Friday, June 08, 2007

Knowing When to Say When

It's been well over a year since I started this blog, and if you're a long-time reader, you've probably noticed I have had less and less to write about lately -- as well as less and less time to do it.

EPCOT Center will always, always, be near and dear to my heart. You who are reading this and I share a passion that is found in far too few Disney executives these days, a passion for seeing Disney fulfill the promise of this immensely promising place.

The pessimistic side of me reckons that Disney has made it abundantly clear they have no interest in doing anything but turning EPCOT (not to mention Disney-MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom and even California Adventure) into just another "Disney Park" -- a brand so wrong-headed and ill-conceived that anyone except a Disney marketer could see it is the corporate equivalent of a supermarket's generic label: plain and dull. Disney is stripping away the individuality each park used to have. Ironically, we live in an age of "branding," yet Disney is removing the personality from its own carefully wrought brands. Its theme parks are little more than an increasingly cynical way to wrest money from your and my wallets, and visiting the over-crowded, over-priced parks gets me depressed lately rather than raising my spirits.

So, that pessimistic side says, "Why bother anymore?" Yes, it's time to concede defeat. All the bloggers in the world won't change Disney's calculated decisions, nor its bloated "creative development" process, nor its overly politicized corporate environment that emphasizes pleasing Wall Street over pleasing guests. In a company like Disney has become, a concept like EPCOT doesn't stand a chance.

The optimistic side of me ... ?

Well, what little remains, when it comes to Disney, hopes that the recent rumors, running rampant online and in Burbank and Lake Buena Vista, are true: The ugly wand over Spaceship Earth is finally coming down, a decision made not by Disney marketers but, interestingly, by Siemens.

Perhaps this marks a moment of change in Disney's attitude toward EPCOT? Unlikely, and I'll believe it when I see it, but certainly possible.

I hope that's the case. I'll be watching and waiting to see. The defunct Wonders of Life pavilion; the dumbed-down Seas pavilion ("But it's always busy!" comes the retort -- as if popularity were always indicative of creative success); the "Gran Fiesta" travesty of choosing Disney frivolity over an entire culture; the often-empty queues of Mission: Space; the neglected Audio-Animatronic figures in World Showcase; the carnival-barker atmosphere that increasingly pervades EPCOT ("Buy a Glo-Stick necklace now!") ... none of it gives me much hope.

I don't know when I'll visit Walt Disney World again. Probably not very soon. It depresses me.

The good news is, the science center up the street from my house offers extraordinary interactive displays and exhibits (not to mention IMAX films) that stretch my imagination; inexpensive flights to foreign lands make it easier than ever to see the real world myself; and thanks to DVD and the Internet, the glories of EPCOT past are rarely far away.

I will always love what EPCOT Center tried to be, as well as the idealized philosophies of Walt Disney and the company he created -- the one that stopped existing in 1995, when Disney execs decided the company needed to become a multi-media conglomerate. If I can carry a tiny bit of those ideals with me in my own life, I think I might be able to make some positive changes. You know, it just takes "One Little Spark" of inspiration. Disney and EPCOT Center once provided that spark -- many times over.

But for now, I know when it's time to say when ... and that time is now.

I'm closing down shop on EPCOT Central.

The posts will still be here for anyone to read for months to come; I have no intention of taking them down. I hope you'll share the thoughts on this blog, which come from around the world, with your friends and colleagues who care about EPCOT. Even though I won't be adding new ones, maybe the posts that are here could still make a difference.

As readers, you have made a difference in my life. I've seen that literally tens of thousands of people worldwide share my passion for EPCOT Center, for the ideas and thoughts that once filled the park, for the inspiration it provided in our own lives. That inspiration will never die, no matter what the Florida theme park becomes.

May the inspiration of EPCOT Center continue to drive you, to inform your lives, to light your way.

Thank you for reading. And now ...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... EPCOT Central is closed. We hope you've enjoyed your stay.


Anonymous said...

Epcot82, thanks immensely for starting EPCOT Central and keeping it going as long as you did. It was a good run.

I'm still going down for the 25th anniversary, just because. Hope I see a few of you there. Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

Okay, who at Disney has threatened to sue you?

Anonymous said...

Well this ruined a pretty piss poor week already.

I think the changes that are rumored look to be getting the parks back on par with what they used to be and should be.

I hope you reconsider. This has been a wonderful blog.

Josh said...

I can't fault you for deciding to call it quits, but I'll miss reading your updates and hearing thoughts and opinions from someone who shares similar views on EPCOT.

And I don't think it's necessarily time to quit. It took Al Lutz and Kevin Yee and the rest of the Mice Age group a looooooong time to effect change at Disneyland, but I honestly think they were responsible for some of the positive changes that have taken place out there.

I think maybe you just need additional contributors - those guys (Miceage) have a team, and it takes more than one person to compile a lot of this information and to put together these articles. Plus, sometimes it just takes a different way of expressing the same view for some people to get the picture. I'm sure you could get some volunteers to serve as contributors to this blog.

In any case, if this is the end, I'll most definitely miss it.

FoxxFur said...

I think this blog has achieved something pretty remarkable: it, along with Re-Imagineering, has achieved a remarkably broad, consistent and dedicated reader fanbase which has, in turn, helped professionalize a lot of the blogs in the Disney realm. I know I was initally won over as to the respectability of having a well maintained, professionally designed blog by this site as well as Re-Imagineering, which helped me decide to put to rest the short-term goals of writing my book and getting it published all at once. So in that regard, thank you for your writings and effort as they have at least paid off and made a difference in my life.

But I think you should at least retire knowing that, better or worse, this blog was and will hopefully continue to be a rallying point for those of us who haven't forgotten about dreaming and doing.

I was recently at EPCOT with my mate and a friend, and my friend saw a kid of probably no more than seven and turned to me and said "Isn't it sad that that kid will never ride Horizons? And when he grows up, that it will probably be to him what Adventure Thru Inner Space is like to us.."

That was a sobering moment for me.

But here's another recent moment at EPCOT.

My friend Becky turned to me in World Showcase and said "My goodness, this is so much better than Magic Kingdom!"

I say, the dream still shines through the chintzy paint and glow sticks and Balzac balls. In 1982, we hardly deserved EPCOT Center and I sometimes think that, as a people, we're just getting worse. But people did get EPCOT, and it touched their lives, and it remarkably still touches their lives in a way




So, finally, like EPCOT, has this blog become an ideal to aspire to? I would say that in some ways it has. In challenging the readership and Disney to think differently about the product I say that the effect of the blog has gone past the sidewalk parade of complaining it sometimes felt like and entered the realm of something which was genuinley effective and provactive. I just hope that somebody out there picks up the torch and carries it onwards just as you raised that burning spirit high when Disney decided that *hope* was not post-modern.

Look at me, I'm already eulogizing...

Anyway. If I told you this place was perfect or that I always agreed with you I'd be lying, but I say that you've done much for me, for Disney, for the fan community and, yes, for EPCOT, so in light of all that, thank you and best of luck in the future.

John said...

Yours is a voice that will be missed. I Agree with everything said above (especially FoxxFur and Josh).


Anonymous said...

While I think your heart was in the right place, I can tell that you grow tired of beating a dead horse. I think you should reopen a blog based around various science centers around the country.

Much like the ReImagineering Blog, this site tried to use both sides of the hand to praise and criticize Disney to no avail. Instead of trying to do that, I think it would be better to support the companies that are doing something right. All the little companies that are actually innovating technology and not just maintaining it. Disney has passed its prime a while ago. Today they parks are just a showcase for technology that others are developing. They're a venue.

When they released the "Disney Parks" logo with the castle in the sky, I knew it was the end. Today Disney is dropping many alternative brands in order to release more content under the flagship name. This is going to end horribly. At this point, Universal Studios seems to have a better system to plug n' play content into their parks to remain fresh.

SirNim said...

First Bob Barker, then Epcot82? Not a good week for those of us who value intriguing, insightful, and retiring personalities...

I must say, the very recent rumors surrounding the possible removal of, you know, it, have kind of energized me in regards to a possible change in direction for Epcot. Perhaps everything is cyclical, perhaps 2008 could mark a new period of vogue for the future, for technology, for internationality. Time will tell whether the all-powerful grip of marketing, and more specifically faulty marketing, as this blog alludes to, will ever subside. In the meanwhile, I graciously bid this most perspicacious online publication adieu. :)

Geoffrey said...

Thank you very much Epcot82 I wish you all the luck in your future ventures...

For your part you created aloung with Re-Imagineering a way for those Disney (not just Epcot lovers) to see what has truely gone wrong with the parks and company that we all love. I can only hope that someone out there was reading this and similar blogs like it and step up and do something courageous stand up to the Disneyfication that is plaging the parks today.

For my part you have helped to revitalize my love for this park as well as WDW as a whole. and for that I thank you.

JStone423 said...

Oh, you have got to be kidding? Yu're giving up? That doesn't sit right w. me, especially all the passion you have shown for the best park in the World. One reason I have continued to visit your blog is that you helped to keep the original vision of Epcot alive. There are people who may have not been old enough to see the original Epcot and can find solace here ( as well as my blog, shameless plug), as you outline the great achievements WDI created in Horizons, WOM, etc.

"D-Day: War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the going gets tough . . . the tough get going."

Hang in there, hopefully enough of us bitching and moaning will put you back on your soapbox.

Remember, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, for the time you put into this blog. I enjoyed every give and take with you, Schnemo and the rest.

In the end, the spirit of Epcot is more relevant than ever (listen to the land, tomorrows child, if we can dream it we can do it, we are all passengers on spaceship earth, one little spark of inspiration), but its present incarnation is a bit lacking.

The future world is happening. I should probably stop waiting for it to be presented to me in a Disney manner at Epcot, and make more of an effort to edutain myself.

Anonymous said...

As others have said, many thanks. Although I didnt always agree with what you said or your approach to certain things, your heart is in the same place as most of us in regards to Epcot.

Inevitably, no matter who was writing a blog, there's only so much content that one person can write for a single park. I knew eventually it had to either change or come to an end.

Thank you for keeping the posts up here as they are symbolic of a time period, maybe we'll look back on this in 10 years and be glad things improved. I still think Siemens is a step in the right direction and the only way to find out will be when SSE reopens.

But if the wand comes down, at least that's SOMETHING GOOD and we can all maybe take a few thousands of a percentage point of credit for that.

I do wonder if you'd leave the option open for others to post a blog relating their Epcot ideas and experiences here? Im sure I could start a few topics not discussed in the past.

Captain Schnemo said...

I'll heap my thanks upon the others' above. For many years I'd been saying the kind of things you've written here (although not so diplomatically) and it's gratifying to see that you've created a great forum and an inspiration for many. Back then I was on the lunatic fringe, but you've helped shine the light on these problems (along with years of Disney's bad decisions, of course) and brought these ideas into...well, not exactly the mainstream, but to the forefront of a community of people who take interest in what Disney was and could be.

The sad thing is that Disney always wins these things, simply by refusing to participate. Their oppressive silence and disinterest in their own product makes projects like this one difficult, to say the least. There's only so much energy one can devote to such a Sisyphean task. Disney wins by being the brick wall you hurl yourself against until you imagine that there must be better things to do with your time.

Hardly the sort of words Walt would ever want to see used to describe his company.

I believe this site and others like it are really about the great sadness of missed opportunity. There are very few things in the world more depressing and demoralizing than witnessing a problem with a simple solution that you don't have the power to change.

I commend you for having the energy and integrity to take this as far as you have. It's a thankless task, but it's reassuring to know that there are still people out there with the strength and will to stand up for something they believe in.

You should take pride in the fact that you gave it a go. Most people are not so strong.

David Arroyo said...

your blog was interesting and wonderful. however, you constantly chide Disney for giving up on Epcot. but you are doing the exact same thing. great way to set an example.

GreenCapt said...

When you rush around in hopeless circles,
Searching ev'rywhere for something true,
You're at the age of not believing
When all the "make believe" is through

When you set aside your childhood heroes
And your dreams are lost up on a shelf
You're at the age of not believing
And worst of all you doubt yourself

You're a castaway where no one hears you
On a barren isle in a lonely sea
Where did all the happy endings go?
Where can all the good times be?

You must face the age of not believing
Doubting ev'rything you ever knew
Until at last you start believing
There's something wonderful...
Truly wonderful in you

...thanks for the great blog....

Epcot82 said...

I appreciate all the kind words, thoughts and sentiment.

I assure you, I am not giving up on EPCOT -- I just feel I have said what needs to be said. I could go on, but it would be overstaying my welcome.

Hopefully the blogposts that are here -- and, especially, the comments that follow them -- will inform someone at Disney, particularly in park management.

There is a wealth of opinion and comment here, more feedback than most executives could ever hope for.

This is an open invitation to them: EPCOT Central has stopped growing but won't stop being, so, please ... use it and learn from it.

Matt Arnold said...


thank you for inspiring me, and providing a place to talk about EPCOT. You'll be missed. I second Chris' suggestion that you open your blog to posts by others. There's a community of EPCOT fans waiting to happen. This blog was an experimental prototype of that community.


Anonymous said...

For those who have asked for it:

He's the new head of EPCOT. Send him your thoughts and comments!

Unknown said...

I can see changes being made at EPCOT, that are a result of you efforts. I think if you quit now, those changes may not come to fruition. Even if you can’t see results, I can, and I am sure that I am not the only one who believes that. I don’t think the rumors surrounding the wand coming down are rumors. I think that Siemens PR department is aware, thanks to your blog, how many people hate it.

I also see small changes that you may or may not be aware of, such as the Character Connection backdrops. They now have several characters that are in front of the old EPCOT themed backdrops. The backdrops are Energy, Communication, Transportation, Space, and the Land. They also renamed it the “EPCOT Character Spot”. I think that your voice in the wilderness, is more like a call of the wild. I think that you are being heard far more frequently, and clearly than you give yourself credit for.

Walt never tried to do it all himself, and neither should you. I agree with the other readers that you should take on contributors. I am sure that there are many talented writers who share your vision for restoring EPCOT to it’s former Glory. I think it could be the beginning of a movement not seen since the “Save Disney” days. Contributors who live in Central Florida could bring first hand footage to the blog. I encourage you brother, don’t give up the fight now, not when you are starting to make a difference. I salute you and look forward to future articles on this website.

God Bless You,
Brian B.

Anonymous said...

Thats the only complicating factor about these blogs, not knowing how much of an impact these make.

However, I DO think that the Re-Imagineering site IS doing a lot for spreading the knowledge and Im sure some Disney people have seen it. And since both are linked together its quite possible this blog is making an impact as well.

Anonymous said...

I remember the first day I discovered EPCOT Central- it was one of the happiest days of my short life. I finally found a blog where someone shared the same ideas, thoughts, and disappointments in Epcot, but still had a passion for EPCOT Center and the individuality of Disney theme parks.

IF (and I say IF) it is true that the dreaded THING is finally going to be dismantled after overstaying its welcome for almost 8 years, then I truly do believe that Epcot is taking on a new direction. Not necessarily going back to its old roots, but growing on the fact that EPCOT WAS spectacular in its heyday and it does hold sentimental value with some guests.

I guess we will just have to wait and see. But I do believe that EPCOT Central has made a difference. Maybe not with the management of Epcot, but in the hope of EPCOT aficionados all over the world.

Thank you. :D Your blog will be missed, and I will probably re-read every article this summer.

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog. It is hard to concentrate on what is so wrong w/o getting depressed.

Maybe you will have a change of heart- you could celebrate what was wonderful about the Epcot of the 80's/early 90's.

Things may turn around a little bit, but the Disney Co. is different than it was then. Synergy wasn't as big of a word, if it existed at all.

Your voice was louder than you think.

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog. It is hard to concentrate on what is so wrong w/o getting depressed.

Maybe you will have a change of heart- you could celebrate what was wonderful about the Epcot of the 80's/early 90's.

Things may turn around a little bit, but the Disney Co. is different than it was then. Synergy wasn't as big of a word, if it existed at all.

Your voice was louder than you think.

Epcot82 said...

Thanks, all. I appreciate the sentiments and the desire not to have EPCOT Central go away ... so it won't! It will always be here. I'm just not going to be adding to it actively.

Part of the issue is, I just can't think of anything more to say. Sure, things will come up at EPCOT and decisions -- both good and bone-headed, though if recent history is an indication, more of the latter -- will be made. But my voice, such as it is, would only echo what I have already said.

There are literally hundreds of posts here, and I'm glad for all of them. But when you put them together, it's something like 200-plus printed pages, and that's a lot of pages.

I'll make you a deal -- when a single decision is made that reflects the spirit and meaning of EPCOT Center as it was conceived, when Jim MacPhee or Jay Rasulo or Bob Iger makes an announcement that something smart and exciting and genuinely captivating is coming to EPCOT, or that something is being done to restore EPCOT's luster, I'll be back.

(But casting a Canadian comic from the 1980s to "liven up" O Canada, for instance, doesn't count.)

I hope, then, that I'll be back. Because it will be a sign that someone is actually taking EPCOT seriously. I hope that happens!

Anonymous said...

Epcot82, Dude, not now. We need you.

Listen, I do not agree with everything you say (write) but your thoughts and passion for Epcot are amazing.

How about this.... You stick it out until we see what they have instore for Space Ship Earth. If they fall short then pack it in and call it a day.

But, just but, if they actually make us proud to ride this new reimagineered ride again, then you have made a difference. And need to continue.

I feel the wand will come down, and it is in part to blogs like this. So if you quit, then when the next disaster strikes, who will champion our cause?

Anonymous said...

I felt as good reading this post as I felt visiting EPCOT in 1995. You took care of our hearts, and your efforts are far from being a failure, truly. Because whatever the consequences are, at least the readers know what we here are thinking. If Disney changes back, our voice and our hopes would have a part behind it.

Our present might shows what one, some years ago, was defending to happen, without so much high tech to thrill on wasting our focus or reasons to live, but this might be only the provocation of a new challenge. You are probably faced similarly toward the challenge Walt Disney had through those minding, but he never left or flinched in front of adversity. Please don't give up. It's just the weight of the world...

Make a wish upon a star
I'll be wishing on the same one that you do

Anonymous said...

Holy self-indulgent. You write a dumb blog that I read from time to time. You are not changing lives, get real.

Oh, and I dare you to leave my comment up.

Anonymous said...

Get romantic. Have you never felt things just have to change when they're taking the wrong direction? A direction that hurts somewhere... Just share the enthousiasm or shut up for god's sake.

Making things real start by building up strong opinions.

The whole world hates you,
going to hell and living with it?
just deny.

Mooch said...

Wow. Why does every blog and podcast I find die off within a month? Seriously, this is about the tenth time this has happened. Somebody out there doesn't want me to enjoy anything current.

Oh well. I guess I'll just start reading the older articles.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

thanks 4 posting this blog, I will miss ya! Epcot rocks & will always be on one of my many homes!!!

Anonymous said...

At least YOUR EPCOT existed at one time. MY EPCOT, the city of the future Walt Disney pitched on television WILL NEVER EXIST!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could try to make only one condensed doc following one narrative line going through your articles.

Take out the news elements, quote what each paragraph is about, keep the key ideas, create a plan from that, put related elements together and get into edit mode. I might even be tempted to do it for you <:O)

Brian said...


Good job. I disagreed with a lot of what you said, but we were united in our passion about maintaining EPCOT Center's original vision.

To be fair, EPCOT Center was never _really_ as amazing as we remember--time tends to cloud memories. The current incarnation is not nearly as _bad_ as everyone thinks it is--it's still filled with wonder. And overall EPCOT Center certainly fell far (very far!) short of what Walt Disney's original goal was for the project. But it's clear that there are more people out there who share my passion for that odd place in the middle of Florida, and you were able to single-handedly mobilize a community of people around it.

Disney has never quite seemed exactly sure what to do with the place over the past ten years. Blogs like this are important to re-educated them about what to many is one of their favorite places on earth.

You touched off numerous other discussions and even prompted me to start my own blog, ''.

Thanks again for all you have done to get the ball rolling. This is just the beginning, and Disney is listening.

Anonymous said...

I take it from your writting that you probably work for Walt Disney Imagineering. I've got an idea that will help you save your job, a pitch for a new ride. Get rid of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" and change it to "Lindsey Lohan's Wild Ride." It's hip! It's cool! And it's just what I'd expect to see at Disneyland some day.

Anonymous said...

^^actually that would have been perfect as an add-on to SuperStar Limo back when it was around at DCA.

what a horrible "bad trip" of a ride that was.

Anonymous said...

How can you give up now?

Epcot is actually beginning to change back to way it was and for the better...A new VP is in and he is beginning to change things. New Merchandise is already reading EPCOT Center.

I don't think that in the EPCOT philosophy which you personify so well,it's ever right to give up.

Unknown said...

The refurbishment of Spaceship Earth is scheduled to take place between July and November. I would watch to see if the wand comes down.

emmaco said...

Much like this blog, I gave up on EPCOT long ago after having designed and installed electronic systems in many of the attractions for years at WDI, starting off at the now infamous Department 510.

Yet it was something truly special. I remember opening night talking with Harry James in my rented tuxedo under Spaceship Earth. He told me nights like this only come along a couple of times in your life, even if you're lucky. He was right...

Crocodopolis said...

Here's the lead story in the Orlando Sentinel today: " mickey arm coming off EPCOT sphere."
It's official.

Here's an excerpt:

The 257-foot-tall Mickey Mouse arm, glove and wand logo structure at Epcot is coming down.

"Epcot Vice President Jim MacPhee announced this morning that the time has come to remove the structure, which has served both as a colorful, lighted Epcot sign since 2000, and as a lightning rod for criticism from Epcot purists who contended the image was out of character for Epcot's architecture."

Anonymous said...

Crocodopolis beat me to it, but the arm and wand are coming down. It's official as of yesterday! Hope is not lost...we can and do make a difference.


Anonymous said...

The wand is coming down! Don't give up now, please!!!

Scott said...

Great! Taking down the wand is about 6 years overdue.

Josh said...

The wand is coming down! This really is the year of a million dreams...

EPCOT82, you asked for real, meaningful change - this may not be it, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

Let's see what else Mr. Macphee can do - maybe he'll be EPCOT's Matt Ouimet.

Unknown said...

Here is a picture of a crane next to the wand ready to take it down!

Anonymous said...

Hey. I just got here!

Scott said...


"LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Orlando Sentinel Business Blog) – Epcot fans have been hoping for a big celebra-tion to mark the theme park's 25th anniversary but until now Disney officials have been discouraging the notion, saying instead that the event would be marked by internal commemorations. New Epcot Vice President Jim MacPhee is opening the door to possible public events, saying last week that the Oct. 1 anniversary would include "some surprises for our guests." As that news follows up his declaration that the 257-foot-tall wand sign will be coming down, MacPhee looks like he's off to a potentially big start among Epcot purists. MacPhee, however, didn't say any more about what those anniversary events might include."

Seems like MacPhee is trying to do some good for EPCOT.

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented on this blog before, but now seems appropriate. I just want to say:

Thanks for this fantastic blog. I've been reading it with great interest, and I truly appreciate the effort you have put in.

Don't hesitate to add to it again should you ever feel the urge! Or should find a new inspiration now that the tide at EPCOT seems to be turning.

Anonymous said...


Didn't you say earlier in this discussion that you would be back if something was done to restore EPCOT's luster? Wouldn't that cursed wand being demolished fall into that category??


- Mike
Tampa, FL

Anonymous said...

I must agree with many other posts regarding this blog. I find myself re-reading past entries in order to enjoy your view point on the future positive of Epcot. And I do miss reading new articles and hearing other opinions from avid readers. Here's to the hope that we'll continue to enjoy future blogs from you.


Blog said...

I agree that, with all the bashing that epcot has (for the most part, rightly) laid on Epcot in this blog, the time has come for a post that actually praises an action as a sign of hope for the years to come!

Anonymous said...

Well...Goodbye, Epcot Central...and good riddance!!!

Unknown said...


If you are sick, don't have time to post or just don't want to anymore; please let us know in the comments, so we don't keep checking this blog in vain.


Brian B.

Anonymous said...

Eight years to restore the Spaceship Earth.

How much time for this one?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm sorry that I only discovered your excellent blog after it closed down. If you're still reading these comments, then well done for trumpeting the cause.
My wife and I first visited Epcot in 1983 and loved the place from the start. It ran circles around Magic Kingdom (I've always preferred the original Disneyland Calif) and we particularly liked Disney's intentions of running the park in a very different way to anything that they'd done before. It wasn't Walt's dream, but it was a brave stab at something that tried to capture the essence of the the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. It was like a modern World's Fair with its jaw-dropping pavilions and impressive scale.
I've a great deal of admiration for the Disney guys who managed to raise a billion dollars to give it life - people like Ron Miller, Marty Sklar, John Hench, Ward Kimball, Herb Ryman and many, many more.
We've been to Epcot many times since and it's been sad to watch the gradual decline as Epcot lost its unique personality. I've nothing against Mickey Mouse, believe me, but he doesn't belong outside Spaceship Earth. Nobody knew the importance of diversifiaction than Walt himself. There's no Mickey in the TV show Mars and Beyond, or the True-Life Adventures. Mickey wasn't the host of the People and Places series. He didn't join in The Incredible Journey, swashbuckle his way through Treasure Island, float down on an umbrella in Mary Poppins. Therefore he doesn't belong in Epcot and never has.
Thanks again for daring to remind us of the Epcot that was.

Unknown said...

It was a wonderful blog, I'm glad it will still be archived so we can go back every now and then. Thanks!

horizons1 said...


This blog has been a beacon for those who wish to bring back EPCOT Center to voice theirselves. Although I only found out about this blog after it closed down through, I have never been so happy before.

Please! Don't stop!


P.S. To all of those anonymous people who keep putting up bad things here, you're moochers who suck off the breast of the Disney glorification. Now, go away and leave us purists be.

Anonymous said...

I just heard, from a Disney travel-guide author, that the funnel-web canopy is being removed from Innoventions Plaza!

Come back, Epcot82! Come back! The sun is rising!

Anonymous said...

Note to other readers: Epcot82's email address (listed in the profile) is no longer working. He does seem to have moved on.

Anonymous said...

This was a great blog! I've been reading every article from the begining, and I'm so impressed and comforted by the passionate and eloquent writings of the bloggers who share in my feelings that EPCOT should only evolve within it's own themes and not become a second incarnation of Magic Kingdom. EPCOT Center up to the early 90s was truly a unique place, that no other theme park could possibly come close to. Instead of sticking to what they succeeded in accomplishing, somewhere they thought they should be more like the other homogenized parks. And when they lost their vision, they lost their identity. I agree that Mickey and his pals have no place in the park, and I feel that the Imagineers of the past had far more imagination and creativity than the current. The wand coming down is definitely a step in the right direction, and I only hope now to see an uprise in the unique and multisensory style of both entertainment and education that the Disney company had prided itself on for much of it's run. Hopefully the right Disney executive will get sight of this blog and realize where their errors were, and possibly learn something from the talented writers who conveyed their insight, not by bashing or complaining, but in a respectful and dignified, proactive manner. Thanks for a great blog, and please consider sticking to your guns. You've definitely been heard, and can make quite a change with your communicative gifts!

Unknown said...

Come back to the five and dime Jimmy Dean. Your words have been heard by the powers that be and there will be a 25th Anniversary Celebration... even better, they just told cast members that the old EPCOT Center logo and name is coming back too.

Epcot82, you have made a big difference. You're needed now more than ever to keep the pressure on the mouse to continue making the sorts of changes we would all like to see.