While Disney's marketing whizzes wring their hands over how to wring more money out of your wallet by "synergizing" Epcot to within an inch of its life (Kim Possible here! Nemo there! Singing ducks over there! Princesses right here!), the rest of the world moves on.
Sometimes in astounding ways. Sometimes in ways that make you truly sorry for the EPCOT Center that should have been, the one that Walt Disney World could have developed.
I read this terrific article about self-driving cars today. To quote a bit of it: "And Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of his speech to the driverless vehicles. 'This is not science fiction,' Larry Burns, GM's vice president for research and development, said in a recent interview." (It's no small irony that news of these cars come from GM, the sponsor of Test Track at EPCOT, formerly World of Motion.)
No, it's just a fascinating glimpse at a possible future. What's even more fascinating to me is that the article as it appears on AOL includes an up-to-the-minute reader poll. As of this writing (just before midnight on Jan. 7), 42 percent of poll-takers say they would buy a driverless car, while, strangely, 44 percent say they would feel "not at all" safe in such a vehicle. About 13,000 people took the poll asking if they'd buy; some 22,000 had taken the poll inquiring about safety.
A glimpse of a possible future. Instant poll results. The ability to express your views.
Doesn't that seem a lot like the way EPCOT Center used to be? Now, it's up to the Internet to bring us this kind of fascinating vision and interactive system, while EPCOT figures out how to incorporate Wall*E into its attractions.
That tantalizing Future World is out there. It's just not at EPCOT anymore.
It continues to make me sad.
Doesn't anyone at The Walt Disney Company see the amazing potential here?
Ever visit an old high-school friend, the one who was so good-looking and popular back in school, only to find that he's bored, unfulfilled and kind of lazy? It's depressing to see that sort of potential go to waste. And you're wrong not to point it out.
Come on, EPCOT, get off your lazy butt. That same world you found so exciting 25 years ago is still out there waiting for you to explore ... and you're still young.
Driverless cars! Who woulda thunk such a thing?!