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  • [Question] Epcot then and now

    Hi my name is Jesse Cedar Soberman,
    I live in Hilo Hawaii. Hello all.
    So I went to WDW for a 3 day park hopper in spring of 1991. MGM had just opened and I really liked that....it was the first time I had been on Star Tours and I rode it at least 3 times. But my best memories were from Epcot....everything was so big, and the fireworks over the water played to classical music were great. I was 14 years old it seemed like my dad and I had the park to ourselves because it was not that crowded.

    Anyway my question is about Epcot then and now. Im thinking about going to WDW for Christmas next year. Can I get some thoughts on the differences of Epcot then and now for better and worse. I notice that some of the rides have changed to reflect current themes in Epcot, and Body Wars is gone!!!(I thought that was a cool one).

    So was Epcot different then....was there a different management....did they have better entertainment? Or is it better now with the updates? I just remember a magical feeling. Which brings up another question. How much of the change is due to our own percption changing from children to adults?

    Any thoughts on any of these questions would be appreciated.
    thanks
    Cedar

  • #2
    Re: Epcot then and now

    The changes that happed after you left are both good in some parts and bad in others. Here are the changes that happened after you left(In Epcot Center.) I will be Inforimative as I can be:

    1992:The Fountain Of Nations closes for refurbishment. This year is also the last to see the fireworks show "Suriprise In The Skyes"(Nothing major happened that year, except, possablly the last year to see "Universe Of Energy" in it's original form.)

    Sorry for listing history!
    sigpicNow the Tower of Sauron has fallen
    Also, this picture and my Avatar was taken with a Nintendo DSi System and Nyko Magnification Lens & Case for DSi.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Epcot then and now

      Originally posted by bespinally View Post
      Hi my name is Jesse Cedar Soberman,
      I live in Hilo Hawaii. Hello all.
      So I went to WDW for a 3 day park hopper in spring of 1991. MGM had just opened and I really liked that....it was the first time I had been on Star Tours and I rode it at least 3 times. But my best memories were from Epcot....everything was so big, and the fireworks over the water played to classical music were great. I was 14 years old it seemed like my dad and I had the park to ourselves because it was not that crowded.

      Anyway my question is about Epcot then and now. Im thinking about going to WDW for Christmas next year. Can I get some thoughts on the differences of Epcot then and now for better and worse. I notice that some of the rides have changed to reflect current themes in Epcot, and Body Wars is gone!!!(I thought that was a cool one).

      So was Epcot different then....was there a different management....did they have better entertainment? Or is it better now with the updates? I just remember a magical feeling. Which brings up another question. How much of the change is due to our own percption changing from children to adults?

      Any thoughts on any of these questions would be appreciated.
      thanks
      Cedar
      Things went from being really great to bad to worse in the past 10 years thanks to Michael Eisner and his corporate MBA posey. WDW is still recovering. I would wait until 2012 when the new wave of lasseter based attractions open (Star Tours II, New Fantasyland)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Epcot then and now

        What does this mean Lasseter based? Is this a new manager or CEO? Also when exactly is the ST2 coming? You think that 2012 will be the time when the best updates have been made?

        Also Ghostbuster626 what do you mean by bad to worse? Do you think that it got worse because of the ride changes? Is there a decrease in the amount of money spent on street entertainment and ambience etc? What is the real reason for a decrease in quality?

        I appreciate your help in getting to the bottom of this. The question intrigues me and I have at least a year (maybe til2012) to ponder it before I can compare it to my 1991 trip.

        I just got back from Disneyland for the first time since 1988 Christmas day. Now Disneyland had some romantic notions in tomorrowland that were conspicuosly missing in my recent visit. But overall with the addition of DCA and not to mention splash mountain, thunder mountain, IJ, Toon town, etc, it was far better overall. Still there was a magic missing. I dont know if it was because I was an adult or if it was because every ride ends in a gift shop....

        but I digress. Thanks for your replies.
        Cedar

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Epcot then and now

          If EPCOT Center was your favorite park back then, you will probably be a bit disappointed with Epcot (Epcot is the new name). Communicore is gone. Horizons was replaced with Mission: Space, which is basically a centrifuge. It is fun, but not an adequate Horizons replacement. World of motion is replaced with Test Track. I think Test Track is better than Mission: Space, but still doesn't beat World of Motion. The Living Seas has been replaced by The Seas with Nemo. The ride has some reall interesting effects, but does not belong in Epcot. Spaceship Earth is really the only ride that has stayed true to the original EPCOT Center idea, but has been changed a bit. Journey into Imagination has been completely changed. Figment is still around, but the DreamFinder guy was replaced with a scientist. The health pavillion is closed. The land is still original. World Showcase is still awesome and Maelstrom is still around. Illuminations is the new fireworks show. It is aweosme too.
          "Those who say that something can not be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it."- If anyone know who said this, please let me know.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Epcot then and now

            Here's a fable that will give you an idea about Future World's Then & Now.

            Imagine a great film, your favorite film, that was made in an earlier era (the 70s/80s/90s) and set in the then-present. There is only one print of this classic film (and no DVDs), and it is shown in only one theater in the world. If you want to appreciate the genius of this single cinematic work, you must travel to its theater.

            As time goes by, the Theater Owners decide (potentially rightly) that this beautiful, singular film is getting tired and certain scenes need updating. But rather than bring back the original director (he died or retired) to change out these scenes and keep them true to his original vision, the Owners bring in new, less capable directors/editors.

            These people go into the editing room and cut out entire segments of the original film stock (destroying them forever) and replace them with new segments that they believe will be popular with people in the short-term (following current pop culture trends).

            Year after year, the Owners order original film scenes to be cut out and replaced with new scenes - only these scenes are not as good as the earlier ones, do not mesh well, or alter the original film's storyline entirely.

            Today, when you go to that theater, little remains of the original film... it is instead filled with non-sequitur scenes by varied directors, different actors playing same roles, different soundtracks, and one or two scenes spliced in that were taken directly from another film. While a few of these scenes are still enjoyable, the film as a whole is an incoherent mess.

            The unique, singular beauty that once was is completely gone... forever.
            Last edited by RandySavage; 10-02-2009, 02:39 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Epcot then and now

              Overall Epcot is still a very good experience but isn't quite as good as it used to be. World Showcase is more or less what it was, but Future World is a far less coherent area. The old theme of exploration and contemplation about the future has been replaced by a somewhat uncomfortable hodge podge of thrill rides and toon-based attractions.

              My favorite ride in Orlando...Journey into Imagination...has been replaced with an inferior copy of itself, and next door EO has been replaced by the less-memorable HISTA.

              Soarin is the best new addition IMO...it fits the theme of exploring our world...but it would be better to soar over the world rather than just CA. Hopefully, that will materialize in a couple of years. The rest of The Land is somewhat the same as before, though Kitchen Cabaret is gone.

              Nemo is a pretty good overlay for Living Seas. As toonification goes, this isn't too bad.

              Spaceship Earth has had a pretty nice refurb, but most will feel the old ending as more timeless.

              Universe of Energy is pretty much as before, though with Ellen providing some comedy tinged with sarcasm. The latter is not my cup of tea, but others might like it.

              Wonder of Life is no more...and sits an empty shell.

              Horizons...a ride which pretty much embodied the essence of the old theme of Future World...is gone, replaced by ride which some love but which leaves others nauseous. While I think a pavilion on space exploration is highly appropriate, nonetheless I would have preferred greater emphasis on the exploration component and less on the thrills.

              Test track is a mildly pleasant (thoughly highly popular) thrill ride...but lacks the visual richness or educational value of its predecessor.
              Down with the Hat

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Epcot then and now

                Hi Jesse. I am not going to answer your question because it encompasses too many different points of views and opinions that really won't serve you well. I would much rather you came to WDW and experience EPCOT Center as it is today. You may like it, or you may not. Then, it would be lovely if you could post your opinions and comparisons between yesterday and today.

                Now, off topic. I love Hawaii I hope to some day move there and maybe retire there for good. Have not been to Hilo but love Oahu and Maui. As you may know.. Tokyo is only 7 hrs away. May I interest you in visiting Disney's finest park ever built, Tokyo DisneySea? Seems like you can appreciate Disney's quality so, you should definitely go there sometime. TDS is the pinnacle of perfection when it comes to theming in a Disney park.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Epcot then and now

                  One nobody's mentioned yet: "El Rio Del Tiempo" in the Mexico pavilion has been replaced with "Gran Fiesta Tour". The newer version has Donald Duck and the Three Caballeros in it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Epcot then and now

                    Originally posted by RandySavage View Post
                    Here's a fable that will give you an idea about Future World's Then & Now.

                    Imagine a great film, your favorite film, that was made in an earlier era (the 70s/80s/90s) and set in the then-present. There is only one print of this classic film (and no DVDs), and it is shown in only one theater in the world. If you want to appreciate the genius of this single cinematic work, you must travel to its theater.

                    As time goes by, the Theater Owners decide (potentially rightly) that this beautiful, singular film is getting tired and certain scenes need updating. But rather than bring back the original director (he died or retired) to change out these scenes and keep them true to his original vision, the Owners bring in new, less capable directors/editors.

                    These people go into the editing room and cut out entire segments of the original film stock (destroying them forever) and replace them with new segments that they believe will be popular with people in the short-term (following current pop culture trends).

                    Year after year, the Owners order original film scenes to be cut out and replaced with new scenes - only these scenes are not as good as the earlier ones, do not mesh well, or alter the original film's storyline entirely.

                    Today, when you go to that theater, little remains of the original film... it is instead filled with non-sequitur scenes by varied directors, different actors playing same roles, different soundtracks, and one or two scenes spliced in that were taken directly from another film. While a few of these scenes are still enjoyable, the film as a whole is an incoherent mess.

                    The unique, singular beauty that once was is completely gone... forever.
                    Well said, and a good way to describe what has happened to Epcot over the years.

                    Others have covered most of the changes that have happened to the park over the last several years. The Land is basically the same, though the Living with the Land boat ride no longer has CMs on the boats as it used to. Also, while I like Soarin' I have never liked that the queue for the ride is inside the Land building. It used to be a nice place to eat lunch, now it so loud and busy. I really wish they had put the entrance to Soarin' outside of the main pavilion.

                    Originally posted by bespinally View Post
                    I just remember a magical feeling. Which brings up another question. How much of the change is due to our own percption changing from children to adults?
                    My first trip to Epcot was in 1985 and I was just in awe of how amazing the place was. Luckily I got to see the park in its original form, since it had only been open for 3 years. I certainly had the same magical feeling you talk about.

                    I've been there many times since that first trip ... My last time being there was 3 years ago. Epcot is still my favorite park, and even as an adult I don't believe all of the magical feeling is gone. I recognize so much of the park is not like the original, and there are things I don't like now. Still, each time I've entered the park since that first visit, I still remember the original feeling I had back in 1985.

                    My guess is that if you loved Epcot back then, you will still enjoy it today. Epcot is still a unique theme park, and not like any of the other Disney parks. My hope is that someday some of the original vision can be restored.
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Epcot then and now

                      I agree with a lot of what has been said above. Epcot is still by far my favorite park, the one I spend the most time in. But a lot of the changes in Future World are not for the better. I only rode Mission:Space one time, and my claustrophobia won't let me get into one of those tiny capsules ever again. But it's a poor replacement for my favorite attraction, Horizons. The Wonders of Life pavilion is totally closed except for special events, and the attractions (Body Wars, The Making of Me, and the incredible Cranium Command) are no more. I enjoy Test Track, and it's probably a lot hipper than the World of Motion. But there was such charm in that original AA heavy attraction, and I do miss it.

                      I've always enjoyed the various versions of IllumiNations that showed in the Lagoon, but the current version - Reflections of Earth - is by far the best one ever. Next to DL's Fantasmic!, it's the best outdoor mixed media (fireworks, water, lasers, lights) show on the planet!

                      So come on back to Epcot, enjoy the stuff that's still here, mourn the stuff that's gone, and generally enjoy yourself!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Epcot then and now

                        Originally posted by dfan07 View Post
                        One nobody's mentioned yet: "El Rio Del Tiempo" in the Mexico pavilion has been replaced with "Gran Fiesta Tour". The newer version has Donald Duck and the Three Caballeros in it.
                        I like Fishbulb's name for it: El Rio de Queso.
                        Hahahahaha!!!!:lol:

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Epcot then and now

                          translation please...
                          Smile, you never know who's looking !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Epcot then and now

                            The River of Cheese.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Epcot then and now

                              Mmmmm... queso.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Epcot then and now

                                Future World has changed immensely over the years. As long as you are willing to keep an open mind about the changes, I'm sure you will have fun!

                                Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
                                As you may know.. Tokyo is only 7 hrs away. May I interest you in visiting Disney's finest park ever built, Tokyo DisneySea? Seems like you can appreciate Disney's quality so, you should definitely go there sometime. TDS is the pinnacle of perfection when it comes to theming in a Disney park.
                                TDLFAN, I am SO JEALOUS of you! (I just had to say that. I'll be okay now.)
                                "When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it." - Dilbert's pointy-haired boss

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Epcot then and now

                                  EPCOT is a great park. Best in the world.
                                  WDW Vacationer-Vacationing November 21-22,2009!

                                  FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Epcot then and now

                                    ^ no DCA is....

                                    one hundred and one

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Epcot then and now

                                      Wow! First of all thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response. I must say it was informative as well as that it piqued a few memories for me of the future world. I will reply as best I can so it will probably be a long rambling yarn.

                                      I remember the End of Spaceship Earth ride as my favorite as it was a Imax screen (like soaring) and each car gets to choose water, air, or space. Then once you make your choice the movie on the screen comes flashing towards you (like soaring) and you feel like a virtual motion. Has that ending changed?

                                      I also remember Body Wars was one of my favorites as the simulator concept was new then. It was very memorable, but I suppose it is dated and they had a hard time finding a good sponsor.

                                      Other than that I remember floating in a boat through a hight tech farm. i suppose that was the land. I remember one really slow ride that had a lot of audio animatronics like robots and people and such, but that is a vague memory. I also remember setting up dinner reservations for the world showcase by touchscreens. I am happy to hear that the World Showcase has remained mostly unchanged or improved.What was Horizons?

                                      RandySavage I think your post summarized my feelings well from my recent experience in Disneyland. The DCA was awesome and all the rides were the newest technology. I am sure that this is the case in the new rides at Future World as well, but I think there is something to be said for preserving the spirit of a memory. In Disneyland the main problem is in Tomorrowland. When I looked at old videos of Disneland from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, what is different is the lack of the Skyway and the peoplemover. While neither of these was a ride I particularly liked to ride, they provided peripheral motion to the World of Tomorrow, and this is what is conspicuously missing today from what was in my memory of Disneyland/Magic Kingdom.

                                      Tasman What was Journey into Imagination like?
                                      I saw Soarin in DCA and it was pretty cool (we rode it twice). But I feel it is somewhat of a weak attraction unless they upgrade the overall illusion. Not a good replacement for the Epcot concept in my opinion, but a necessary addition to WDW.

                                      OC2Epcot thanks for the great reply, that really brought me back to some of my memories of the time I was in Epcot Center.

                                      Danyoung thanks for the Encouragement to return. I have decided that I will be coming to WDW in Holiday season of 2012. This will be well timed with the improvements of the park and I will Celebrate Hannukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa in Epcot/WDW. I have planned to go to TDL/TDS for Christmas 2010 because they are the newest park and they have an independent ownership, I hope that the quality of entertainment and ambience will remain high throughout the next tough year and I can see TDL/TDS at its finest at Christmas! Then I will return to DL in 2011 for Halloween and the New Star Tours and DCA improvements.

                                      So that is my plan. Thanks to everyone for helping me search my memories, and thanks for the great information. I am really looking forward to seeing the Epcot of today and I will certainly lower my expectations, but I cant Wait!!!!! I will be posting again on the board as I really enjoyed this general discussion. I hope it is not too rambling or repetitive for your forum.

                                      thanks again
                                      Cedar

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Epcot then and now

                                        I'm sorry dude, but you confused Horizons with SpaceShip Earth. That Imax/Saorin' thing and the choosing your own ending are both accessories of Horizons, which is gone. I suggest you check out this website and go to the media section. It has really good ride thrus and other info:Horizons at Epcot Center
                                        Here is another website you may enjoy: LOST EPCOT
                                        "Those who say that something can not be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it."- If anyone know who said this, please let me know.

                                        Comment

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