Friday, September 15, 2006
35 Random Thoughts
I'm heading off on a long-planned vacation today, including a lengthy stop at Walt Disney World and Epcot. I'm almost hesitant to go to Epcot after all I've been writing; will it be better or worse than I remember? What kind of changes will I see first-hand?
Meanwhile, some random thoughts on the past, present and future of EPCOT Center and Epcot that are running through my mind.
1. Do something about the wand … please!
2. Traveling the world is something that no one should miss the opportunity to do, but so is seeing Epcot.
3. Disney’s upcoming “celebration” products use a generic “Disney Theme Parks” logo that looks terrible; is Disney intentionally trying to ruin its Theme Parks business by making all of its parks seem alike, much like Six Flags?
4. I really miss Horizons – or, more to the point, I really intensely dislike Mission: Space.
6. I’m almost going to miss seeing 1970s cars in the Canada movie.
7. Epcot has the coolest, most unique landscaping of any theme park in the world.
8. Love the Fountain of Nations; who doesn’t?!
9. Why don’t they make more Epcot-specific merchandise?
10. Given how large the Mission: Space pavilion is, it’s too bad they didn’t put in a cool space-themed restaurant.
11. Rio del Tiempo aside, the Mexico pavilion is pretty extraordinary and deserves more than a casual glance.
12. The museum-style exhibits in World Showcase deserve more attention from guests and from the park’s marketing “managers.”
13. Those marketing “managers” seem to know less and less about marketing every day.
14. Is piranha still on the menu at the Coral Reef Room?
15. It’s too bad they don’t still create unique matchbooks all around Epcot; matches are for much more than lighting cigarettes!
16. How did Epcot move from getting us jazzed about “Corporate America” to making us so cynical?
17. Who won the Person of the Century poll?
18. Is it really that hard to find a sponsor for Wonders of Life, and if it is, couldn’t Disney fund it on its own?
19. What purpose do those awnings in Innoventions Plaza serve?
20. The woman who used to narrate the opening film in The Living Seas had the coolest voice.
21. I miss the giant IMAX-sized DNA strand … they should add that to Soarin’ and really freak people out!
22. Is it really that hard for Disney “managers” to understand the concept of “family entertainment”?
23. Take down the wand!
24. Epcot’s entry plaza looks like a giant war memorial.
25. If the France pavilion’s Eiffel Tower is based on “original blueprints,” as tour guides allege, how comes it looks so … odd?
26. Aerial shots of Epcot show what an amazing amount of land is still open for development in both World Showcase and Future World.
27. Norway is the most charming of the World Showcase pavilions.
28. I miss the “authentic,” non-princess version of Akershus.
29. It seems a woefully low percentage of guests really take the time to explore the China pavilion.
30. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth may be the best show Disney has ever created.
31. The Simpsons notwithstanding, Epcot simply isn’t “boring.”
32. Why does Disney care so little about what its biggest fans have to say?
33. Has there ever been a more pointless piece of real estate than Odyssey Restaurant?
34. Please. The wand. Do something.
35. Epcot has moved from being opimistic and hopeful to being crass and cynical (represented so well by the sideshow-style hawking kiosks where they try to sell you on the Disney Vacation Club and Leave a Legacy). I hope one day someone at Disney will re-discover Epcot's true voice.