Rumor Spaceship Earth Redo Shelved Indefinitely

EPCOT-O.G.

Well-Known Member
I've been out of town and just now catching up on posts. I'm copying this for posterity, because no truer truth has been stated recently on here. It may be "just a theme park," but it truly hurts my heart when I think of what has happened to it. It changed and shaped my life and those of so many of us.
I agree. There is no reason this park should have existed. It was done largely out of a sense of obligation that Walt’s trusted advisors and leaders took on. Its planning was started at a time when thinks looks bleak and malaise was everywhere, yet it embodies the optimism for the future and cultural projection that was taking hold by the early to mid 80’s. They managed to get huge companies to pony up tens of millions to develop these super long concepts.

While I decry that we lost the Epcot that once was, I’m not sure any one person or cause is to blame for its decline. As a future focused initiative, those ideas and concepts become obsolete. As an educational endeavor, those too are reassessed and updated as years move on - no one would want to rely on a 40 year textbook for anything other than a curiosity or nostalgia hit.

I think the inability to rely on companies to make these huge investments to offset development and maintenance costs is why Disney has had to pivot to using more IP. Now, I do think the company’s loss of those classic artists and Imangineers to…what they have now also explains why we haven’t, and will never, see again the sorts of concepts and execution that we once did with this park.
 
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Epcot82Guy

Well-Known Member
I agree. There is no reason this park should have existed. It was done largely out of a sense of obligation that Walt’s trusted advisors and leaders took on. Its planning was started at a time when thinks looks bleak and malaise was everywhere, yet it embodies the optimism for the future and cultural projection that was taking hold by the early to mid 80’s. They managed to get huge companies to pony up tens of millions to develop these super long concepts.

While I decry that we lost the Epcot that once was, I’m not sure any one person or cause is to blame for its decline. As a future focused initiative, those ideas and concepts become obsolete. As an educational endeavor, those too are reassessed and updated as years move on - no one would want to rely on a 40 year textbook for anything other than a curiosity or nostalgia hit.

I think the inability to rely on companies to make these huge investments to offset development and maintenance costs is why Disney has had to pivot to using more IP. Now, I do think the company’s loss of those classic artists and Imangineers to…what they have now also explains why we haven’t, and will never, see again the sorts of concepts and execution that we once did with this park.
I don't necessarily agree that the parks shouldn't have existed. But, times changed and your arguments are very valid - especially as the park aged. I do think Disney misjudged the nostalgia and potential of the park, so the sponsorship model - combined with the corporate approaches of Eisner and Iger - led to this. There is a version of Epcot's history that makes it look like a shining success, but it wouldn't look as good on public company paper with our quarter-to-quarter focus of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Regardless, we are where we are now. And, a new approach makes sense. The piece I don't understand is why they felt the need to insert all the fantasy aspects. The park has always been centered in the real world. And, Disney has a huge catalogue of real world IP, and so many IP aspects could be used to be set in the real world. This new hubris of their brand that the movie characters must be in their own timelines (GE, MCU), have cartoon architecture so it matches the visual brand (Rat and Pixar), etc. is just stupid IMHO. Every one of the ideas could have worked with better storytelling. And, done in a way that made many of the traditional Epcot fans much happier and more engaged.

Epcot's real story over time has been more about inspiration and togetherness than true future prediction or accurate historical education. I do not, in any way, agree with the argument that people only want characters in fantasy environments. And that Epcot could only thrive by having these fantasy elements thrown in. Does it make it easier to shove whatever attraction or restaurant you want in anywhere? Sure. But, that's not the quality Disney was known for in its parks. And, ironically, the parks/lands where they have done that the most - Studios, TL, DCA, etc. - are the ones that have required the most investment and overhaul overtime. Having a cohesive theme and environment carries a lot more longevity than surveys and middle management execs choose to see.
 

Rich Brownn

Well-Known Member
I agree. There is no reason this park should have existed. It was done largely out of a sense of obligation that Walt’s trusted advisors and leaders took on. Its planning was started at a time when thinks looks bleak and malaise was everywhere, yet it embodies the optimism for the future and cultural projection that was taking hold by the early to mid 80’s. They managed to get huge companies to pony up tens of millions to develop these super long concepts.

While I decry that we lost the Epcot that once was, I’m not sure any one person or cause is to blame for its decline. As a future focused initiative, those ideas and concepts become obsolete. As an educational endeavor, those too are reassessed and updated as years move on - no one would want to rely on a 40 year textbook for anything other than a curiosity or nostalgia hit.

I think the inability to rely on companies to make these huge investments to offset development and maintenance costs is why Disney has had to pivot to using more IP. Now, I do think the company’s loss of those classic artists and Imangineers to…what they have now also explains why we haven’t, and will never, see again the sorts of concepts and execution that we once did with this park.
Ironically, nearly every original ride at EPCOT was designed so the future parts could be easily updated. (Exceptions being Horizon - which dealt with a far distant future anyways, and Imaginartion). UoE was film, WoM was an easily updated static display and post shows, WoL had easily updated "modules" as the post show. The majority of the rides dealt with the past leading up to the present.
 

rle4lunch

Well-Known Member
I don't necessarily agree that the parks shouldn't have existed. But, times changed and your arguments are very valid - especially as the park aged. I do think Disney misjudged the nostalgia and potential of the park, so the sponsorship model - combined with the corporate approaches of Eisner and Iger - led to this. There is a version of Epcot's history that makes it look like a shining success, but it wouldn't look as good on public company paper with our quarter-to-quarter focus of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Regardless, we are where we are now. And, a new approach makes sense. The piece I don't understand is why they felt the need to insert all the fantasy aspects. The park has always been centered in the real world. And, Disney has a huge catalogue of real world IP, and so many IP aspects could be used to be set in the real world. This new hubris of their brand that the movie characters must be in their own timelines (GE, MCU), have cartoon architecture so it matches the visual brand (Rat and Pixar), etc. is just stupid IMHO. Every one of the ideas could have worked with better storytelling. And, done in a way that made many of the traditional Epcot fans much happier and more engaged.

Epcot's real story over time has been more about inspiration and togetherness than true future prediction or accurate historical education. I do not, in any way, agree with the argument that people only want characters in fantasy environments. And that Epcot could only thrive by having these fantasy elements thrown in. Does it make it easier to shove whatever attraction or restaurant you want in anywhere? Sure. But, that's not the quality Disney was known for in its parks. And, ironically, the parks/lands where they have done that the most - Studios, TL, DCA, etc. - are the ones that have required the most investment and overhaul overtime. Having a cohesive theme and environment carries a lot more longevity than surveys and middle management execs choose to see.

I dunno, Disney has and does, live off the teat of nostalgia on nearly every single thing they build. This is half the reason attractions stay in the same, broke a$$, B mode status for a decade without anything being done to fix them. Their minimalist approach to upkeep (especially at WdW) is border line negligent.

Saying they wouldn't know how nostalgia would play into how people view epcot is giving them too much credit. Like you guys all stated, this place shaped my childhood, struck my imagination in ways nothing else could. To see Disney lose its way (in more ways than just what we're discussing) is truly disheartening.
 

DoleWhipDrea

Well-Known Member
In a bit of interesting/strange news, just a few weeks ago a short bit of dialogue during the ascent was added back in, telling guests to look at the screen for the picture. More likely it was switched off by accident, and while people have done some slight tinkering with the attraction realized that it had been turned off. It was a shock to my husband and I to hear the dialogue, as we've been AP holders since 2019 and visit SSE regularly.
 

HauntedPirate

Park nostalgist
Premium Member
I hope they never do the refurb, since it's my favorite attraction.

The ride system is a decade past needing replacement. There are more things they could do to plus this after the 2007 refurb, not the least of which is a more intelligent script. And also not the “storytelling” crap the idiots in charge want to stuff in there.
 

DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
In a bit of interesting/strange news, just a few weeks ago a short bit of dialogue during the ascent was added back in, telling guests to look at the screen for the picture. More likely it was switched off by accident, and while people have done some slight tinkering with the attraction realized that it had been turned off. It was a shock to my husband and I to hear the dialogue, as we've been AP holders since 2019 and visit SSE regularly.
If it was off (I can't remember from the last couple of years) it was off on purpose and likely because the picture was useless when people had to wear masks on the ride. On the descent you'd just get either a cartoon character or a weird face with parts missing.
 

aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
The ride system is a decade past needing replacement. There are more things they could do to plus this after the 2007 refurb, not the least of which is a more intelligent script. And also not the “storytelling” crap the idiots in charge want to stuff in there.
like the descent itself, it never got finished and here we are in 2022 and still stuck with nothing, dust and wrinkled sheets and hanging chicken wire. well over a decade later, horrible. They had a show plan they just never followed through with it. :banghead:
 

HauntedPirate

Park nostalgist
Premium Member
like the descent itself, it never got finished and here we are in 2022 and still stuck with nothing, dust and wrinkled sheets and hanging chicken wire. well over a decade later, horrible. They had a show plan they just never followed through with it. :banghead:
I have my doubts the descent will be utilitized for quite a while. At least until the “good enough” mindset is fully eliminated within the walls of TDA, TDO, and WDI.
 

Thelazer

Well-Known Member
Much like anything, perhaps they will "Go back to the original plans" and just put back what was once there inside the ending of spaceship earth. Honestly, with how "Reto vibe" everything (see stranger things) has been lately, putting back a bunch of flim clips and mirrors and liquid neon and playing Tomorrows Child, would fit right in.
 

aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
The world needs the message of “Tomorrow’s Child” more than ever. One could argue that the whole message of hope and inspiration and aspiration from EPCOT Center is needed as well. Too bad the Weatherman, the crap peddler, and their underlings only focus on 💰💰💰💰💰💰.
agree, they seem to want anything that is anti inspiration. They have removed everything that was in that park.
 

Richie248

Well-Known Member
I never understood why the ripped out the finale for those stupid screens. The novelty of "creating your own future" wore off after 1 or 2 rides. Would love for Tomorrow's Child to return, along with some form of the "original" finale. Agree, retro is in.... I used to ride SSE on every trip and I've skipped it on my last couple trips. It's in a sad state. Really hope we get some news at D23.
 

MaximumEd

Well-Known Member
I never understood why the ripped out the finale for those stupid screens. The novelty of "creating your own future" wore off after 1 or 2 rides. Would love for Tomorrow's Child to return, along with some form of the "original" finale. Agree, retro is in.... I used to ride SSE on every trip and I've skipped it on my last couple trips. It's in a sad state. Really hope we get some news at D23.
I would be shocked if this moves forward anytime soon. With the money they’ve spent on Cosmic Rewind, the central spine, and Harmonius, I’d expect this and Figment to keep limping along for years. At least we can have year round festivals with a $100 cover charge!
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
I agree. There is no reason this park should have existed. It was done largely out of a sense of obligation that Walt’s trusted advisors and leaders took on. Its planning was started at a time when thinks looks bleak and malaise was everywhere, yet it embodies the optimism for the future and cultural projection that was taking hold by the early to mid 80’s. They managed to get huge companies to pony up tens of millions to develop these super long concepts.

While I decry that we lost the Epcot that once was, I’m not sure any one person or cause is to blame for its decline. As a future focused initiative, those ideas and concepts become obsolete. As an educational endeavor, those too are reassessed and updated as years move on - no one would want to rely on a 40 year textbook for anything other than a curiosity or nostalgia hit.

I think the inability to rely on companies to make these huge investments to offset development and maintenance costs is why Disney has had to pivot to using more IP. Now, I do think the company’s loss of those classic artists and Imangineers to…what they have now also explains why we haven’t, and will never, see again the sorts of concepts and execution that we once did with this park.
So I have been one of the "Epcot was bound to fail" people. But the more I think about it. It didnt have to fail. It could still be the original vision and thriving. It could be as amazing as it was in 1983 with as much innovation and more buildings and stories that the land, imagination living seas and wom (among the rest) provided. We could have new additions along that vein.

Laziness is what killed Epcot as we wish it still was.

Had Disney continuously looked for sponsors and replaced them. Had they continued to spend money and innovate. Would things become outdated... yes but thats why you cant let them become stagnant.

I dont work for Disney so I cant 100 percent tell you that they didnt try, but i know enough about the history of the company especially the last 3 decades.

Its fine, it doesnt need maintenance. Its fine we dont need new rides. Its fine we dont need to update anything. You see that in all 4 parks now. You cannot tell me Apple, Microsoft, Microsoft/XBOX, nintendo, sony/playstation, Tesla, Monsanto (haha sorry disneyland vibes) tmobile, at some point wouldnt have jumped on the opportunity to get their name out there.
Why not partner with some of the major hospitals or cancer, alzheimers, MD research (the latter could have even been set up to get donations).
How about meteorology? How weather works? Even throw in global warming if you want. But id rather focus on how hurricanes tornados form and how they look on a giant imax screen.

Instead Epcot was built..................................................

Kodak made us change imagination so i guess we have to
GM wants us to change WOM i guess we have to
The seas is alot of work and upkeep lets dumb it down
Horizons needs updates lets make up a story about a sink hole
Odyssey isnt needed lets close it
Lets close wonders of life cause its boring and costs us money (that should be full of medical info and healthcare especially with whats happened to the american obesity problem and the new found love of anything fitness) heck even outdoor yoga could be on a lawn next to it.

Outside of mission space did they do anything to ADD?

THEY DID NOTHING!! THEY LET IT ROT! THEY WERE CHEAP! THEY WERE LAZY!! They only did what they had to. There have been 1000s of inventions that could have been shown, there have been medical breakthroughs that have come up, instead heres an 80s server. Had it constantly been updated with new sponsors (some temporary in communicore) and some more permanent ones, with contracts that said you have to keep your newest stuff on display and a rep to talk to people.

Then make huge deals about new announcements. New tesla being unveiled... lets do it at epcot. Steve Jobs talking about apple... lets do it at epcot. New XBOX... EPCOT.

It could have still been the most exciting place and been the go to spot for announcements of new stuff and the first place to touch things, some that hadnt even been announced.

Its too late to fix it now. But did it have to get here.... no. Disney killed Epcot... not progress... progress could have made it thrive
 

EPCOT-O.G.

Well-Known Member
So I have been one of the "Epcot was bound to fail" people. But the more I think about it. It didnt have to fail. It could still be the original vision and thriving. It could be as amazing as it was in 1983 with as much innovation and more buildings and stories that the land, imagination living seas and wom (among the rest) provided. We could have new additions along that vein.

Laziness is what killed Epcot as we wish it still was.

Had Disney continuously looked for sponsors and replaced them. Had they continued to spend money and innovate. Would things become outdated... yes but thats why you cant let them become stagnant.

I dont work for Disney so I cant 100 percent tell you that they didnt try, but i know enough about the history of the company especially the last 3 decades.

Its fine, it doesnt need maintenance. Its fine we dont need new rides. Its fine we dont need to update anything. You see that in all 4 parks now. You cannot tell me Apple, Microsoft, Microsoft/XBOX, nintendo, sony/playstation, Tesla, Monsanto (haha sorry disneyland vibes) tmobile, at some point wouldnt have jumped on the opportunity to get their name out there.
Why not partner with some of the major hospitals or cancer, alzheimers, MD research (the latter could have even been set up to get donations).

Instead Epcot was built..................................................

Kodak made us change imagination so i guess we have to
GM wants us to change WOM i guess we have to
The seas is alot of work and upkeep lets dumb it down
Horizons needs updates lets make up a story about a sink hole
Odyssey isnt needed lets close it
Lets close wonders of life cause its boring and costs us money (that should be full of medical info and healthcare especially with whats happened to the american obesity problem and the new found love of anything fitness) heck even outdoor yoga could be on a lawn next to it.

Outside of mission space did they do anything to ADD?

THEY DID NOTHING!! THEY LET IT ROT! THEY WERE CHEAP! THEY WERE LAZY!! They only did what they had to. There have been 1000s of inventions that could have been shown, there have been medical breakthroughs that have come up, instead heres an 80s server. Had it constantly been updated with new sponsors (some temporary in communicore) and some more permanent ones, with contracts that said you have to keep your newest stuff on display and a rep to talk to people.

Then make huge deals about new announcements. New tesla being unveiled... lets do it at epcot. Steve Jobs talking about apple... lets do it at epcot. New XBOX... EPCOT.

It could have still been the most exciting place and been the go to spot for announcements of new stuff and the first place to touch things, some that hadnt even been announced.

Its too late to fix it now. But did it have to get here.... no. Disney killed Epcot... not progress... progress could have made it thrive
Oh, I don't think "it shouldn't have existed in the first place" == "it was bound to fail." I feel the same way about the original EPCOT as I do MAD MAX FURY ROAD - on paper, an insane idea that shouldn't work. What we got was a masterpiece.

I do think it was allowed to languish, and the lengthy, AA-heavy, dark rides have fallen out of favor with the company. That, and the loss of sponsorships means something needed to offset/justify the costs. That's why they go for IP.
 

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