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sshindel's Epcot Manifesto

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
So, we've got World Showcase now, complete with updated Soarin' and Worlds Fair pavilion with dining and attraction additions.
We've started to tackle Future World, opening a pavilion back up, adding another couple attractions to the mix, and we've started our green makeover.
So far, we've done all of this without shutting down any attractions, just had to have a little detour built in World Showcase to get around Worlds Fair while we rebuilt this area.
We're not going to be so lucky from here on out, as Innoventions is the only other thing shut down that would not impact the current attraction lineup. Once we've tackled that, we're going to have to start bringing down stuff to rework it...
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
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Ok, this is one of those ideas that shocks me that I like it as much as I do. It is a design for the main courtyard area between Innoventions East and West.

In looking around for design ideas, I stumbled across something that was counter intuitive for me, given how much I hate the current canopy.

Below you'll find a bunch of pictures of a design idea I love. I want this spread across from building to building, covering the "circular" part.



Here it is:








The thing is, I want this design to show up in the top, looking down. I think we could do it subtly with different shades of material. Maybe the places where the circles cross are the "down" pieces in the cover.


The key here is the lush mix of greenspace and water. The name of the project I found was "Urban Oasis", and that is exactly what it should be.

I was toying with the idea of actually making the tops of the Innoventions buildings show actual urban rooftop garden capabilities and allowing guests up on top of the buildings with viewing areas that would be great for watching the Fountain of Nations as well as some pretty great (if distant) views of Illuminations. Maybe a rooftop bistro, Farm to Table, sourcing herbs and veggies from throughout the rooftop urban garden.

I've kinda gone back on the idea of a "farm to table" joint on top of Innoventions. I still think there should be urban gardening up there, I still think there should be food up there. I just think that if there is to be a Farm-To-Table joint at EPCOT, it should be Garden Grill. I don't want to steal that place's thunder.
So let's just use the bistro idea.


I think that it should really be a showcase of different rooftop gardening techniques. Food gardening, ornamental gardening, trees, bushes, etc. Paths to wander, places to sit, shade. It should also have short descriptions of the different techniques and their uses.
Here are a few more pictures I found for inspiration.






Even showcase some "low tech" options that could be implemented at home.


Also, think of the stark reversal of the center of EPCOT, with the two large rooftops fully green and the large white "oasis" in the center...

So we have the oasis in the center, the rooftop gardens on top, let's just say we've covered the inside of Innoventions already here


See the part where I talk about Innoventions earlier. Tech Expo like the Wired Nextfest was. I'd rather it not be Big Hero 6, but if done well, I wouldn't hate it either, I love that movie.

Oh yeah, open up the windows, now that we have an amazing view into the oasis area, all that light and beauty will add so much.
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
EPCOT redo status update.

Soarin over the World and CoP (and Frozen <not very nice word>) in World Showcase, plus event space and a new dining location.
In Future World, we have a good head start on our green makeover, with WoL back open as a health pavilion with a ride and a film attraction, plus other things to see and do. Innoventions is updated both outside and inside, a dining location plus garden space is on the roof, and the center of Future World is a showstopper.

All of this has been done and really, the biggest impact to guests has been in the work in the Oasis area. I have no idea how long that might take, but we can probably shuffle people through Innoventions while the construction is happening.

So, what is that? 2 dining locations, 4 rides and a film, a reopened set of pavilions and expo space all done without closing any attractions that are not already closed.

We're getting there! Now it comes to closing some stuff down though to continue the makeover. Good thing we just added capacity!

Also, the next ride to go down seems so desolate at times the impact will be minimal.

I think it's time to tackle Imagination, and I really have no idea what we are doing for the main attraction!
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
Ok. I was always torn, because the original Imagination attraction was so near perfection, it felt like the easy way to go to just bring it back. I wanted something new and completely off the wall different, with the creative minds of Disney's various film and animation divisions kicking in to help.
But I think this would likely go over like a lead balloon if Dreamfinder and Figment were not involved.
Well, I guess here is my current idea.

For the main ride, let's just go ahead and bring back the original. Update the technology of course, but it really should have been a timeless attraction as it was, let's just bring it to modern day tech and bring it back.

Now, the compromise portion.

Since I gave up my creative minds idea, I'm using them here. I think Captain EO goes. I think the 3D/4D thing is kind of played out these days, so what's coming could use them, but don't need to.

I think that the theater becomes a showcase for short films from animators and film makers from all of the Disney studios. The short films can include the ones that precede movies, but I would prefer it if these short films were not widely released. They should be opportunities for the animators to develop their ideas without needing it tied to a major release.

They should come from animators from Pixar, Disney Animation Studios, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Makerstudios, etc...

The requirement should be that it fits the loose theme that it is imaginative.

It can be CGI, hand drawn, stop motion, live action. It can be 3D or 2D, can use the 4D features too. Just be a creative outlet for the creative people in the company.

Image Works should be reopened, maybe as Imagination Works. I think a simplified version of Renderman could be used to help people make very simple objects or animations. If the film studios have other tools that could become simplified interfaces, use them too.

Part of me wants the outdoors to be updated back to the 80s working state it was, but I think we could incorporate more green into the area as well. When I speak of The Land, I'll put out an idea of something that could go between Land and Imagination that could really bridge the gap and make an interesting transition.

So there we go. Dreamfinder is back, the blimp is back, One Little Spark is back to its original state. We have a theater that changes often, showcases the creativity of in house talent. We have a 2nd floor back open for more fun stuff to do.

I want stuff like this coming out all the time


 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
Now we're really cooking with gas. Future World is starting to get back into decent shape. 3 updated pavilions with tons of new / updated experiences. We could stop here, but why?

The bigger question is what's next?

I'd originally intended for UoE to be next, but I've got a bit of a concern. We took Soarin' out of The Land a while back. How much foot traffic is the rest of this pavilion getting now? As much as I love Living with the Land, it's probably not bringing in people like Soarin' did, so this pavilion is probably in danger.
Nothing is really going to replace the loss of Soarin'. I'll admit that. It's not wise or feasible to really say that we need to put in another E-ticket here to replace what Soarin' brought in. While I tend to argue that the reason Soarin' is so popular is the fact that the rest of Future World really doesn't have a lot to do, so people flock to it out of necessity, the pavilion does need some TLC now that we've removed a popular attraction.
Soarin' (new and improved) still exists, so it's not like we removed it totally from Epcot. We've also added capacity with WoL, hopefully Innoventions and Imagination are now spreading crowds out more, so this pavilion does not have to remain the workhorse that it is today. I think that a quieter The Land pavilion is best anyway, and honestly, spreading the crowd out to other pavilions will improve everyone's enjoyment of Epcot, so we're not looking for a home run here. A solid double is ok IMO (of course, IMO, LwtL is a home run already).

Starting on the outside, I'd mentioned in my last post that I had an idea for transition between The Land and Imagination. Again, this is stealing from existing work, but I think we can do this here. In Googling around for inspiration, I came across Gardens by the Bay in Singapore that had something that I love intensely.

Behold, the SuperTree Grove:


stealing a screen cap from their website:


I mean, come on. How great of a fit would a version of these be between The Land and Imagination.


Most of the guest-facing areas of The Land actually are quite well done and probably do not need to change much. Maybe the canopy should be covered in greenery with some plants hanging down a touch to make it look more natural


I honestly was going to use this idea for UoE, and maybe it still works better over there, but as a What If, What If we tried to implement this onto the main glass structure:


This is a panel filled with algae, which provides power to the entire building it surrounds

I know it would likely cast a green glow down into the open area of The Land, but maybe we can play around with different configurations to reduce it's overall lighting impact. Maybe a slight greenish hue is actually a good, subtle reminder of the mission of the pavilion.

For the pavilion itself, it's attraction lineup, I don't think much really needs to change, but we do need an addition to make up for the loss of Soarin'.

Garden Grill should really focus on promoting itself (and being) a Farm to Table restaurant. All locally sourced foods. It just fits with the place, the pavilion, and the mission. Local, sustainable, you know, all the hipster Portland stuff. Their food margins are likely large enough across all of Epcot to take a bit of a hit here if it's more expensive to source this one eatery locally.

So, the last thing we need here is a 3rd attraction for the pavilion. Again, I've mentioned all of this before, but I think that climate change would be a great fit. The other idea would be to discuss GMO, what it actually is, how it's done, why it's safe. Either one could be done in the old Kabaret theater area, and coming up with a way to tackle them other than just a film is a task I might not be ready to really define yet. Is it just a learning area like is all over The Seas? Are they interactive exhibits? Do we simulate what the environment is going to feel like in 50 years with raised climate, higher seas, etc? Dunno honestly. I think it's a solvable problem though, and it just needs to compliment LwtL and Circle of Life enough to round out the pavilion.

Oh yeah, update the script, film, and music on LwtL. Focus on telling us why some of those techniques are being used. Talk about water conservation and agricultural waste, talk about it more than is already done.

Anyway, kind of a cop-out I know, I waved my hands at what we're adding to this pavilion. I just can't exactly justify the return of Kitchen Kabaret, so I've not yet had the genius idea that I know exists for it's former space.
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
I hope that it is obvious by now that while I'm insane in my thoughts that Disney needs to systematically change every single pavilion in Future World, I'm trying to be semi-lucid on the changes that should be made. I'm not asking for brand new E-tickets to be built for every single pavilion, I'm not asking for (too much) wholesale change, yet.

With that in mind, as we get to The Seas, against my real wishes for a return to a non-Nemo attraction with James Cameron as development partner, I'm suggesting that we can keep with the Nemo theme at The Seas with some tweaks.

I've mentioned this before, but my biggest complaints with The Seas with Nemo is that the ride is a badly done book-report style ride with an attempt to show a "different" story and revisiting our favorite characters. That and the fact that I think that the big aquarium tank was built to tell the story of a seabase, and the sparse nature of the ocean floor helped tell that story, but now that they've removed that story, the aquarium looks kinda sad.



My change to this pavilion starts with a new story for the overall pavilion. No longer are we looking for Nemo. Off the coast of Australia near the Great Barrier Reef, a group of Scientists have built a seabase for observation and to try and help fix some of the issues that are killing the most amazing reef system in the world. We can go visit this seabase via thier underwater conveyance system, and we've got a special guide who will help explain some of the things that we are seeing as we go there, Mr. Ray.

That is what I was trying to get at above in my "concept art" (I really think a lot of myself don't I?). One of the more amazing scenes in Finding Nemo is when he and his father first venture out into the reef where they live. The life, the color, the variety that is shown is still fairly breathtaking all these years later. That is the scene that we should be shooting for on our clamshell ride to the seabase. We're on our way underwater through the tunnel, making our way to the seabase. Along the way, Mr. Ray shows us some of the things in the coral reef system via "windows" out into the ocean. These could likely be done with simple small aquariums as our "windows", with effect work in the background to make it look like it's part of the bigger ocean. Focus on the bright colors, the variety of sealife, the wonder of the ocean. Maybe along the way we go through a jellyfish forest (can be done similar to this gif I found, only in our clamshells)



We hit some other cool and interesting sealife, Mr. Ray teaches us some facts along the way, talks to us about the importance of the reef system, etc. Mr. Ray could be done via AA figure, or potentially the technology that Nemo currently uses (if it works with a large creature like him), and a lot of his stuff could be "off camera" voice only work, in between windows.

Once we get to the seabase, it stands quite similar to now, though we try and bring back some of the actual working seabase feel. Heck, we can even keep the manatees, as long as it fits the story somehow, maybe the scientists find that working with manatees is a great way to improve their undersea rescue and recovery work, so they brought a few injured ones down to their seabase to help both the manatees and themselves.

I think that we don't even have to redo the entire inside of the aquarium. Do the parts up close to the large space as a VERY colorful and vibrant coral reef system, but you could also say that the seabase sits on the edge of the open water / dropoff, so you could leave the end area sparse and open, showing the transition from reef to open water. The stuff by the windows of the main seabase area though, those should look more like this:




I know that there will be challenges here in this. Taking care of the existing sealife while building the new reef system. Taking care of a new series of fish and animal species in the large aquarium requires different skills for the marine biologists. Rebuilding a relatively new ride. I get that. But I just feel that by making these changes, we could really breath new life back into this pavilion, while holding true to the vision of the original Epcot edutainment spirit.

Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, how does this fit into my green / natural makeover? Well, I don't think we have to do a whole lot honestly. The building already has architecture that really speaks of the seas, the rounded and sloping nature in my mind simulates the dunes at the seashores. So, why not just make it look a little more like seaside dunes, and install landscaping that makes it look similar to this:



Whatdda think?

With this, we've now redone all of Future World East. On to Future World West!
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
I think that I need to recap where we are, just so I can re-set the mood.

  • Soarin Over the World, complete with 3 theaters, has been finished, and the entrance has been moved over to World Showcase.
  • The Worlds Fair pavilion has been added, bringing a new It's a Small World inspired restaurant, Carousel of Progress, Festival space, a "Disney and the Worlds Fair" exhibit/museum, and a new music/theater venue. Illuminations globe has been relocated within this area during the day, with a grand entrance to the center of the lagoon at night.
  • Arrendelle is done
  • Wonders of Life is reopened, upgraded Cranium Command ala Inside Out, Updated Body Wars attraction, vaccine science, healthy body and body image, medical 3D printing, and an area to show the latest medical science breakthroughs all have been added. The outside of the pavilion has started the "green" makeover of Future World, is covered in greenery, with parts of the gold shining through in places.
  • Innoventions has been updated, the windows opened back up, E3 style ever changing expo space is the highlight inside focusing on consumer and industrial innovations, while the outside of Innoventions West has been given a rooftop addition, complete with urban gardening theme and a bistro with views of the Fountain of Nations and Illuminations in the distance. The main attraction here is the update of the center area to the Urban Oasis, with high arching white art structure surrounding trees, plants, flowers, water. It's peaceful, shaded slightly, and a true centerpiece.
  • Imagination has been returned to an updated version of the original Dreamfinder version (updated to include new AA technology, not the content of the ride). ImageWorks is reopen, with a focus on computer image / graphic design. Renderman-lite, showing some CGI processes in fun ways, maybe try and make it feel like the inside of the Pixar campus. The 3D theater has waved it's final goodbye to Michael Jackson, and is now showing an always new series of short films by the artists and filmmakers all under the Disney umbrella, with focus given to new and imaginative short films. Give the artists room to experiment and push themselves, and show the public what can be done with the imagination. The outside area has been refreshed and updated.
  • The Land has been touched, with the SuperTree grove leading the transition outside from Imagination to Land. Garden Grill has been tweaked slightly to focus on local/sustainable Farm to Table, and it is really highlighted in the menu where the ingredients come from. The outside has been slightly updated to continue the urban green theme, with plantlife hanging over the entrance. I waved my hands at a 3rd attraction focusing on either GMO or Climate Change that goes into the former Kabaret theater. I still don't have THE idea for this, but think that it's something that can be figured out.
  • The Seas with Nemo has had an overhaul, the sloping outside resembling a beachfront, with dune grasses and scrub. The ride has been refocused to be a trip to the Great Barrier Reef seabase, with Mr. Ray taking us on a trip past the coral reefs, introducing us to the sealife and ecosystem on our way. The seabase has been updated to once again reflect the coral reef story, with a vibrant reef system giving way to the open ocean. It is now a "working seabase" with scientists studying the Great Barrier Reef and it's inhabitants.
  • Spaceship Earth has been updated, a new script written by Ann Druyan, narrated by Patrick Stewart, and that leads up to the crescendo of the Spaceship Earth reveal at the top. From there, as we descend, the script continues to discuss Voyager 1 and the golden record, who's goal was to communicate with any other civilization that may (in the infinite reaches of space) happen to encounter Voyager. As we descend, we move away from Earth, past Mars, the asteroid belt, etc. When we hit Saturn, we transition to Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot speech. The Leave a Legacy has been taken down/relocated and a more green and water based entrance is built.
This is where we are at Epcot right now in the manifesto. I think it's time to tackle Future World East.
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
Universe of Energy / Ellen's Energy Adventure

This one has been hard for me, but I may have had the beginnings of an idea. What is hard about this is that there are so many different ways out there that can/will all play a part in getting off of our dependencies on fossil fuels. Barring some massive discovery by someone like @George in a lab who stumbles on some miracle, the solution to the energy crisis is likely going to be multi-layered. Many solutions working in harmony to make one. I mean, if you can handle the un-manliness of it all, take a quick look at the Pinterest board I threw together in a few minutes a few night ago showing the array of potential ideas:
https://www.pinterest.com/scottshindeldec/universe-of-energy/

There is not going to be one solution. It will be a combination of many. And I think that should be the entire focus of the pavilion. I think that the current version does a decent job of discussing this at the end, but it skirts some issues, and has too much focus on fossil fuels and outdated technology. We need to ditch the sponsor here, or have Elon Musk throw his money at it instead.

I still think that Bill Nye is the correct host for this pavilion. I think sadly, Ellen needs to go. Bill Nye is entertaining enough on his own, he does not need comedic help. He can do it on his own.

One of the issues is how do you make discussing energy not "boring"? They haven't quite cracked that nut in either version of the attraction. The Ellen version IMO does a better job than UoE, but still not great. The handcuff of the dinosaur section and the films really impacts it.

The idea I stumbled across was based off one of the throwaway posts of a person complaining about the parks and how Disney has had LPS technology for years and not introduced it stateside. So, I think that this could actually be a semi-out-of-the-box idea here. I think that an LPS based ride system could really work well with this attraction. I don't know if I can get the entire idea that exists in my head out into this post, because really it's more flashes of an idea instead of a fully formed one.

Bill Nye is dynamic, and has an excitable presentation of science. The solution to our future energy consumption is going to be multi-faceted, with many different potential solutions. Having a fairly madcap, exciting, unpredictable trip through the different potential pieces of the puzzle could really make this exciting. Since it'll be more of a network of solutions, they do not have to be presented in linear order, you can bounce around to all of them in different orders and really drive home the idea that this is going to take a integrated network of ideas to make the future more sustainable. I see whooshing (yes, whooshing) from a section on solar power to a section on using algae, to harvesting bio-gasses, to wind, to hydro, all with an excitable Bill Nye really driving the cadence of the attraction. It feels like this could really make UoE a star instead of an air conditioned nap. Science does not need to be boring, it can and should be exciting. Even for those not inclined to be excited about energy, a hectic LPS ride would be fun.

And as I mentioned before, don't pussyfoot around climate change, tackle it head on. It's what Epcot should do. It's a part of the mission. It needs to be shown, discussed, taught.

Anyway, I think that the outside could be updated a bit to show some of the other green energy technologies. If you click on the pinterest board, you can see the stories about some of these things, but I can see "trees" of wind-power blending in with the actual plantlife:


Algae lamps illuminating the walkways


Make the walkways solar collectors


Just really showcase some of the other ideas in energy that are going to lead the energy revolution. The more people thinking about these (and other) solutions, the better chance we have of creating real change.
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
We are left with Mission Space and Test Track. Both are ok attractions currently, and we likely could leave them be with some outdoor renovations and be good.

Still, I pause. I've covered my issues with both of these pavilions earlier in this here manifesto. I think they are both to narrowly focused for Future World. Test Track is all about cars. Here in 'murica we love our cars, but they are killing us. The emissions, the eternal search for more fossil fuels, the impact that all this sitting in traffic is having on our health, paving over the country, the list goes on. Plus, cars are just one piece of the transportation puzzle. I made a joke about Peter, but to give the dude an ounce of credit, I respect his passion for transit solutions (no matter how implausible they may be). Each current transportation option have their benefits and their problems. They play pieces in our transportation puzzle.

Would it be too much to ask a dude like Elon Musk to consult here? Not to push Tesla motors, or the Hyperloop, but to put together larger ideas on future transportation options, in which those two technologies, self-driving cars, space tourism, more public transportation solutions all come together.

The automobile changed the American landscape forever. Cities expanded to suburbs because of the ease of commute. The rise of the truck had a massive impact on how our goods and services are moved around the country. Plane travel started the move towards the global community that has changed everything.

I just feel that this topic is too big to be "look, here is a no-way-real fantasy about how we design and test cars today".

Huh, look at that, I meant to write about Space, because it's the logical next step for update at this stage, and talked about Motion instead.
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
And here my fellow readers (what, you've not read up to here yet?) is where my manifesto is currently at.
I have to really get through Transportation (above) in a much more detailed way, and there is the nut that is Mission Space yet to crack.

The problem I'm having with these two is that they are two of the more recent attractions. It's hard to imagine revamping TT right now when it is newly updated. Granted, all the stuff prior to this in here would take Disney a decade to implement, but here we are.

Mission:Space is a fun enough attraction, as I've noted, I just think the infinite reaches of space needs to be expanded upon.

I want to get Neil DeGrasse Tyson involved, and I want a large expansion added on to MS to add an entire post-show area that discusses the universe at large. Cosmos, the Pavilion.

Also, aside from few smaller changes, I've left World Showcase blank. I have thoughts on adding new countries to WS, and we can explore those, but honestly, you can build a convincing case to add many, many countries. The template for building a WS country is fairly standard. Build a recognizable structure, an overpriced eatery, a quick service eatery, 6 shops. Done. I think that more attractions need to exist in WS, so I'd love any new country to have a ride attached.

So, from here, I'm breaking new ground, though admittedly have little ground left to break.
 

Tiggerish

Resident Redhead
Premium Member
Ok. Here is where you get to see the true depths of my depravity here. I was just about to get into starting about an idea on one way to update Epcot.

Imagineering stuff is about to start.

I was about to start a notepad document collecting URLs for images and web pages to start my design ideas. Then I realized that there was already a web page that does that for you.

That's right. I started a bunch of
<shudder>
EPCOT design idea Pinterest boards.
<second shudder>

I feel somehow dirty.
It's official. You've gone to the dark side.

Random question--have you done ANY actual work today? LOL :p
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
I also think I need to address the visual aspects of Future World East. I've hinted at updates to UoE and WoL, but really not too deeply.

I made a sketch a while ago that I kind of don't fully like once I sketched it.


I was trying to get across the idea of the dome of WoL being covered with greenery, mixes of plants and flowers, and having sections of the gold shining through. I thought maybe putting the gold behind the double-helix pattern would look nice.

I don't really like it though. I think it should go more abstract. I had pulled out the sculpture of the double-helix because I was going crazy with the pattern on the outside. I want to put it back.

I still also think that having some pattern would be good. Having it keep a mostly-green shell, but use that beautiful gold coating as an accent. Use colored plants and flowers to increase the visual / architectural interest. Have this:

mate with this:

and this:


and make it stand out just as beautifully as this did, with an updated urban green theme.
 

George

Liker of Things
Premium Member
Jiminy Christmas. I was just scrolling through how much you posted since I last read. I really might be commenting on this piecemeal for years. I was hoping it would go a bit slower than the PML thread. My pay is directly tied to getting some stuff done and since I tend to read magic at work and I have actual thoughts on the things your posting...........
 

sshindel

The Epcot Manifesto
Premium Member
Original Poster
Jiminy Christmas. I was just scrolling through how much you posted since I last read. I really might be commenting on this piecemeal for years. I was hoping it would go a bit slower than the PML thread. My pay is directly tied to getting some stuff done and since I tend to read magic at work and I have actual thoughts on the things your posting...........
If this kept going for years, I'd be happy as heck.

My pace here was just trying to get it all in here in one blast. I could have slowed it down, posted once every couple days. I thought just getting it all "out there" since this was basically complete, then people could chime in on any part that tickled their fancy.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
Well @WondersOfLife, time for me to tackle Wonders of Life

Looks like I have some free time to tackle the last Future World pavilion left on my list.

I've been putting this one off for another good reason. I don't have a huge connection to it. The pavilion opened October 1989. I graduated high school in 1994 and then, during college, only went to WDW maybe once. So, between June of 1994 (senior trip, I took some park hopper tickets with me so we could hop from MK to Epcot) and 2000, I think I went 1 time, and then I was a broke post-college student and only went a couple times in the early 2000s.

That means that I really only got the 4 years from 90-94 and then maybe 1 or 2 visits in the 00's before the pavilion was shuttered. I probably got to visit the pavilion 5 or 6 times in total. Enough that I remember it, not enough for me to form an emotional connection with it on the same level as some of the other pavilions.

Wonders of Life was a fantastic looking pavilion on the outside. The huge golden dome, the double-helix DNA structure outside, and the big light, open feel of the inside. This was a pavilion that, like The Land, wasn't basically an attraction and a post-show. The pavilion itself contained different things to do alongside the Body Wars ride and the films. Stations around where you could ride a stationary bike while a video monitor in front of you made you look like you were peddling through some other place. Sports areas, areas about the 5 senses, optical illusions, lots of little stations. It kind of felt like Innoventions with a couple larger attractions.






Body Wars was, IMO, poorly done. It feels like it should have worked. The concept was tight, basically an update of Fantastic Voyage. The technology was there, as Star Tours tech was used. It's just something about the ride itself was off-putting. I felt like it was rough. I vividly remember the feeling as the "blood pumped you through the veins", rocking back and forth, back and forth. Ugh. It was a letdown once this finally opened and you realized it kinda sucked.

I really can't remember if I ever watched The Making of Me. I think by the time that this pavilion opened, I was already aware of how babies were made and spent my time not wanting to watch educational films about sex, rather trying to, ummm, yeah...:cautious:

The real great attraction in WoL was Cranium Command. I think that I had skipped it the first time or two, only to hear from my folks what I was missing. It really was a great show, inventive, well made, well voiced. The idea of being inside a child's brain was pretty out there for the time, and seems to have made a big impression on some young kids who went on to work at Pixar. The fact that it looks like we're going to get a phenomenal film this year in Inside Out that could be integrated seemlessly into Cranium Command, yet this pavilion is effectively gone, is sad to me. Once again, I've never been one about deriding any and all character integration into Epcot. I'm against poorly done character integration! Done with care, Inside Out and Cranium Command would be a no-brainer of an update to freshen up the attraction.

It's sad to me that this pavilion sits in Future World as a defacto festival headquarters. A place to watch a cooking demonstration, or buy a Food and Wine bottle opener.

This was a pavilion dedicated to health and fitness! We are a country in the throws of an obesity epidemic! Long dead diseases are making a return based on nothing more than (well meaning) ignorance! We've sequenced the human genome! We're using 3D printing technology in medical techniques that would have been something we wouldn't believe if they would have shown it in Horizons! A pill can give grandpa a ... ok, I'll stop now.

Point is that medical technology, health, fitness are as important now as ever, and inspiring the future generations to go into medical related fields, or to live healthier lives seems like a topic of outrageous importance. This is a topic that is in dire need to be represented in Epcot.

So, while I do love my idea earlier of making WoL a massive Space pavilion post-show, it's not the one I really feel needs to be in Epcot. We need Mission:Space to be a better attraction so that we can use this pavilion for a reinvented WoL.

This pavilion should be pretty easy to bring back as well. Cranium Command gets an Inside Out update. We replace some of the Innoventions style exhibits with new ones, ones focused on showing the kinds of interesting things that everyone needs to be focusing on. Make a film in the Making of Me theater that is often updated, and contains information about cancer. What it is, what it does, what we know about it. Update it annually. Parnter with the US Dept of Health if you have to and get some US Gubmint Money. Have a section explaining what vaccines are, how they work, and why they are so important.

That just leaves us with the main attraction. How do we update that so that it's a worthy draw?

I still think that a Body Wars style attraction could be successful. They just need to really look at what worked and what didn't. The simulator tech should be brought up to date. Throw away the old Star Tours 1.0 tech and get latest-and-greatest stuff here. Update the film, learn from Star Tours 2.0 and make it randomizable. Sometimes you are going in to trace down a new retrovirus, some times you are going in for precision surgery on a tumor, have different diversions, different areas of the body you visit. Don't make it as rough and prone to motion-sickness as possible.

I think that this could still be a solid pavilion today if done correctly, and I think it is something that Epcot needs to have. Update WoL to 21st century, be forward thinking in how bits and pieces can be easily swapped out and upgraded if new information or techniques come into use.
I personally have had a connection to the pavilion because it's a staple in my childhood at Disney World. When every other major attraction at Epcot had a long line, we would come to WoL to experience the two major (and best, at the time) attractions in Epcot that was basically hidden and forgotten from public view. I was in love with the CC show, it was so addicting to watch when I was little and I have no idea why! We ironically must have always went to Epcot when WoL was open during seasonal operations I guess. Because I remember trips between 2004 and 2007.

Body Wars could have worked 10X better than it turned out if they had stuck to the original concept. It was supposed to be a roller coaster through the human body featuring various animatronic parts and whatnot. Even the original concept for Cranium Command would've been just as great as the one that turned out the way it did! Heck, I'm shocked that Disney's making Inside Out rather than using the concept of Cranium Command, TBH! CC had a source, a fan base and everything to make a great pixar movie! I'll be Inside Out will be magnificent nonetheless.. But it technically takes place in the mind, not the brain.

So could Buzzy be working at the control panel in the brain, and instead of the live-action celebrities from various body parts, have him trying to fix a problem with the mind on how to react to certain things?

Back on topic.. I agree with your post. That's probably all I really needed to say. :happy:
 
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