EPCOT Center opened in October 1982 as an ambitious change of pace from The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. There were no familiar Disney characters (at first), and the tone focused on presenting a broader world to guests. In particular, the optimistic view of the future and remarkable technology at Future World connected with kids like me. There have been quite a few updates to the original model for the park (now just called Epcot), and some have been successful. The challenge is maintaining a coherent theme, which isn’t there at this point. With that goal in mind, Tim Grassey from WDW Theme Parks.com and the E-Ticket Report podcast joins The Tomorrow Society Podcast to discuss how to fix the park. There’s no easy answer, but our conversation digs into some ways that Disney could make it even better.
Grassey wrote an article for Micechat in December about one possible approach for Disney to fix Epcot. The idea of shifting Future World’s theme to one of discovery intrigues me. That choice still connects to past attractions that I loved like Horizons, World of Motion, and Journey Into Imagination. In fact, a good portion of early Future World was about more than the future. There are ways to fit some current attractions into that theme while making necessary updates to others. Universe of Energy and the current Imagination pavilion are prime candidates for an upgrade. My hope is that Disney won’t try to force an IP into a space where it doesn’t belong. There are ways to use familiar characters in Epcot without decimating the theme.
The podcast also covers Grassey’s background and how he got into theme parks in the first place. We discuss more than just Epcot and also dive into upcoming expansions like Pandora and Star Wars. There’s so much happening in Orlando in the next few years, and it’s fascinating to speculate on what will happen next.
Tim Grassey’s “Fixing Epcot” Article from MiceChat (December 24, 2016)