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.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.
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.