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THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 1]

World Showcase, Epcot





I hope these comparisons are a breath of fresh air for you as they are for us. By “fresh” I mean “little change over the years”. It's unusual for a space this large to see such little change throughout a 28+ year period. To us, this is a great thing. Great because the World Showcase was done well in the beginning. As they say, "if it's not broken, don't fix it", right? Fightin' words indeed. (So El Rio del Tiempo and Oh Canada must have been "broken"...?) That said, fanboys everywhere pine for a few additions- rides to be specific. Are we greedy? No. After all, Disney did announce such things AND they showed us concept art all those years ago.

Still no Rhine River Cruise in Germany. Still no Meet the World nor bullet train attraction in Japan. Definitely no Matterhorn-type coaster mountain. Let’s not mention the many once-announced countries that never saw the light of day. But for now we still have half a park with little relatively little change, far far different than the fate of it’s neighbor to the north, Future World. 

As a youngster, World Showcase was wonderful for it’s two boat rides, it’s two CircleVision attractions, and it’s American Adventure animatronic marvel. But Future World hosted what seemed to be an endless array of things to do, all phenomenal. The tides have surely turned. Although World Showcase is not the endless wonder that Future World once was, it has so much to offer. My relatives argue that it is “not Disney-like” but on the contrary, it is extremely “Disney-like” in my mind. A couple additional rides wouldn’t hurt but the unprecedented and immersive environments are more “Disney” to me than those environments that go out of their way to scream “I’m Disney” (Toon Town, Tiki Room Under New Management, the introduction of Tarzan to Adventureland, etc.).  

On that note, isn’t it ironic that for decades Disneyland was largely free of permanent character references in all of its lands minus Fantasyland? I don’t refer to the occasional character walking through a land but I’m talking about how Adventureland was very “Disney-like” without Tarzan or Indiana Jones. Tomorrowland was very “Disney” without Buzz Lightyear or Nemo. Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland was extremely “Disney” without Stitch, Buzz, or Monsters Inc. I find it ironic. Or short-sighted. Disney is not nor should it be synonymous with ONLY its animated films. Before you burn me at the stake for this statement, here’s my point: I love and have always loved Disney animation. It’s been a huge part of my existence. Animated characters have their place. But Disney is also synonymous with live-action films and the themed environments of it’s parks. Fantasyland is a PERFECT environment to retell those beloved stories. Tomorrowland and Future World, in this blogger’s opinion, are not. Sure, “people come to see their favorite characters”. Yes, and they should be able to. But we can still have clear standards for what each land stands for and what does and does not reside in those lands. 

Alright. The point is, World Showcase, though it could offer more, is pretty darn great. It’s great because they haven’t messed with it the same amount they’ve messed with everything else. 


Dear Disney decision makers, Please consider this when you decide to add some D-list comedian or The Jonas Brothers or even Lumiere and Cogsworth to a new France film. If you think this will draw the young crowd to this part of property, it won’t. (Remember how Timon, Pumba, fart jokes, etc. can’t draw any more of a crowd to that part of The Land despite what you once thought?) It will, however, offend everyone else who cares about the W.S. And after the two weeks of press coverage and people’s curiosity wares off, your attendance numbers will be no better off than they were for 28+ years. 


.....Oh wait. Disney decision makers don’t read this blog.


Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: Epcot Future World [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Fantasyland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]



EPCOT Center Poster Art

"Experimental Poster Compositions Of Tomorrow - These posters are modern day interpretations of the great Future World attractions of yesterday. Taking on a minimalistic style, each focuses on the main ideas and foundations of the pavillions they represent."  -Stephen Christ, designer





We just had to post these fun designs.  Stephen Christ, an industrial designer and model maker from Chicago, designed them using the old Future World symbols as inspiration.  Ahhhhh the days of early Future World.

And prints are available! Posters on a variety of papers starting at $16.61 here.


Related posts:

HORIZONS MURAL, "The Prologue and the Promise" [ High Res ]
HORIZONS the way you wish you knew it.
Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center
Surviving Pieces of Journey Into Imagination
A Day At Epcot - Tilt Shift Video



THEN AND NOW: Epcot Future World [Part 1]

Future World, Epcot

Wonders of Life

World of Motion / Test Track

The Living Seas / The Seas with Nemo and Friends


Holy moly.  Future World has seen share of changes.

In front of the old World of Motion building (Test Track) I tried but was unable to get the exact angle of the "then" photo from an old pictorial souvenir book. A tall mound of landscaping was in my way.  Some guy walked up next to me trying to get the same night shot and he said,

"Boy, isn't that a pretty site?"  

I said, "Umm, take a look at what it used to look like" showing him the old photo on my iPod.  

"WHOA. That was much nicer!" he said.

"Yeahhh. It was a beauty. But don't get me started on Horizons, Imagination, The Living Seas."

Buzzy from Cranium Command is looking handsome, wouldn't you say?? With that nice droopy eye and all. Although it doesn't matter much what he looks like--- NO ONE GETS TO SEE HIM ANYMORE.  The "now" photo was taken within the last few weeks. The Wonders of Life building is open during the Food and Wine Festival but don't plan on enjoying the place the way you used to.  Not a single attraction isn't blocked by a few hundred folded chairs and tables.  And sorry, Martin Short is nowhere in sight if you were planning on learning Disney's version of where babies come from.

Future World, come back. We miss you. You weren't boring like they told us you were. Really, you weren't. You've really lost your identity but it's not too late to find it again.


Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 2]
THEN AND NOW: Liberty Square [Part 1]
Walt's Wife Talks About EPCOT Center
EPCOT Construction from the Air
EPCOT Center Graphics