening, did not have the basic mission needed to remain in real time with the rest of the world. It becomes laughable if your attempt at staying current ends up being way more like recent history then something new on the horizon.

Keeping in mind that most of it really was history building up to the present and introducing a concept of the future in the story line. The ability for anyone to predict what the future would hold even only 6 months away became just about impossible.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
OMG. There have been numerous, valid arguments made by several people as to why it doesn’t work. I not (and have NEVER said) that the core idea and concept didn’t work, or it wasn’t then, or certainly now, a needed conceptual idea. I and others have said that the model they used to fund the build out and operation of that idea was faulty when the social and technological climate shifted radically over the initial sponsorship period. They held on to a model that was working and was becoming increasingly irrelevant in a shifting marketplace. I’m done discussing this with you. It. Didn’t. Work. As operationally designed. I never said it was never going to work. It just wasn’t going to work long term using the formula they were using coupled with their refusal to adapt it. What the hell does space mtn have to do with this? It works in that it is timeless. It’s not based on current or predicted real trends in space discovery. The main difference is that today, Disney would build it with a character tie in. Much like they are doing at Epcot. Get a new argument dude. It’s done. EPCOT has left the building.
Buzz Lightyear would be a perfect fit. They could even make the exit a black hole leading from Space Mtn. directly to Buzz Lightyear Spin. A complete experience.
I would be willing to discuss a reasonable offer to adapt the two attractions into one larger one. I can't tell you how to make it happen, that's what you pay the imagineers the big buck to do. But the idea is obviously priceless. Let's talk.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
Don’t tell me what I “don’t get”. I understand the ideals and standards of a Disney parks past. I was there. I experienced it first hand.

Yet you continue to misappropriate your reasoning. Things did work. They would have continued to work if the product was continued to be refreshed as it was intended. That’s why SSE is still here and still popular.

but Disney hitched itself to the dying sponsor model and refused to budge. And in doing so let the availability of sponsorships drive attraction renewals - not the product. The product became stale and outdated. A problem that impacted all attractions that aren’t fantasy or history topics.

The attraction design constructs of the early 80s and into the 90s where tech became much more visible (like video preshows) all were all much more exposed to the increasing speed of tech. This isn’t an epcot problem- this was an industry wide problem.

yes attractions like the carousel haven’t needed to change... or classics like peter pan largely go untouched for much longer... but that doesn’t mean those are good and an attraction like T2 is bad. They are different- and that is known going in. Attractions have an expected useful lifespan before they must be refreshed. Disney didn’t do their scheduled refreshes because their funding model was broken - not their epcot model.
 

TikibirdLand

Well-Known Member
I point you to Tomorrowland... MGM Studios... etc. Heck, even look outside Disney... Back to The Future Ride, T2, etc. All these attractions rapidly aged and needed refreshes to feel fresh. You can only look at big honkin 25" CRTs with VHS resolution for so long before they feel woefully stale.. even if the message/content itself is not.

You seem to have this idea EPCOT was predicated on the future, and hence was inherently flawed. Most of Future World was actually wrapped around how we've come from the past, to a long distant future. Most of what aged out in EPCOT quickly was simply the theme park technology so much of the presentation was around. Exhibits like Communicore were expected to be refreshed and changed out. Sponsor post-shows were expected to be refreshed. The problem was... people wouldn't pay and Disney wouldn't either.

The things that aged the worst at EPCOT were the presentation tools and STYLING. Contemporary styling tastes move quickly. Technology moves even quicker. These were not unknowns - Disney just didn't want to pay themselves anymore.
It's about keeping this stuff maintained. I do like seeing new stuff. But, using UO as an example, Jaws, BTF and Kongfrontation didn't need to be ripped out, they needed to be updated and maintained. I contend that, if you saw Kongfrontation in person, you'd throw rocks at the current screen-based incarnation. Ditto for BTF; Simpsons is not even close in quality. Like UO, Disney needs to hire on-site techs to keep this stuff working. Don't simply dumb-down Journey; they should have fixed it. In the future, we're going to be seeing this kind of dumbing down of ROTR due to the numerous issues it has.
 

Brenthodge

Well-Known Member
But Epcot was inexplicably tied to that funding model. That’s why I feel it struggled. I’m not saying it was ever beyond Disney’s control or ability to overcome that, but they clearly chose not to. I’ve never intended to say that the idea of Epcot was a failure, or it’s lofty goals shouldn’t have been striven for (and I firmly believe they are goals we should have today) so if you have misconstrued my use of the word “failure” as an indication that I didn’t understand or believe in the vision of Epcot, I apologize.I wish with everything that my kids had a place like Epcot was to be inspired, to be challenged to use the past as a foundation for the present and a roadmap for beyond, to learn while having fun, but I also realize it is my job to find new avenues for that because Disney no longer prioritizes that with the direction they have taken Epcot. I also realize there are more opportunities for all of that than I ever had as a kid in 1982.
 
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flynnibus

Premium Member
But Epcot was inexplicably tied to that funding model.

No - nothing about EPCOT ties it to the sponsorship model except Disney's attitude/strategy.

You hang this 'flaw' on EPCOT - The fingers should be pointed at Disney leadership. Attractions like WoM or SSE or JII or Horizons are not inexplicably tied to sponsorship models or certain funding models.

The only thing you can really say leads EPCOT to this vs other parks is that EPCOT had larger attractions vs a more diverse makeup of smaller attractions with a few anchors. Larger attractions needing more resources... but it's not like Disney doesn't build that scale on their own all the time anyway.

Disney made the conscious choice to build a theme park with sponsors as part of the creative process and steered their attraction choices based on who they could get to partner with them. But that was just a moment in time - the result of that decision was not tied to that model forever. (This wasn't The House of the Future here...). Just like CoP, Disney was able to create attractions that pushed the sponsor's agenda, but could survive without the sponsor as well. The root issue was... Disney was hooked on OPM (Other People's Money) and resisted abandoning sponsorship as the primary way to fund overhauls and operations.

I’ve never intended to say that the idea of Epcot was a failure, or it’s lofty goals shouldn’t have been striven for (and I firmly believe they are goals we should have today) so if you have misconstrued my use of the word “failure” as an indication that I didn’t understand or believe in the vision of Epcot, I apologize.

No, I point at your repeated fingering of EPCOT's design choices as its flaw or unsustainable model that can't work today. Inferring that the style or topics of the attractions are somehow part of the root cause and unfixable (because they aren't timeless). A concept doomed by the time it was in and not applicable today.

All attractions are built with the idea of a meaningful life before they expect to be refreshed. Even pure experience attractions like Space Mountain get plussed to keep the attraction fresh and comparable with more modern peers.

Disney didn't do it. It's like the analogy someone else made earlier... if you don't change the oil in your car ever... you can't call the car flawed for blowing up down the road.
 

Thelazer

Well-Known Member
No - nothing about EPCOT ties it to the sponsorship model except Disney's attitude/strategy.
Attractions like WoM or SSE or JII or Horizons are not inexplicably tied to sponsorship models or certain funding models.

I could outright swear that everyone said Kodak didn't want to Pony up the money for the JII Rehab... and the resulting mess shows it.
 

hpyhnt 1000

Well-Known Member
And we know how that ends up.
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Brenthodge

Well-Known Member
No - nothing about EPCOT ties it to the sponsorship model except Disney's attitude/strategy.

You hang this 'flaw' on EPCOT - The fingers should be pointed at Disney leadership. Attractions like WoM or SSE or JII or Horizons are not inexplicably tied to sponsorship models or certain funding models.

The only thing you can really say leads EPCOT to this vs other parks is that EPCOT had larger attractions vs a more diverse makeup of smaller attractions with a few anchors. Larger attractions needing more resources... but it's not like Disney doesn't build that scale on their own all the time anyway.

Disney made the conscious choice to build a theme park with sponsors as part of the creative process and steered their attraction choices based on who they could get to partner with them. But that was just a moment in time - the result of that decision was not tied to that model forever. (This wasn't The House of the Future here...). Just like CoP, Disney was able to create attractions that pushed the sponsor's agenda, but could survive without the sponsor as well. The root issue was... Disney was hooked on OPM (Other People's Money) and resisted abandoning sponsorship as the primary way to fund overhauls and operations.



No, I point at your repeated fingering of EPCOT's design choices as its flaw or unsustainable model that can't work today. Inferring that the style or topics of the attractions are somehow part of the root cause and unfixable (because they aren't timeless). A concept doomed by the time it was in and not applicable today.

All attractions are built with the idea of a meaningful life before they expect to be refreshed. Even pure experience attractions like Space Mountain get plussed to keep the attraction fresh and comparable with more modern peers.

Disney didn't do it. It's like the analogy someone else made earlier... if you don't change the oil in your car ever... you can't call the car flawed for blowing up down the road.
It’s impossible to have a discussion with you as you constantly want to put words in my mouth so you can refute them. It’s like you want to be so “right” about this that you can’t see we are saying essentially the same thing. Never said the concept couldn’t work today. Never said the design choices were flawed. Never said the topics presented are part of the reason it doesn’t work. Look, you obviously just want to disagree with someone on this so you can look like you know more than everyone else about it.You are tiring and self important, and no longer worth the effort it takes to type things back to you. It’s a freakin theme park that nothing either of us says about it matters anyway, because the people in charge screwed it up and are “fixing” it in the way they feel best. This should be enjoyable, and talking with you just isn’t anymore.
 
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flynnibus

Premium Member
It’s impossible to have a discussion with you as you constantly want to put words in my mouth so you can refute them. It’s like you want to be so “right” about this that you can’t see we are saying essentially the same thing. Never said the concept couldn’t work today. Never said the design choices were flawed. Never said the topics presented are part of the reason it doesn’t work
Is this your evil twin then? Sure looks like you claimed the old EPCOT was a miss, flawed, and unable to exist in this age.

We only saw a “perfect passion project” that from the day it opened, was doomed to fail if it stuck exactly to the core vision and operating model as designed (and as we hoped it would) to say it was a success just because we loved it, or it even met and exceeded attendance projections doesn’t account fir all of the metrics and nuances of the ways the final project was evaluated.

You want so bad for the original park to be the same success for the company that it was for you, and clearly, due to a variety of factors, some internal and some external, it wasn’t. Objectives change, culture and operational climates change, public “appetites” change. I don’t agree with many of the changes (or lack of changes) Disney made with Epcot, but I’m open minded enough to see why we are at this point. Others are not.

The trajectory of change and development gets more rapid each day. That’s what I don’t think Disney really counted on... a world they foretold coming to fruition as quickly as it did, and with it, a marked change in consumer tastes, attention spans, and desires.

As I’ve said many times, I feel lucky to have experienced first hand the original version of Epcot, but I clearly see why the model it used to deliver its message no longer works.

It can bother you all day long, but it is what it is, and to fret that they won’t pony up money to create a “new version of old Epcot” is only going to lead to frustration and disappointment.

Other parks may have had attractions that were threadbare or in need of refreshing, but they were designed to be "timeless" so it wasn't as obvious as with attractions designed to be TIMELY.
 

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