Remember When... Epcot

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cousininmiami
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Remember When... Epcot

Post by cousininmiami » Feb Mon 10, 2014 9:05 am

Remember when futuristic cutting edge technology, never seen before was what Future World in Epcot was all about?

I remember when Spaceship Earth was not only a look back, but a look into the future as well. The part at the descent of the ride there was video conferencing, and it was a "wow this is really cool" kind of thing! And the same thing goes with Horizon's, it was a look into the future in our cities, the desert and under water! It really was amazing to imagine these things happening! Then there was the Living Seas, the tube where a scuba person would go up getting in the main tank always drew hundreds of guests to watch! This was really something to see! The movie in the Living Seas, before you beaded the Hydrolator was so informative and interesting, again would make you really wonder how the seas were actually born. And Wonders of Life was really awesome! Not only was Cranium Command a fun thing to see, but Body Wars was amazing! Again, technology was shrinking you and you went inside the body to fix something! The stationary bicycles would take you on a ride somewhere on a screen in front of you, and the sports stations were always packed with people trying to see a video of their tennis, golf or baseball swing to get professional opinions. Also the Making of Me, and Goofy about Health were thought provoking and not to miss.

One of the coolest things I remember about my first visit to Epcot Center in 1985 was inside of Spaceship Earth where you came off of the ride, (this is where you can view your movie now) there were individual stations to make dinner reservations! Does anyone else remember this? Very cool stuff, you would walk up to a television screen, and a live Disney CM would come on the screen to say hello and be ready to help. There was a camera on you as well so they could see your family, and you could make your dining reservations from there! You could ask questions, and just generally have some futuristic fun!

I just think they have gotten way far way from the original concept of Epcot. The future of technology right now must be amazing. With what we actually have now what could the future hold for us? I think of the last 20 years, and how far technology has taken us. But what will be next? It sure would be nice if that is what Epcot was all about again. Not saying I don't like Nemo, and I will never stop going to Epcot. I'm just disappointed that they are not following through with "if you can dream it, you can do it!"
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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by cy1229 » Feb Mon 10, 2014 9:48 am

Hear, hear! There isn't much future to Futureworld. It's sad that Disney didn't continue planning ahead and incorporating new technology into beloved attractions, or refurbishing and refreshing them.

I'm not buying the bovine excrement of sponsorship because most of the other parks aren't sponsored, yet they have been continually refreshed and updated. Technology is still a very cool thing that can and should be highlighted and showcased, and I'm willing to bet that sponsors could be found to show off all their cool gadgets and incorporate them into existing attractions. I mean, was the new Test Track a true update? Or a coat of paint and some cool lights?

I'm with cousin, the spirit, feel, and intent of Epcot has been abandoned for ... Well I'm not sure for what. It's disappointing.
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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Amy » Feb Mon 10, 2014 10:53 am

I have to wonder if they are a bit worried about showcasing "new" technology as it evolves so quickly now. But I do miss the bygone era of EPCOT, it used to be a much cooler place in Future World than it is now :(

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Wizzard419 » Feb Mon 10, 2014 3:16 pm

Buy it or not, look at how the sponsorship has changed from when the park opened to today. You can't showcase new tech without having a company that does something with that tech. Unless Disney has suddenly become a developer in the health, electronics, biotech, and aerospace industries, they won't have jack to show.

Also, showing off tech, like Amy points out, is borderline impossible to do effectively in the theme park setting (basically making it a trade show without swag). In some cases, the tech becomes outdated within months, you also can't simply change out one thing for another since you have to also design the interactive experience, the user flow, the actual location it will be presented in, and copy/scripts for any meat bags working the display.

Oh and on top of all that, there will be no money to be made by any party since nothing is for sale and none of this drives the visitor needle in the right direction.

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by lonepalm » Feb Tue 11, 2014 8:16 am

I agree with the OP completely. I have been a huge proponent of the Epcot Center that was, and wish it still to be. I miss Horizons, World of Motion, Living Seas, Spaceship Earth with Jeremy Irons, etc...truly great rides that are gone forever...I miss MY Epcot Center!
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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by theBIGyowski » Feb Tue 11, 2014 1:18 pm

If Disney cannot directly make money off of their theme park attractions...they make sure they can make money off of something adjacent to said attraction. This is why there are gift shops at the end of a lot of the e-ticket attractions. I would be willing to guess that less than 1% of guests make purchases from these gift shops after riding, but the shops make more than they cost on a long-term basis.

So...in this way Disney could invest in EPCOT to make things more futuristic in an attempt to draw more guests to certain places...also bringing guests to places that sell merchandise.
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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Wizzard419 » Feb Tue 11, 2014 4:42 pm

Innoventions has always lacked merch if I recall, and it probably wasn't without trying. But again, just selling tshirts and crap to guests isn't all, you need something to bring people in. A display will not do it.

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by boilerbabe » Feb Tue 11, 2014 10:25 pm

I agree! I also feel the same way about Tomorrowland. It used to be what they thought the future was going to look like/be like. Then they make made it cartoonish.
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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by kcarts » Feb Wed 12, 2014 8:50 am

I think Epcot is is still evolving with today's technology. It's just moving so fast that to keep up they would need change things much too often.

I do remember the monitors to make the reservations for dinner. That was cool. But that's outdated. I mean now you can make reservations for rides on your phone. That's pretty cool!

The other issue I think is perception. In 1982 (or 85, 86...) Epcot was the only park that had the modern and futuristic stuff.Making reservations on a monitor as an example. If Disney still operated like it did in the early 80's, Epcot would be the only park that you could use the Magic Bands. The only park that you could make fastpass reservations for rides. If they didn't offer it the other parks, would that make Epcot on the cutting edge of the future?

Disney World as a whole has become "Epcot". That's the way I see it anyway.

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by horizons1 » Feb Sat 15, 2014 11:49 am

cousininmiami wrote:Remember when futuristic cutting edge technology, never seen before was what Future World in Epcot was all about?

The movie in the Living Seas, before you beaded the Hydrolator was so informative and interesting, again would make you really wonder how the seas were actually born...

...there were individual stations to make dinner reservations! Does anyone else remember this? Very cool stuff, you would walk up to a television screen, and a live Disney CM would come on the screen to say hello and be ready to help. There was a camera on you as well so they could see your family, and you could make your dining reservations from there! You could ask questions, and just generally have some futuristic fun!
And it rained... and rained... and rained... the deluge. I liked the techno-cool design of the pavilions back then, but that movie was a bit boring for me. I recall my first reaction in 1989 was "wow there sure is a lot of use of film and projectors at Epcot Center." Remember, every attraction had a movie either as a pre-show or post-show (Maelstrom) or during the ride itself (World of Motion, Energy, Horizons, The Land, Mexico, Canada, France, well, all of them). Many still do. Still, I know what you mean. A lot of that science-fun/science-fact innovation seems to be gone.

Also, I totally remember the WorldKey kiosks with the live agent that you could talk to. The first time the cast member popped up on screen it scared me that she could see me! In this Skype-world we now live in, I have to look back and think how silly that reaction was!

Remember also in the Spaceship Earth post-show they had the phone booths where you could call someone on a speakerphone? They had the same thing at Tomorrowland at Disneyland and we used to think that was cool too.
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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Sharonofwindham » Feb Sat 15, 2014 2:49 pm

My first visit to EPCOT was in Feb 1983, but I also went in 1985 and remember making reservations for the Teppenyaki restaurant in Japan at one of those kiosks just as you exited SSE. At the time it was pretty amazing talking to a TV screen! I remember just being awestruck by the that area, and for many years after :donald:

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Sharonofwindham » Feb Sat 15, 2014 3:21 pm

I also think people are much harder to entertain these days. Since younger people have always had so much technology available to them, they expect immediate gratification in everything they do. They seem to have very short attention spans & patience as a result. Disney, I think, is trying to come up with ways of entertaining them. I love the films at EPCOT just as much as the thrill rides, and I LOVE thrill rides! Everything seems to have to tie in with a Disney cartoon these days as well...really?! Let's leave most of the characters at MK & HS. I don't mind Mickey & the gang showing up at EPCOT, but in every country does there need to be a movie tie-in?

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Sharonofwindham » Feb Sat 15, 2014 3:30 pm

theBIGyowski wrote:If Disney cannot directly make money off of their theme park attractions...they make sure they can make money off of something adjacent to said attraction. This is why there are gift shops at the end of a lot of the e-ticket attractions. I would be willing to guess that less than 1% of guests make purchases from these gift shops after riding, but the shops make more than they cost on a long-term basis.

So...in this way Disney could invest in EPCOT to make things more futuristic in an attempt to draw more guests to certain places...also bringing guests to places that sell merchandise.
I am one of those guests that rarely buy anything in those gift shops at the ride exits, but I'm also probably one of the few that truly enjoys them...especially Norway. I really love that gift shop and usually spend time there looking at all the great winter apparel, lol

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by Wizzard419 » Feb Sat 15, 2014 5:27 pm

I don't think any of that has to do with the lack of interest in film attractions. It is because they are simply boring and passive experiences. Just like how the little mermaid attraction is an abomination, it would have been great in the 80's/early 90's, but now it breaks a cardinal rule by not telling the story to you but rather telling the story at you.

One of the weird things with the WS merch is that much of it never seems to rotate, you could be there in 2000, this week, or 10 years from now and the selection will be pretty much the same items. Great, if you break something and want a replacement, not so good for repeat visits though.

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Re: Remember When... Epcot

Post by cy1229 » Feb Sat 15, 2014 10:26 pm

Wizzard419 wrote:I don't think any of that has to do with the lack of interest in film attractions. It is because they are simply boring and passive experiences. Just like how the little mermaid attraction is an abomination, it would have been great in the 80's/early 90's, but now it breaks a cardinal rule by not telling the story to you but rather telling the story at you.

One of the weird things with the WS merch is that much of it never seems to rotate, you could be there in 2000, this week, or 10 years from now and the selection will be pretty much the same items. Great, if you break something and want a replacement, not so good for repeat visits though.
Makes it easier on my souvenir budget... :lol:

I think I just had a brilliant thought. What about some kind of interactive spanning parks around the world? Beyond a telephone call, I mean.
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