Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Best and Worst of Epcot -- Number 1

There are literally hundreds of "best" things about EPCOT, from the Fountain of Nations ... to the music that plays throughout Future World ... from the music-filled dinner at Biergarten ... to the "undiscovered" back alleys and side paths in the Morocco and United Kingdom pavilions.

Likewise, there are, unfortunately, a large number of things that aren't just worthy of improvement, but are downright lousy. That creaky wooden stage area at the Fountain of Nations ... the Beverly soda at Club Cool (though this falls into the category of "strangely worthwhile" to me) ... the out-of-place Character Connection ... the travesty of turning Akershus into a "princess" dining facility ... the carny-style sales carts that line the streets prior to Illuminations ... the doesn't-fool-anyone "Eiffel tower" ... the ghost town that was the Wonders of Life.

Yes, as many readers have pointed out, EPCOT Central tends to find more wrong with EPCOT than right -- much like the teacher who believes a student should be getting an A, not a B-minus. It could be so much more.

There are bad things about EPCOT, and there are resplendent ones. So, for this final list, EPCOT Central will work its way backward, writing first about its No. 1 worst at Epcot and EPCOT Center, and ultimately ending on a positive note, with the finest, most majestic and memorable offering EPCOT has ... and perhaps has ever had. What is it? Read on to find out.

The Worst and Best of EPCOT Center-- #1

Worst: CommuniCore
The idea could have been turned into something extraordinary -- the familiar "world's fair" concept of allowing American (and, today, global) industry to showcase their work and how it will impact our future. A place where we could see, feel and interact with the technologies and the ideas that would shape our Future World. But it never, ever worked. From the start, CommuniCore lacked vision. The "Astuter Computer Review" was rightly one of the fastest-shuttered attractions at EPCOT Center. The computerized coaster was a blast, but even in 1982 seemed like something you could find in other places. The flag game was silly. The computer technology on display was rudimentary even by the standards of the early 1980s. This was supposed to be the "community core" of EPCOT Center, but felt more like the kind of place you wander through without quite knowing what to do. Later, Innoventions would offer more current technology, but with a heavy-handed sales pitch in most cases, and even if it had a more understandable layout, the result was still the same: mostly boredom. CommuniCore should have been one of the centerpieces of EPCOT Center, but wound up as a series of unimpressive "sideshows." From the moment the first artists renderings of EPCOT Center were released, it seemed CommuniCore might be a blueprint for literal community centers that could be replicated around the country, a centralized hub for technology, information and education. But it never happened, not in the real world, and certainly not at EPCOT. Especially given its prominent location at the heart of EPCOT Center, CommuniCore was a bust. Alas, it was replaced by a bust, as well.

Best: Horizons
"All shiny and new" -- that's all you needed to know. Our future was going to be amazing, and we were the ones who were shaping it. There is no question that Horizons exemplified everything Disney did best, as well as encapsulated EPCOT Center's theme brilliantly. Although it wasn't the visual icon of the park, like Spaceship Earth, it may as well have been. I'm not sure many would have complained if Horizons had been dismantled and then put back together inside the geosphere, since it was the perfect EPCOT attraction. Some have pointed out recently that Mission: Space isn't a pavilion but just a ride. The same was true for Horizons, of course. A recent post on the wonderful Progress City blog describes a post-show that never came to be, which would have "filled out" the pavilion. But unlike Mission: Space, Horizons wasn't just a ride; it was a lengthy, immersive, family friendly experience that combined Audio Animatronics, smellitizers, film and even interactivity -- long before the latter was possible with CG technology.

Optimism abounded in Horizons. The attraction wasn't afraid to suggest that our future was a good one, and in our hands it was safe. Keep in mind, Horizons was conceived and built not long after the end of the Vietnam War, as the country was coming out of a recession and energy crisis, after an attempted presidential assassination and the Iranian hostage crisis. We had experienced a fair share of trauma, but Horizons assured us it would all be OK. Of course it was a fairy tale. Of course it was borderline silly. But optimism always is. Horizons was uncommonly brave for being so sure of its happy theme despite evidence to the contrary. The future couldn't be anything but promising if we could dine with friends from Africa under the sea, or watch a storm gather in the desert while hovercraft harvested oranges, or imagine ourselves as part of a family that floated together in an outer-space home. Getting dizzy while diving into the double-helix of a DNA strand may not have taught us anything, but it was infinitely more inspiring, more astounding, than a ride designed primarily to get you sick.

We face new horizons today, but at EPCOT, without this remarkable attraction, they don't seem quite so shiny, quite so new.

The Worst and Best of Epcot-- #1

Worst: Imagination! Pavilion
It's cringe-worthy. Just as Mission: Space splits the family due to its unrelenting intensity, so does the awkwardly named Imagination! Pavilion. (I discovered that the exclamation point is being used by visiting Disney's equally cringe-worthy new "Epcot Theme Park" webpage, which actually compares the majestic Spaceship Earth to a golf ball and includes a picture of the Innovations entrance that hasn't even been touched up in Photoshop -- the "ghost" effect of carelessly removing the word "West" is evident. Meanwhile, "Disney's Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure" is touted as the premiere new "attraction" at Epcot Theme Park. OK, sorry, I digress. Badly.)

From the start, the Imagination pavilion -- excuse me for not using the exclamation point anymore -- was iffy. Yes, it was for kids, but it was almost only for kids. It was as cloyingly sweet as drinking Coke with a mouthful of Bubble Yum. Yes, Figment and the Dream Finder were there, and they had the advantage of being the unofficial mascots of Future World. But adults had a very hard time finding something to love about this place, and if it was fair to "balance out" EPCOT and provide something for the kids, well, fair enough. But then, an iffy pavilion went tragically wrong. A late-'90s, Disney-specific fascination with a gear motif invaded. An already icky-sweet kids ride became a travesty, that ultimately was reworked into an almost-travesty. And a 3-D film that provided more than a few laughs on the first viewing became, somehow, a permanent Epcot attraction. Look here, Disney -- Honey I Shrunk the Audience not only isn't very good, but I can get a better 3-D experience in IMAX theaters around the country today. There's absolutely nothing special about this film anymore, and it certainly doesn't stir the "imagination."

Then again, this is Disney's public acknowledgement of how it perceives the concept of imagination. And that, sadly, says an awful lot.

Best: Illuminations -- Reflections of Earth
Several readers guessed this was coming ... and there is, in the opinion of EPCOT Central, no single better attraction, present or past, at Epcot. Illuminations -- Reflections of Earth is a stunning achievement, one that frankly transcends mere entertainment (which is how, no doubt, most guests perceive it -- just "the fireworks show") and becomes a majestically memorable artistic experience. Without a single Disney character (unless you count very brief glimpses of Mickey Mouse), without a single reference to a Disney work, it embodies all that Walt Disney himself believed: the promise of mankind, the ways in which we are all connected, the glory we feel when we achieve great things, the perserverence we display when challenged. It combines an artistic expression of the creation of the world with a literally glowing display of the diversity, the beauty and the power of our planet and ourselves.

Illuminations -- Reflections of Earth offers soaring music, dazzling lights, and impressive firepower, and few who see it walk away unmoved, even if they can't quite explain why.

It's a beautiful end to a day at Epcot, and a perfect representation of everything the park could be. Illuminations -- Reflections of Earth may have been created to celebrate the millennium, but it continues as a way to celebrate every day, to remind us that we are all on the same journey, ready to make another thousand circles 'round the sun, not knowing the future, but confident it is good.

Bravo, Disney. Bravo, Epcot.

May Illuminations -- Reflections of Earth never go away. It's perfect as it is. Don't tinker with it. Be proud of the fact that if there are flaws in Epcot, this is gloriously, spectacularly, wonderfully perfect.


Spokker said...

Horizons is my favorite attraction I've never experienced in person.

I remember when I was a young teenager and I dreamed of going to EPCOT Center. I would pour over JPGs of Horizons and read everything I could about it.

By the time I got older and had the means to visit WDW, I discovered that Horizons was gone. I visited Tokyo DisneySea instead.

It was attractions like Horizons that really got my juices flowing. And every year I see the spirit of Horizons fading away from the parks.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for flooding the comments page. :-(

Epcot82 said...

Spokker, at Tokyo DisneySea, you got a very good taste of how spectacular a "non-Disney" Disney theme park can be, and a hint of the massive scale, theme and scope that EPCOT *could* have developed. Every Disney enthusiast should save a pocketful of money and try to get to Tokyo DisneySea, because that's an amazing example of what Imagineers can do when given the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Beverly is a wonderful iteration of what Epcot is supposed to be. It's not what we like, but it's popular somewhere.

Eiffel tower is bad only because of the HIDEOUS Swan and Dolphin. Their facades COMPLETELY ruin the perspective of WSC.

Reflections of earth is, IMHO, terrible compared to the original IllumiNations show. The fireworks and Fire effects are spectacular, but there's WAY too many images on the laserball for too long.
The original show was technically inferior, but conceptually superior by a long shot.


A long time Epcot CM.

Epcot82 said...

Anonymous, maybe you're missing the point of the images on the ball? They are, in my view, what make the show so different and special.

(The Eiffel tower has always seemed to me to need a redesign. There's something off about it, particularly the closer you get. It is allegedly based on the blueprints for the real thing ... but it just doesn't look quite right or believable, quite apart from the perspective issue caused by the hotels.)

David Landon said...

Horizons was amazing. It was my favorite Disney ride from the very first time I experienced it as a wide-eyed seven-year-old. My grandfather bought me large hardcover edition of Richard Beard's book EPCOT Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow, and I spent hours poring over the chapter on Horizons, scrutinizing those incredible Robert McCall paintings and imagining myself in that future. It's a shame Disney doesn't make things with that much depth anymore.

I must take issue with the statement that the Imagination pavilion was always "iffy". In its original form, it was a curiously whimsical ride with a stream-of-consciousness flow that mimicked the disorganized imaginative process that we're perhaps most in touch with in our childhood. It may not have worked for everyone, but I've seen claims that it had the best attendance of any Future World pavilion, even Spaceship Earth. Of course, the kind of creative restrictions that the Eisner Administration imposed, where every attraction had to tell some kind of story (usually that something is "missing" and the audience is participating in a trek to "find" it) made rides like Journey Into Imagination impossible, and the ride that's there now is very obviously designed to be cheap to operate and take up space, above all. It's perhaps the most imagination-less thing in the park.

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience was fun the first time I saw it in 1996, but like Ellen's Energy Adventure, it's very obviously passed its expiration date. Of course, I guess we should be thankful that Captain EO isn't still there, but since you can get a better experience at just about any 3D movie that comes out these days, that tired attempt to milk an old attempted-franchise gets more underwhelming all the time.

Lastly, I loved your Illuminations pictures. It's a fantastic show, easily the best thing at EPCOT these days.

Josh said...

YES! Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is inspiring like I never could have imagined a 'fireworks show' could ever be. Incredible.

Also, Horizons is sorely, sorely missed. I love the facade of Mission: Space, but there is no heart in it. Horizons was full of heart and hope and optimism. Great stuff!

bluesky said...

Bravo Epcot82!! Just to touch on some of the points you have made. Horizons has definitely inspired me throughout my life. I consider myself a futurist. I love technology and gadgets. I am always watching anything to do with the future on The Discovery Channel and alike. My ringtone on my Blackberry is "Here's to the future" it was the corporate theme song for RCA back in the early 70's and was used for the opening of Space Mountain. All of these things root back to my childhood and Horizons. Illuminations is awe inspiring and has always sent chills down my spine. Here’s to you Epcot82, and to a great series that was informative and thought provoking. Great job!

Spokker said...

"Every Disney enthusiast should save a pocketful of money and try to get to Tokyo DisneySea, because that's an amazing example of what Imagineers can do when given the opportunity."

I advocate skipping a WDW trip, or two, and instead detour to Tokyo to see how to do a non-Disneyland style park right. Their "Disneyland", while pretty much the Magic Kingdom with a few differences and an awesome modern dark ride, is impeccably clean and maintained.

The airfare is the largest obstacle, but I think it's doable for someone who already travels large distances to get to WDW and stays in the medium-end to high-end hotels and stuff.

Anonymous said...

On a trip last year to Tokyo Disney, I went to TDL for the first time in about a decade. I was astounded. This is what everyone used to say Disneyland was like -- as you pointed out, Spokker: not a single speck of trash; cast members who smiled and waved at every turn; perfectly maintained grounds; every ride and show operating to full capability. Nothing was out of place. It's a sad commentary that you have to go across a vast ocean to have the quintessential Disney experience, but also wonderful to know that IT STILL EXISTS!

Spokker said...

The cast members in Tokyo are so full of energy. At Disneyland it seems that every attraction loader ("How many?") just hates being there.

At TDL one cast member doing the loading for Big Thunder struck me as so bubbly, so likable, that she seemed to really believe in what she was doing. Okay, maybe she really didn't and is just good at acting, but so many cast members at TDR look as if they want to be there.

They reminded me of me when I started working at Disneyland, until the Pressler era crushed my spirits and I quit.

Anonymous said...

I went to Tokyo DisneySea and they had a girl whose only job was to wave at people when they went around on the carousel. She made us really happy!

Critifur said...

Well I really want to visit Tokyo Disney now...

I really loved the original Imagination, and the post ride exhibit was also wonderful at the time, as was EO and the fountains. That was the thing about EPCOT Center, one would spend a huge amount of time at each pavilion, completely immersed (except Energy). The day could be over before one even arrived at World Showcase. Now at Epcot Theme Park, half of it is miss-able and forgettable.

Anonymous said...

First, let me say that I think it was a cool idea to do this list. I like that you were able to recognize things that are still good about Epcot and things that weren’t perfect 25 years ago.

As for the top pick, I wouldn’t have gone with Illuminations. I like the concept. I like the fireball. I like the fireworks that explode closer to you than most fireworks. It is the globe that kills the show for me. Even after refurbishment, I still find the images to be generally incompressible. They do not have enough area to work with and the shape or our continents are too irregular to put together meaningful images for people to take in from all across the World Showcase. As flat screens have become more prevalent, I do not think seeing images on a globe is as special as when the show first premiered, but I don’t think it was uber remarkable at the time either. The globe is the centerpiece of most of the show and it doesn’t do anything special for me until the finale. The second act, where the globe comes out, seems to drag on forever, complemented only by water effects that are noticeably inferior to those found at the Fountain of Nations all day long.

If I were picking a number one for today, I believe I would go with Spaceship Earth. The structure of the building alone elevates anything that is inside of it. Inside, you find animatronics and a story that does set the tone for the entire park. I even find the new ending to be an upgrade on the old Tomorrow’s Child.

It has been a long time since I last visited Communicore, but I was never disappointed by it. I reveled in the opportunity to see a show that let us peek behind the scenes at the massive and powerful computers that made all the magic around the park work. Back in the early 80s, I even got a kick out of being able to do a survey by pressing buttons on my chair and then immediately seeing the results of the entire room. Communicore correctly predicted an Information Age right around the corner and did it with an electronic playground that felt much more expansive and science based than the generally rinky dink type of displays in Innoventions today.

I think an Imagination pavilion is critical to Epcot. The original was great. I didn’t realize until I was an adult and the ride had been altered how neat the design was that allowed four cars at a time to spend a good amount of time with Dream Finder as he introduced us to Figment. Then you went through a very well executed people mover style dark ride that examined different ways to use your imagination. It was all topped off with a Sherman brothers song and a post show area that we never skipped. There is no good reason why it was changed which makes the new ride even worse.

Thanks again for putting out the lists!

Anonymous said...

So I wanted to respond to the dig on the Kim Possible attraction in a separate response, seeing how it was only a digression to begin with. This is the second time you’ve mentioned the KP attraction in a negative light and I don’t think you’ve had the opportunity to try it yourself. I stuck up for it in theory the last time it came up, but now I’ve used it myself. It is a good attraction and something the readers of this board should be supporting. Here’s why.

The new KP attraction is based on the ideals of Epcot. It stimulates users to be excited about technology while also learning about other cultures.

I was blown away by how it actually operates. For those unfamiliar, here’s the just of it. You pick up a Verizon cell phone at one of five kiosks in the World Showcase. You are assigned one of eight possible countries. You take the phone to the country at which point you get a mission. A cartoon character on your phone gives you assignments to complete your mission that takes you to various points of the pavilion. At most points, you find the right spot, press a button on your phone, and something special happens. These events vary from “Oh, it’s neat that my phone just made that happen” to “THAT WAS REALLY AWESOME AND I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!” There are other reviews up that mention some of these things, but I don’t want to spoil anything here. Please understand that this isn’t a cartoon telling you to look at all the stuff you can get at the gift shop. This is an opportunity for you to interact in a unique, Disney-style way with the detailed sets of the World Showcase.

This isn’t just going to get kids excited about technology, it gets me and my group of 29-31 year olds excited about technology. Here we are using almost the exact same phone as I have in my pocket to make cool unexpected things happen at Epcot. It reminds me of the touch screen kiosks mentioned in a recent post. When I first saw those, I was always excited that I got to use something as sophisticated as a touch screen to get immediate graphic interaction with a computer system (not ground breaking anymore, but at the time, it was like science fiction for me). I feel the same way about this attraction. It shows you that a simple cell phone can be used for so much more than merely talking and sending text messages. (I know smart phones can already do a lot more than that, but they can’t do anything like the phones here.) I genuinely believe that this attraction will do more than probably any other attraction currently at Epcot to stimulate excitement about technology.

Its other purpose is getting people to explore the World Showcase thoroughly. It is going to take people to corners of the World Showcase they didn’t realize were there before. It is going to get you to read some of the informational signs and look at some of the cultural displays that you would have walked passed before. (It does this by asking you multiple choice questions from time to time where you must get an answer by reading a certain sign. This is due to another great example of the attraction’s technology. If someone else is enjoying the next event in your mission, the phone knows this and sends you on a side mission to get information so the special effect is a surprise for you when you get there.) It is going to get people to appreciate the cultural offerings of Epcot more than they do now.

The idea of inserting yet another cartoon character in to Epcot bothered me when I first heard about it. Despite its short comings, I would rather have Rio del Tiempo than the Festival of the Three Amigos. I like the idea of building new dark rides, but I hate that Nemo came at the expense of the far more moving Living Seas. KP is different. She is not displacing anything. If you are determined not to have anything to do with the attraction, it isn’t hard to avoid her. The people playing will be looking at cell phones just like everyone else that is texting family across the park. The kiosks are small and themed to fit their areas (and are far less intrusive than any souvenir cart). There is a limited number of special effects in each area and while some are remarkable, none of them will distract someone who isn’t playing. The Kimmunicators add to the Epcot experience without taking anything away.

When Disney does something to make Epcot better, I think it is important that we recognize it and commend them for it. The new attraction provides us with an innovative new way to enjoy the park while utilizing its original core themes without asking us to sacrifice anything it already provides. It is rare that we will be presented with such an attraction and I hope that everyone gives it a chance and let Disney know they appreciate this kind of addition.

Anonymous said...

Kim Possible sounds great. Except that they didn't need to base it on a carton character that isn't even on TV anymore. If it's so great and based on the ideals of Epcot, why couldn't they have created a brand new character for it? Oh, wait, I know, because then they wouldn't have sold a crapload of KP toys and games and DVDs and Tshirts. Because they needed to make this COMMERCIAL, not just fun and interactive. Bleccccch.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of revealing what #6 and #7 would have been, Central?

Anonymous said...

I've been to Epcot twice since they started running the Kim Possible game and have not seen any KP merchandise for sale yet. It won't surprise me if they do start selling KP stuff, but there certainly aren't any new gift shops going up because of the game (such as the gift shop that sprung up when Pooh replaced Mr. Toad).

I was initially concerned about the addition of a Disney Chanel cartoon character to Epcot when I first heard about the project (particularly in light of the recent additions of the Three Amigos and Nemo, as well as all the other unnecessary characters that have been pushed on Epcot since the 90s, making the park worse instead of better). In practice though, as someone that shares your concern for the park and has never seen the TV show, I didn't mind them using the characters.

Could they have created all new characters? Sure, the technology would work well with all kinds of different set ups. I just don't think they needed to. At very minimum, you would at least need a character to be your guide. They could have gotten Eric Idle to guide you around and undo all the problems Figment had caused around the World Showcase, but I think that would be lame. If they have an animated team that fights a variety of pre-existing international super-villains, I think you are better off using them. If the fact that these pre-existing characters were on TV for five years and that helps some people relate to them and thereby want to experience the attraction or lets them enjoy the attraction more, great.

Will Disney eventually try to make some money off of this new attraction? I will be surprised if they don't. Putting a cartoon character in an attraction gives them an excuse to sell this cartoon characters merchandise in the park. I don't think this is KP specific however. My parents bought me a Figment hat when Journey Into Imagination first opened and I still see plenty of Figment merchandise in the park today. Keep in mind, they aren't trying to tell us that World Showcase has been transported to Pixie Hollow and we now must follow Tinkerbell to find some missing pixie dust, that we need to help a princess get ready for a ball, or go looking for instruments with Miley and the Jonas Brothers. If they wanted to sacrifice entertainment value to push one of their more lucrative commercial properties, they could have.

I don't think there is anything wrong with characters in Epcot where they are appropriate, it is just that the times when they are appropriate are limited. Figment in the original Imagination and maybe the three headed troll in Maelstrom might be examples of appropriate use of characters. I think that this new attraction is another example.

Anonymous said...

Congratulatons for this great blog. I agree with every single word written about Reflections of Earth. It´s touching, it´s beautiful, it´s a must see in everyone´s life. I love EPCOT, Disney and... well, I love the whole Orlando area.
So, it was just great to find this blog, as I live quite far from Florida - in São Paulo, Brazil.
But whenever I have the chance, I just don´t think twice: I go to Orlando.
Thanks a lot for your posts.


Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I'm repeating myself, I don't think it went through the first time.

I completely agree about Horizons. The biggest reason was that it was an attraction which tied the themes of Future World together. It's absence is clear in the way I feel now when visiting Future World verses the way I felt 15 years ago.

However, I do not agree about "Reflections of Earth", and here's why. I don't feel that ROE does as well a job of tying in the themed lands around World Showcase together as well as the first IllumiNations of 1988 did. Like Horizons pulled Future World's themes together into one attracton, IllumiNations did just that in World Showcase. After spending half of the day exploring the nations presented at World Showcase, you'd be treated to a dymamic and celebratory tribute to each of those nations one by one. Each country was paid it's own tribute with Classical and Folk music from that particular land (even though they used an Austrian piece to represent Germany), finishing with the host country, the United States. Then they were all united by a touching medley of familiar classical music in sync with the pyrotechnics, fountains and lasers across the lagoon. While I do think ROE is a beautiful display of the earth's lands, I don't think staring at a small globe in the middle of the lagoon, trying to dicipher its tiny, blurry, low res images, does a very good job of provoking emotion and thought on the cultures of the world. And I also think Gavin Greenaway's magnificent score isn't put to very good use. I actually get more out of listening to it in my car, than seeing it in the actual show. I miss the sense of unity and camaraderie that the original IllumiNations so dramatically, and fairly easily portrayed. Even it's second show Illuminations25 to me had a better effect on me emotionally. The lack of uniting the world with Classical music I think is what takes away from the show. I'm a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and I was turned on to Classical music because of what I always saw in EPCOT, and it inspired me to want to be a part of that world (no Little Mermaid intentions on that). And the lack of music being represented from each nation, to me, leaves as much a hole in my experience in World Showcase, as the absence of Horizons in Future World. I also always felt that using Classical music in IllumiNations added a great sense of prestige to World Showcase, and that along with the elements of light, water and fire, it was the forth element to pull together the earth and it's peoples. ROE is almost too global, and strays away from the nations represented around the lagoon, leaving you with nothing to look at for far too long, and IMPO very little to really take home with you, because nothing is pulled together in a very visual or resonnating fashion. I feel we should leave the Earth stuff to Futire World and the International stuff to World Showcase. I only fear what it's replacement show, "Sky" will do to the the International theme, or whether or not it will even keep it at all.

Unknown said...

Its funny I always thought that about Horizons. It should have been the spaceship earth ride. I saw it as like the intro to epcot. It was all of epcot together in one ride. If you can think of it, there was communications (all over), the land was seen in Mesa Verde, Imagination at the beginning with verne, The living seas in seacastle, people from different backgrounds comming together as in the showcase, You could see the hover cars and city models as the future of the world of motion, The DNA of Wonders of life, The Universe of energy in the space crystals and any time they mention gathering resources, what would be innoventions in every single invention shown, and that still isnt the whole ride.

I do disagree on imagination. Yes in its current state its awful, but as a child It gave me a wonder that sticks with me today. Imagination personified would be whimsical and silly. To this day the feelings of that ride cannot be replicated. Honey I shrunk the Audience did nothing but scare me for no reason. It was a bunch of cheap gags and although was mildly funny I came out terrified and never wanted to go back. EO scared me too, but I liked it anyway for some reason. 70s and 80s sci fi is just so beautiful compared to this apple store end of the world stuff we have today.