Thursday, October 09, 2008

Try to Imagine

"Whatsoever Ezra does not know and sanction, that thing is
heresy, worthless for knowing and wicked to consider. ... Such is our
comfortable position and sure faith. Would he not betray himself an alien cynic
who should otherwise portray Main Street, or distress the citizens by
speculating whether there may not be other faiths?"

-- Sinclair Lewis, "Main Street" (1920)

I ran across something rather ... unexpected today.

It's a rather magnanimous, roundabout denunciation of the magnificently haunting and dramatic "pre-show" film that opened The Living Seas. The one that began with the words that, to me, define everything The Walt Disney Company used to be about: “Try to imagine.”

And it opened my eyes to one possible, and possibly rather upsetting, reason for the change in EPCOT from serious examination of the world in which we live to lighthearted fun.

It’s a possibility I had never considered before.

Try to imagine ... that a number of ultra-conservatives who believe in the concept of “intelligent design” (a concept that didn’t really exist until the late 1980s) put forth the view that the scientific theories presented in The Living Seas were at odds with their religious beliefs. And try to imagine that their concerns were brought to Brad Rex, who was vice president of Epcot, and who made no secret of his religious faith and had no problem talking about it openly and publicly.

Now, please understand, I am not opposed to any belief system that is different than mine, with one provision: It should not be forced upon me, nor should it be used in a way that positions itself as superior to anyone else’s. I believe in exposing people to different faiths, different beliefs, different ideas.

That’s why science, to me, has always been so fascinating: It attempts to prove theories using facts, and rarely, if ever, sets forth the notion that its ideas are absolutely inarguable and unwavering; it’s why, for instance, the theories of evolution and relativity remain, to this day, “theories.” If they cannot be proven to any degree that is entirely infallible, they must remain theories.

So I never, ever imagined that anyone would take exception to some basic education, some awareness they might not have had before. Indeed, one of the reasons I lament the passing of The Living Seas was because it presented its offerings so simply, without fanfare – the seas that surround us were shown only to be extraordinary wonders we have barely begun to understand.
And then I read that blog entry.

And I got to wondering. Is it possible that Disney bowed to the wishes of a rather vocal group of ultra-conservative evangelicals and “Nemo-ized” The Living Seas, made it into a happy, un-threatening place, all because a group of people felt that the science on view in the pavilion was antithetical to their religious views?

It’s certainly possible – and possibilities are hard to discount.

Holding this view as plausible, it explains why discussion of man’s role in nature (in “Symbiosis”) was replaced with cute, cuddly “Lion King” characters. The effect of an animated warthog on nature is much less difficult for conservative groups to explain to children than, say, a factory’s impact on the environment.

It explains why, despite the appearance of one of the most visible gay-rights advocates in the country (the world, perhaps), “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” is much less threatening than an exploration of how man’s dependence on fossil fuels is depleting our earth’s resources. (The Big Bang and dinosaurs are still represented, but might they be on the chopping block in future incarnations?)

Perhaps I am too concerned, drawing too many tenuous connections.

But I have to wonder, given the role of faith in life of the executive who was in charge of Epcot, the rather interesting viewpoint expressed by Randall Niles, and the relative inanity (and harmlessness) of The Seas With Nemo and Friends ... is it possible?

Almost by definition, science exists to challenge our notions of the world in which we live. Challenge, it appears, is becoming a scarce commodity – and it’s quite possible that we are paying the price for demanding a world in which tough answers aren’t sought. (I won’t dwell on this idea, except to say I can’t believe that “easy credit” and “easy answers” aren’t related in at least the smallest of ways.) Science is challenging, it is difficult, it can even be confrontational if your own world view conflicts with it – just as it was for those who for centuries insisted the world was flat and the earth was at the center of the universe.

To hear that we are one small sphere amid “a hundred thousand million suns” does indeed fly in the face of any conservative views.

But I wouldn't expect hard science if I were a guest to The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, I likewise don’t expect religious views, or their influence, to factor in to a visit to EPCOT.

Perhaps they didn’t. That's very possible.

And yet ... perhaps they did.

Try to imagine.

One well-placed letter, one influential guest complaining about EPCOT’s lack of “inclusiveness.” One guest threatening a boycott – or, worse, suggesting that his or her family might not buy the new Disney DVD because their sensibilities were disturbed by a dramatic, memorable recitation of the science of the creation of our little planet.

Try to imagine.


Anonymous said...

We're riding high on a tide of anti-intellectualism in this country. Its the same mindset that compels a presidential candidate to put down the idea of funding a planetarium as "wasteful", and its terrifying.

DizWiz said...

I don't think your theory is too far-fetched.

I went on a trip to EPCOT in 1989 with my future wife and her sister, and as we watched the movie, when the part that the narrator says: "And they rain ... and rain ... and rain. The deluge," my future sister-in-law turns to my future wife and whispers "40 days and 40 nights...Noah's Ark." At that point I realized that people do see things only through certain glasses.

So, while I don't know for sure if this is indeed the reason why they changed it to "The Seas with Nemo," I wouldn't be shocked to learn that it was.

Anonymous said...

Try to imagine. . . . a world where not all people of faith have checked their brains at the door. Because despite appearances to the contrary, that's the world we actually live in. Walt Disney himself was a man of faith, but he was fascinated by science. The same man that decided to make Ave Maria the finale of Fantasia(what could be more religious, and of the Catholic tradition to boot, than that?)was instrumental in fueling american enthusiasm for the space race. We need more people that think like he did, but there are already quite a few in churches across the country.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the fundamentalist reaction to The Making of Me over in Wonders of Life was like.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why there is no real evolution attraction at AK.......

Anonymous said...

Two comments about your post:

1. Ask any evolutionary biologist whether they think evolution is "just a theory" and still up for debate. There is no debate in biology circles. Continuing to call it a theory and then using that as an argument to prove that evolutionists are still open to other ideas is disingenuous and asinine word games.

2. If Disney were apt to cave in to religious pressure it seems to me that they would have done so in the vastly more publicized efforts made against the Gay Pride days hosted by the parks.

Matt said...

(^) Exactly what I was thinking.

I'm sure a lot of evangelicals (and others) think Disney parks are the pits of hell with the inclusion and combination of science + homosexuality + multinationalism (which = multifaiths).

Kind of funny in a way, I could see Epcot really being an inspirational melting pot of far-reaching ideas, tolerance, and the search for truth... or an amalgamation of everything scary and horrible in the world (to the metaphorical "shut-ins").

And yes, our society has become overly sensitive - and lawsuit-crazy - which today usually means big businesses like Disney caving in to anything that might hurt the brand image.

Another great article.

Epcot82 said...

Regarding Gay Days, bear in mind that this is not an officially sanctioned/sponsored Disney event, like "Night of Joy." There is no way Disney can prevent it from happening, though it hasn't been for lack of trying, such as the signs Disney once put in front of the Magic Kingdom "warning" guests that there were (yikes!) gays and lesbians inside.

But given that Disney is unlikely to turn away the prospect of cold, hard cash for an after-hours event, they can safely carry on with NOT sponsoring Gay Days while still getting money from the organizing group.

As for evolution -- I was trying to be careful. The only fact I know for sure is that, thanks to many right-wing, conservative groups, the subject still technically IS open for discussion. And I don't disagree that it should be discussed. Certainly having the Holy Land Experience just a few miles from EPCOT would seem to offer a variety of views from which to choose.

I wholeheartedly agree that science is science. But my word choice was deliberate since, in fact, it still IS technically a "theory."

And that doesn't change the fact that an asbolutely stellar exhibit was made less so (The Living Seas turning into Nemo and Friends). I am just trying to examine why -- and sometimes, where there's smoke, there's fire. That blog I ran across at least IMPLIES smoke, in my view.

David Landon said...

I usually agree you, but this theory is just a little too farfetched. For one thing, the old show ran for twenty years. And the evangelicals are usually a pretty vocal group when they get upset about something. You'd think there would have been at least one boycott in all that time.

The reason for the "Nemo" rehab was that attendance at The Living Seas had become seriously anemic. The place just didn't offer any experiences that you couldn't get at the nearby Florida Aquarium or at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Now, WED's original concept, the one with a huge Animatronic Poseidon and a ten-minute ride in bubble-shaped Seacabs to a truly underwater Seabase Alpha, that would have been something. If that version of the Seas had been replaced with Nemo, then you'd have something worth complaining about.

As it was, the pavilion that opened in 1986 drew huge crowds at first (when I visited in September '86, the line stretched out to the Monorail track) but it just didn't have that same Disney "zazz" as Horizons or the original Journey Into Imagination, and the crowds faded once the novelty of the place wore off.

When I visited last Labor Day Weekend, however, the place was as crowded as I've seen it since 1986. The line was out the door, and that's really saying something since the queue area seems to take up half the building. Sure, the ride portion isn't at all educational, but there are still educational exhibits at the Seabase (or whatever it's called now). I didn't get a good look at them, since my wife was especially cranky that day, so I can't vouch for their educational content. It seems to me that Disney has a chance here to educate kids on how global warming and overfishing are endangering Nemo's world. I hope they're doing some of that.

But maybe Disney has stripped all remotely educational content from the pavilion and turned it into a brightly-colored play area for the sole purpose of attracting preschoolers and getting their parents to fork over money for Nemo merchandise. Even so, it looks a lot more like cynically clever marketing than a sinister right-wing conspiracy to turn this corner of EPCOT into The Holy Land Experience.

Stephen said...

I share the thoughts of every commenter so far, with perhaps my overarching belief being closer to what future guy said.

You bring up a very interesting point in this entry, and one that should not be discounted insofar as this blog should exist to examine all possible angles of the "EPCOT conundrum". Personally, I think it's a slight reach--it works if we look at it as another idea thrown into our brain trust, if not as a common thread among all EPCOT refurbs--but you present the idea very fairly.

If there is a common thread here, I'd echo others and say that it's our culture of rampant anti-intellectualism, though I wouldn't argue that it's a problem belonging to one religious group (some groups may represent it better than others, however). It's a sad state of affairs, and I think your attempt to tie it into the current economic crisis is absolutely valid. Bravo on a well-articulated conversation-starter.

Epcot82 said...

Stephen and Future Guy -- Thanks to everyone, but especially you two, for your comments. I hope I didn't present the "argument" as fact -- it's just a thought that made a lot of sense to me.

As the old Living Seas pre-show film pointed out, we have spent less time at the bottom of the ocean than we have on the moon, and yet the seas share the same planet. That alone should be the source for endless fascination, if presented right. I am not sure if the original Living Seas ever got it quite right and conveyed the sense of excitement and adventure that the world's oceans hold.

But having spent time at The Seas With Nemo and Friends, I know that cartoon fish don't do much of anything except make kids squeal and want to see Turtle Talk.

And I wonder why, exactly, dumbing down of such an extraordinary level took place. That blog post I linked to gave me one POSSIBLE answer.

Mark said...

I would say the theory of "Intellegent Design" has been around since the beginning of time. If it wasn't an intellegent God who designed the universe, I don't know who could have.
Lastly, the implication the any Disney park is stripped of science because of Christians, is too funny. Just think about DAK and what is taught as fact vs theory there. Disney is and will remain tolerant and endorsing of multiple religions and thinking. They would not risk taking a position that offends anyone and risk losing the bucks.I look into DAK in great detail starting Monday on my blog- and I cover this idea as well.


Anonymous said...

Mark, actually the phrase "Intelligent Design" and this particular theory was indeed coined in 1987. Before that, it was simply "creationism vs. evolution," and unfortunately for the creationists, their ideas had long been thrown out by scientists, by courts, even by many religions.

You say, "If it wasn't an intellegent God who designed the universe, I don't know who could have." That's what science has been trying to find out, as well. Not "who," but "what" and "why" -- then again, like the planting of a plain seed that becomes a mighty tree, sometimes we can only dissect the processes and leave the questions unanswered. It just is. Still, we do have a pretty good sense of how the seas were made -- and Mars is showing us more and more detail of exactly how that may have happened. We're learning so much from space exploration, it's a shame we've basically given up on it.

I'm curious about the "science" you think is on display at DAK. I love, love, love that park. But mostly, it's pretty animals. I can learn about what they are and where they live -- but beyond that, where's the science, exactly? (And I don't just mean dinosaurs and asteroids, since that's presented solely for entertainment, unfortunately.)

VB said...

I'd have to disagree with you that Disney made such a major chage due to the Jeezo-Minions. Look how long they held out against the "boycott" by the wackjobs at the AFA. There's bound to be a reason - and I'm sure it's a dumb one - but I'm not sure that's the one.

Smilee306 said...

I could not believe that blog entry. I mean, wow. Like you, I had never even thought of the possibility that the Living Seas could be offensive to ANYONE. It's so far out of my realm of understanding...
and a few thoughts on other comments
coffeejedi said...
We're riding high on a tide of anti-intellectualism in this country. Its the same mindset that compels a presidential candidate to put down the idea of funding a planetarium as "wasteful", and its terrifying.
deanfinder said...
I wonder what the fundamentalist reaction to The Making of Me over in Wonders of Life was like.
Not good, I don't believe, but I wasn't around when that first opened up. Anyone here remember?

Unknown said...

Future guy has it right here, the seas was dated and dangerously empty. There was an easily available overlay that could relatively cheaply revive it for new generations. The original preshow is one of my all time favorite things at WDW, but even I could see how dated the pavilion was getting. Nemo isn't for me, but like a lot of kids programming, if you can engage kids with cute and entertaining things, and get them to learn at the same time, what is the problem?

Anonymous said...

I as well kind of doubt that Epcot was stripped of its glory because of a specific religious group. Think of how much Pixar is leaking into every park, how the exhibits as a whole have sort of been "dumbed down" into simple games and displays with tiny placards. It can't really be proven that it is anyone's fault.. the same things is happening at museums nationwide... and as a Christian, I have never known anyone who has taken issue with Epcot, the Nature channel or anything like that. You simply take away from it what you want, and leave the rest. It is unfortunate that there are many people in this culture, religious or not, who have not learned tolerance. I think that I have a right to believe that my beliefs are correct, but that you also have a right to believe that your beliefs are correct and that you also have a right to voice your opinion and practice those beliefs. Unfortunately, there are times where religious people will try to squash things like evolution, but it goes both ways, as there are anti-religious people who say I shouldn't even bow my head at lunch or before a test if it is in a public institution. There is tolerance needed on all sides.

Disney survived all of the religious boycotts of the 1990's, so I don't think they would have a knee-jerk reaction if they got complaints about the Living Seas. They know who their main audience is, and a small minority refusing to enter the gates probably does not bother them too much. It's more likely that the film and the rest of the pavillion were getting old and needed to be re-touched. If they were going to spend some money, why not do a full refresh of the facility?

Pavillions like Living Seas may just be a victim of the times. I feel like when I grew up in the 1980's there were a lot more children's shows that aimed to get us fascinated about the world around us: Mr. Wizard, 3-2-1 Contact, Newton's Apple, and of course old standbys like Sesame Street were unabashed about teaching complicated subjects. Newton's Apple talked about angular momentum, piano-playing Mupppet Rowlf mentioned arpeggios and modulations, Square One taught about negative numbers. I can't think of any children's shows that approach these things now. We now talk about how kids aren't very interested in math or science any more and so we simplify the heck out of everthing and struggle to make it fun rather than thinking maybe they are interested and can handle the tough stuff.

I hope that you do not think that all Christians or religious people are anti-intellectual, against science, or want to live in a rarified bubble. The Epcot video provides space for people to view it from their own angle. I can look at it and say, "God's hand in things is amazing!" and you can say, "the sheer immensity of how things came together is amazing". We should be able to both look at it and value our own beliefs, but also *respect* the other people around us (whether or not we agree or want to accept their beliefs as truth... America was founded on freedom to believe, think and speak as individuals without shame or needing to please each other).

The author seemed to be mostly concerned about the tone of the piece and how it lulled the audience... But one could argue that in many ways Disney is an indoctrination: believe in dreams, enjoy time together, there is real "magic" and "pixie dust" in the world... Their parks were founded on these things and it is park of what makes them special and unique. It's up to the individual what they take away from it.

I think that more than anything, Disney and Epcot attempt to repond to our times. It is economical for Disney to respond to what it thinks the public wants whether that is more Pixar or less education or more rollercoasters and costume characters... The blessing of the original Epcot is that it knew one of the truths about consumers: they are often wrong about what they think they want and need. Epcot was probably not the result of 10,000 reports about what the public wanted and would pay for... rather it was just authentically itself, creating a new form of theme park that never existed before. How many people dare to create something authentic now (without a marketing report to tell them what the audience wants)?

Epcot82 said...

Well said, Kris!

To reiterate my original thesis, I don't KNOW if that's why The Living Seas changed. It's just one possibility, and I have to tell you, the more I watch that Brad Rex video, the more suspicious I get.

I believe Rex was a good guy who tried to do the best thing for the park in light of his "marching orders" from senior Disney executives. (After all, in the Disney scheme of things, "vice presient" is kinda middle-management.) But that "Lead Where You Live" concept is what throws me. It indicates one of Rex's motivators was finding a way to bring his religion to life in his workplace.

I guess I'm just not part of the Bible belt, because where I live, that's not just disallowed and, well, wrong -- it's also illegal and considered intolerant of others for exactly the reasons you mention, Kris.

So, I add it all up (because I used to watch those educational shows, too!) and it frankly leaves me scratching my head and wondering.

Josh said...

I've got to go with darn near everything Kris said in the above post. I'm a Christian, a Baptist no less, but EPCOT has never bothered me. As Kris said, I may disagree with some of what is said, but I don't rail against it; I just take away from it what I believe to be true and leave the rest.

I HIGHLY doubt The Living Seas was turned into the Animated Ocean over anything remotely resembling religious reasons. Is it possible? Sure, but it's more likely that Future Guy hit the nail on the head; people just weren't going anymore.

The Living Seas paved the way for other, similar attractions in the southeast (the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is amazing). Before long, it was just not unique anymore. Disney needed to do something to make The Living Seas unique again, to drive people to that attraction.

Did they go the right way with it? In my opinion, no. Seabase Alpha is an infinitely more interesting idea to me than Nemo. It's a cute ride, sure, but I would have much preferred something with some teeth, something that really took you to the bottom of the sea so you could see the incredible world that surrounds us, in which new species are still constantly being discovered, and of which we know so little.

Do kids love Nemo? You betcha. But Future Guy is right about the entertainment that's on right now for kids. Even the educational stuff doesn't do any educating. Heck, a study recently showed that kids who watch Little Einsteins are actually slightly developmentally delayed compared to kids who don't watch it, and that's supposed to be an accelerant for development!

Unfortunately, Disney didn't choose to update The Living Seas by really exploring the possibilities in the real world. They chose to go with the lowest common denominator and just make it a cartoon, with no emphasis on exploration or discovery. Heck, Nemo doesn't even explore the world around him - the entire ride is focused on finding him, not on investigating his "big blue world."

It's a shame.

Anonymous said...

The ocean -- the most unexplored and mysterious frontier on Earth... deep sea vents...volcanoes...monstrous and rare creatures... so much to explore! I wonder how many children come out of Living Seas really wanting to care and know more about the ocean. I knew the trick to the hydrolators as a child, but it still felt magical and like it could possibly be real... I feel like they've taken a lot of the magic out of it... it seems like more of a museum exhibit than it was before! No more huge videos of the sea, no more divers coming down the tube, no hydrolators that make you feel like you've arrived somewhere (where in Nemo's world are you when you get off the ride cars?)... *sigh* We've gotten so steeped in *knowing* how to create a theme park attraction that we've forgotten the magic and exploration of it!

Anonymous said...

Hello All --

This is Randall Niles, the crazy evangelical cited in the text -- First off, sorry I changed the link to the July 2005 blog post. That's how I even discovered this Epcot thread in the first place.

Anyway, here's the new link:

I have to say this is a pretty crazy conspiracy concept, but thanks for tossing it out there. By the way, my creative prose about The Living Seas back in 2005 had nothing to do with my religious beliefs -- I was merely looking at the story of origins portrayed in the exhibit, which was posing as science.

It's not science -- It's philosophical conjecture, at best. The spontaneous generation of life from inorganic matter (life from a rock after it rained and rained and rained) was disproved decades ago.

Well, that was my point -- Who could have imagined...

Have a super day,
Randall Niles

Anonymous said...

The issue I see with those that object to Disney’s decision to modify this attraction is the total lack of intellectual honesty. At the core of scientific exploration is an attitude and approach to consider where the evidence leads us. Those that religiously hold to the “scientific” theory of evolution while mounting evidence debunks it demonstrates the narrow mindedness of those that cling to it. Disney showed strength by listening to their core customer and eliminating the propaganda of the liberal elites who clearly created this monstrosity. It makes good business sense for them to remain sensitive to the reason we bring our children to Epcot. And that is to be entertained not indoctrinated. BTW, the exhibit didn’t become “First God created the heavens and the earth” but a Nemo adventure. Those folks that disagree with this and claim Christians are close minded should look in the mirror and ask yourself; “is it I who is being myopic here? I think you will find the answer is yes.

Anonymous said...

I consider your views of conservative values and Christian values to be simplistic, at best.

Let's take an example: Some people believe we were made by a creator who ha plans and purposes for his creation, while others believe there is no greater meaning to life, no grand design, and we exist not because of some divine intention but because of random chance. This is not a discussion between people of faith and people who don't have faith. Both perspectives are faith perspectives, built on systems of belief. The person who says we are here by chance and there is no greater meaning has just as many beliefs as the person who says there's a creator. Maybe even more.

Think about some of the words that are used in these kinds of discussions, one of the most common being the phrase "open-minded." Often the person with spiritual convictions is seen as close-minded and others are seen as open-minded. What is fascinating to me is that at the center of the Christian faith is the assumption that this life isn't all there is. That there is more to life than the material. That existence is not limited to what we can see, touch, measure, taste, here, and observe. One of the central assertions of the Christian worldview is that there is "more". Those who oppose this insist that this is all there is, that only what we can measure and observe and see with our eyes is real. There is nothing else. Which perspective is more "closed-minded"? Which perspective is more "open"?

An atheist is a person of tremendous faith. In our discussions about the things that matter most then, we aren't talking about faith or no faith. Belief or no belief. We are talking about faith in what? Belief in what? The real question isn't whether we have it or not, but what we have put in.

Everybody follows somebody. All of us make decisions every day about what is important, how to treat people, and what to do with our lives. These decisions come from what we believe about every aspect of our existence. And we got our beliefs from somewhere. We have been formed, every one of us, by this complicated mix of people and places and things. Parents and teachers and artists and scientists and mentors - we are each taking all of these influences and living our lives according to which teachings we have made our own. Some insist they aren't influenced by any person or any religion, that they think for themselves. And that's an honorable perspective. The problem is they got that perspective from... somebody. They're following somebody even if they insist it is themselves they are following.

Everybody is following somebody. Everybody has faith in something and somebody.

We are all believers.

John3 said...

Doesn't the whole illuminatiosns till the evolution story as well?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to write this post off to being riled up in an election year. All your other writing is usually so dead on. The evidence of Disney's transformation to a corporate mindset for their parks is everywhere and you detail it. Now you seem to try to alter your stance to blame another group of people you don't seem to be keen on for the bad decisions made at Epcot. The links you provide to the other blog aren't working anymore, but I assume they said a couple of people complained about the Living Seas intro at some point. That won't make Disney make the multimillion dollar changes they did the the Seas. Even if an exec is offended by something, which there is no evidence to suggest he was, he is not going to be able to make a major move if it would hurt the company.

You are normally a strong voice for the people who would like Disney to return Epcot to the values it was founded on. I hope you read this after the election and agree with me that this sounds like a bad Michael Moore conspiracy theory. Posts like this trivialize your other writing and I think the other writing is too important to be trivial.

John said...

Mr. Niles...

I found your blog post somewhat interesting, but you lost me at this point:

"20th century science and technology have revealed organic complexity and information code inherent in living systems that can not be spontaneously produced, no matter how much time is involved."

"Information code?" Seriously? Your statement smacks of ID rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the long post by Kris. Different people take away what they want to take away. I feel that Walt Disney World has done an awesome job representing everyone, not just one faith or one race etc. And I think it balances out. Someone might say "GASP THE BIG BANG THEORY I THE UNIVERSE OF ENERGY!" but then another might say "GASP THE FIRST CHRISTMAS STORY IN THE CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL!" I think It balances out. Also, he made a great point about how one person might look at both "The Seas" movie, and "IllumiNations: reflections of Earth" as "Wow! look at the power of God!" and Another, "Wow! That's amazing how things took shape--and it was all by accident!" (and countless other examples)

Even as a Christian, I ride Ellen's Energy Adventure, and enjoy it. I find it funny and enlightening (Stupid Judy!) regardless of whether Ellen is a lesbian, or it does show the big bang. Even though I don't believe it happened, that sequence is funny with Ellen getting the name wrong, and just looks and sounds amazing. Ellen is funny and just works in the ride.

I guess what i'm trying to say is I don't think that Disney would remove/change a ride because of religious beliefs, etc. I think the reason that The Living Seas (unfortunately for me, I loved every part of the ride)was Nemo-ized (and The Nemo ride is cool, I'd just rather have The living Seas) Is because 5 year olds don't want to watch movies about lightning and volcanoes, they want Nemo. And they don't want to go in a little elevator, they want to go see crush. I just wish that they would have upgraded to the ORIGINAL Poseidon concept for the attraction and put nemo somewhere else.

AnneBDots said...

"Universe of Energy" explicitly states the Big Bang Theory...or at least that was my take on it, so I would be very surprised if The Living Seas was altered to adhere to fundamental Christian beliefs.