Thoughts on restoring Disney's most unique, most daring theme park.
I have a much harsher one I made about Nemo at least a year ago now.... much harsher. As in, if I put it on a shirt I'd probably be thrown out of the park.
To be honest, I think Epcot is still great. The best feeling is before Illuminations when all the torches light up and the world music starts playing. You see people in a festive mood, some wearing nice evening clothes and families together. The mood is very nice and comforting. The theme of togetherness is strong and hasn't changed much in recent years. Future World is the exception. I don't think this part of the park stands for "the future" anymore. It doesn't seem like companies want to display their cutting edge technologies anymore. GM no longer wants to show cool models of sleek bullet trains and cars. So instead this area became all about discovery. Alright, that is fine with me, discovery is great! So they put in Test Track...well ok, you "discover" how they make cars...I guess. Then they put in Mission: Space. Oh great! Swell! You discover space! Fantastic...but it's only a training mission...ok, well it still feels cool to almost pass out. THEN...The rest of the pavillions lost their sense of discovery, or realized they had none. Thank goodness Soaring over California could be rethemed. Living Seas was fine, but they messed that up with a cute dark ride that belongs in Animal Kingdom or something. Actually, perhaps the entire pavillion does. WOL just faded away, Universe of Engergy remained a boring, uneventful theatrical snoozer even with Ellen, and Imagination lost it's imagination, even though a moving theatre is pretty damn cool....oh and the music is the best...! So I've accepted that the "future" is no more at Epcot and i'm fine with that, but I really don't see where they are going with this when they open a nemo ride in the living seas. I just don't. To me, SeaBase Alpha matched the theme of Discovery more than it did of "futuristic such and such". I still like Epcot and it's not AS flawed as people like to think, I mean they can change 4 pavillions in Future World that could still strengthen and revitalize the park, so we'll see. What I don't like is that Disney still promotes it as "being all about future technologies that will change our world and cutting edge this-and-that". This is when I realize that Epcot is in transition and it just isn't happening fast enough. I like to think of Future World as a "land" where you get to do things that you could never do in real life, but aren't thingf of pure fantasy. Such things like going into space. Mission:Space is pretty darn convincing; Flying over the land...Soarin lets us do this; Being a test dummy....well ok I don't know who's ever wanted to do that, but it is fun to think about after the fact. So Nemo should have been more about being in the ocean instead of looking at scenes from a "sequel" story, no? Shouldn't, then, Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom be placed inside universe of energy as a way to "actually" go back to see the dinosaurs...and shouldn't the finding nemo ride be put in Animal Kingdom as a way to learn about fish and sea life? Wonders of Life doesn't stand a chance and Stormchasers from Tokyo makes so much sense to go in there. It is most ironic that Journey into Imagination is the worst ride in all of Walt Disney World (arguably)...Is it because they couldn't think of any good ideas?
Things you couldn't do in real life...Hmmm, not bad, there's a part of that at EPCOT, but it's not all about that. I understand Epcot82's feelings onto giving satisfaction to guests with cheap thrills instead to focus on Epcot's inspiring goal."The peaceful, almost serene calm of the scene underscores the idea that our world of the future can be orderly, calm and quite lovely -- that technology can bring us some peace from the chaos. The future promises a well-ordered, but not stark, world unlike the noisy one in which we live.The redesigned Future World (below) says exactly the opposite: We need fun! We need noise! We need to be busy and chaotic!"...Epcot was about adapting technology into an environment where we could still feel liberty.What enthousiasm can be preserved for Disney's future? What's next? Aren't we already into the future? Are we now willing to travel back in the past? Showing the perspectives of yesterday with the technology of today, and mix everything to share a better tomorrow? If future is no longer enthousiastic, there is a problem.
I agree that no place is quite like Epcot just before (and during!) Illuminations.Use that feeling -- that "excited calm," so to speak -- to inform and infuse the entire theme park, and you'd have a perfect place!Need I point out, too, that there are no Disney characters before or during Illuminations?!(Oh, one thing that I noticed this last time that I never had noticed before was the proliferation of cast members trying to get people to buy needless, cheap carnival-style items like glowstick necklaces, etc., right before Illuminations. THAT I could do without!)
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