Monday, February 19, 2007

Guest Comments

I’ve heard anonymously (as in, I know who they are but they will remain absolutely anonymous) from a few Disney executives and park employees who say they read EPCOT Central frequently. Many thanks!
Recognizing that not everyone reads all of the comments that are posted, I wanted to highlight some of the most interesting comments that have been posted to the site in the past few weeks. Think of it as a “public service” for you busy executives who are too busy to read all of EPCOT Central – but, I hope, not too busy to be out there walking the park and seeing it through a guest’s eyes.

On EPCOT’s lack of a 25th anniversary celebration:
As a former manager at Epcot for 4 years and someone who was at working at WDW for during the 25th Anniversary celebration as well as being a member of the opening management team for Disneyland Paris in 1992 I think this is a disgrace. Epcot will always hold a special place in my heart and if Disney does not want to recognize it, it is their right, but their are many of us who toiled day after day year after year to make it one of the best places to go and to make sure we lived up to Walt's dream and vision every day!

On EPCOT’s spirit:
Epcot should emphasize that the future is what we make it. We can either let it be run by cynicism and self-doubt, or we can fill it with optimism and creative energy. I prefer the latter.

On the “shrinking” of EPCOT:
I appreciated the comment that someone made about the physical size of Epcot, and particularly about Future World. That aspect of size also relates to the pavilions/attractions, especially in the initial versions. In many of the pavilions... SSE, Energy, the (Living) Seas... there was so much space for each attraction that you couldn't help but have an immersive experience. And with a large amount of space, you had a lot of time to experience the attractions in the pavilion... even if it was just a long ride like SSE.

Contrast that with Mission:Space, and you see how the elements of an immersive experience are abandoned. Most of the interior seems to be the queue; then you have a four-or-five minute ride and that's it.

On EPCOT and adulthood:
there's so much to love at epcot. it's hard to believe as a child i didn't fully enjoy the epcot experience. i couldn't appreciate it more now.

On the “new,” thrill-heavy EPCOT:
Disney is pushing excitement. It is overwhelming. I remember being very excited as a child, but it was more in hopes of experiencing everything. It was more constrained so the excitement came from within. Now, it feel forcefed. It is certainly exciting, but it is not simultaneously relaxing. I feel worn out, not worn out but very satisfied.

On the changes to Akershus in the Norway pavilion:
I was at Epcot on 2/14/07. My husband & I always loved the Norwegian restaurant and were horrified to find that the princess dining has taken away our beloved mashed rutabaga and tomato herring while almost doubling the lunch price since our last trip in 2004. The boat ride was operating, but the trolls were unable to say, "Back! Back! Over the falls!" Norway is my favorite pavilion, and I love the movie so very much. I wish that they would maintain this area and return it to its former glory.

On other recent changes to EPCOT:

During my last visit to WDW, my time at Epcot depressed me, both emotionally and visually. Adding Nemo to The Living Seas and putting a giant television in place of Horizons (no matter if it is a nod to a previous Tomorrowland attraction) doesn't capture the imagination that the original attractions did. Regardless of how the audience's tastes and attention spans have changed, a dissipated focus on Disney's part allowed the notion that business wags could come in and "fix" something that wasn't broken.


Anonymous said...

I believe the Walt Disney Company is reading a lot of blogs about their business. It's honest and direct market research for them.

Anonymous said...

What has happened to Epcot? 20 years ago, the waters teamed with fish, shark, live coral, etc. The waters were clean and the colors vibrant.
I visited two weeks ago with my husband and child only to find dead coral and fish with some sort of flesh-eating disease. The only bright color were the 3D computer graphics of Nemo and Friends superimposed on the tank.
I visited with mother and sisters yesterday (we have passes) only to find a sea turtle that was obviously dead - we advised someone who said that they were "already looking in to it"
One of the manatees was missing from the week before - wonder where he went.
I believe it is a travesty with all the revenue Disney receives to have become so irresponsible as to allow the Living Seas attraction with all its LIVING creatures to plunge to such depths of dilapidation -it's like they're running some third-world zoo - it's a terrible shame.
We saw no bioligists, no one who looked as though they were qualified as caretakers of these precious creatures.
Oh by the way, Epcot has the audacity to continue running attractions like "Living with the Land" wherein they speak of energy conservation and the like, yet they have a $40,000 Gas Guzzler on display after you exit the ride? What hypocrisy! And we wonder why some other countries see us as gluttonous overindulgent hyprocrites