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  • #41
    Re: The Problem with Epcot

    EPCOT used to be full of wow moments... 'how do they do that?' type of imersive, amazing, emotional striking things.

    From the dive chamber and Hydrolaters... to just about everything in UoE... to the horizons finale.. to SSE itself.. everywhere you looked there was just unique attractions done at scales the world has never seen. Put in buildings that were right there for us to see.. no need to hide a big metal shed out back behind some painted walls.. these masterpieces were free-standing out there for all to see.

    Anyone who didn't visit EPCOT in the eights and doesn't understand the big deal needs to watch Martin's or JeffLange's videos on the original epcot (Martin's can be watched online for free). If you don't understand why anyone would want to spend 45mins in UoE , check out martin's videos to get an idea of what used to be there
    The Universe of Energy Pavilion

    When EPCOT opened, it was so far beyond, so massive of a scale.. it's mind boggling. 70mm film? Forget one.. EPCOT had so much large format film developed for it, it probably dominated the available media of the day. AAs? Sets like the American Adventure required massive engineering infrastructure level never undertaken in a theme park, etc.

    EPCOT today sparks none of those emotions.. except for M:S which many people can't enjoy, and maybe Soarin' which doesn't even fit and only excels in the show itself, not the whole package.

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    • #42
      Re: The Problem with Epcot

      Is Martin's video on youtube by chance?? I would like to look at EPCOT the way it looked when I was still too little to remember ALL of the grandeur, but I do remember MOST, and know that what is there is but a shell...

      I remember being awed by EPCOT, this was a two day park for us, now it has dropped down to just doing it in 3/4 a day...it seriously has dropped that much in our opinions....

      It still can be made right, but I hope they act before it becomes so far out of whack that they have to almost redo an enitre half of the park just to get it back to most of it's former glory..it's almost to that point, I was very disapointed more wasn't done for it's anniversary last year, maybe that truely shows what TDO thinks about EPCOT? that it doesn't warrant that kind of celebration because the attendance numbers are skewed??? I dunno that's just me trying to come up with the reasoning behind letting such a great park getting relegated to half day status for most people.

      The sad thing is that the park has AWESOME capacity if they just used it to it's full potential it might tie or come close to knocking the MK off the top park pedestal(doubtful I know MK has some serious as a heart attack attendance numbers to contend with)
      The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
      -George S. Patton

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      • #43
        Re: The Problem with Epcot

        Originally posted by ORD84 View Post
        Is Martin's video on youtube by chance?? I would like to look at EPCOT the way it looked when I was still too little to remember ALL of the grandeur, but I do remember MOST, and know that what is there is but a shell...
        Follow the link to his page. All his videos are on vimeo now, so no more having to deal with that aweful mousebits setup. The videos are all linked from his page.

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        • #44
          Re: The Problem with Epcot

          Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
          What's been driving attendance (or proping it up?) - Festivals instead of long-term entertainment.
          Sad but true. And in that light, there's really no incentive for them to put anything back into the Wonders of Life building. I can see them letting the current content of Imagination run their course, then emptying it out and putting it to the same purpose.

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          • #45
            Re: The Problem with Epcot

            Because if all the branding and packaging of the marketing is selling MK and the magical part with all these "other" things to do and visit, then why make them each a compelling park on their own when they are just extensions of MK.
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            • #46
              Re: The Problem with Epcot

              Well, on one of my last visits to WDW, I skipped Magic Kingdom in favor of Epcot. It is still my favorite Orlando park even if it is a shadow of what was originally built.
              Mark

              Disney parks and art, movies, music, more... Over 1, 500 Posts!
              www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

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              • #47
                Re: The Problem with Epcot

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Space Ship Earth - This ride is still a favorite, but the recent changes at the end are horrible. Change them back or devise a new ending.
                In my opinion i think the ride ending is fun and rather enjoyable. if anything i certainly don't think its a serious point of concern or a down grade, its just something different. there are a longggg list of things that are of higher importance for being fixed then that assuredly.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Canada - Bring back the shops in the pavilion rather than having the outdoor vending carts out in front. You have people walking all the way up to the castle like building and there is nothing there. What they are selling at the carts out in front could easily be sold inside the little shops that used to be up there. Perhaps adding the rapids ride that was rumored would be nice and getting a decent Circle Vision movie in there that showcases Canada. I don't need to see 9 versions of Martin Shorts wrinkly face telling not so funny jokes or puns. The only positives in Canada at the moment are LeCelliar, Victoria Gardens and Off Kilter.
                totally agree about the shops opening once more in the back of the pavilion (also just as a heads up its not a castle but a famous hotel in Quebec le chateau frontenac). however i don't believe that the pavilion needs a ride, nor does it really have room for the one your suggesting, and i totally disagree with you about the movie in my opinion it is the best of any world showcase pavilion. It is definitively better then the original as it it is engaging, patriotic, and actually depicts Canadians the way we really are in a fairly accurate way, unlike the atrocious original film that left Americans with the thought were all Mounties and live in igloos (the way some Americans still see us amusingly).

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                UK- I'm sure something more can be done with this country. Right now it is OK, but it is lacking an attraction.
                i agree that its lacking an attraction but besides some type of simulator or movie there's really no room for a ride of any substance. also as a side note, talked to a cm and she said the new menu at rose and crown starts today, should be exciting.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                France - Although this pavilion has some nice restaurants and shops already in it, there is something missing and the attraction that is here hasn't changed at all since 1982 and the film is showing it's age. I still love it though. as for additional attractions maybe a dark ride based on Beauty and the Beast, or Sleeping Beauty would be nice.
                France really needs a new film but i don't ever want to see an attraction based on an animated feature in WS. im ok with the mexican ride as it uses characters to facilitate the story, however your concept just kind of feels shoe-horned in like this took place in france so lets put it in the pavilion. also an attraction would have no entrance from the main pavilion area as it is totally boxed. the only way you could really build an attraction here would be to add on to the future development lot next door and that would remove one more space for a new country which i definitely wouldn't want to see

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Morocco- I envision a Soarin type ride based on the magic carpet from Aladdin, or maybe a thrill coaster themed to adventure. Although I like the food at the Tangerine cafe and Marrakesh, the shops need to sell more than just lamps, incense and rugs. The pavilion itself is well done, but when you get to the back it feels like something is missing.
                this will never happen due to the strict restrictions placed on the area by the Moroccan government (the same reason why the pavilion doesn't light up during illuminations and why the stores sell exactly that product and it will not change) if any ride were to be added to the pavilion it would have to be a very tasteful addition, not a thrill ride, and most likely be a pure advertisement for Moroccan tourism, so no Aladdin and no magic carpets.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Japan- Probably one of the best pavilions at EPCOT, but the castle like structure in the back was to be the gateway or entrance to the roller coaster that was inside Mount Fuji. Lets's build it already.
                the castle structure in the back was actually going to BE the attraction housing, it is currently a huge empty building used for rehearsals and storage. this would be the ONLY place where i would consider a thrill ride in WS as an indoor coaster would be totally contained in the castle meaning no loud noises to ruin the ambiance or tracks destroying the sky line. about the same size as RRsA so im sure it would be a nice addition but a movie on japan after the ride to balance the thrill and the educational aspects.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Italy- Shops and two overpriced restaurants. I have not eaten in them in their current incarnations, but I did eat at Alfredo's when it was there and quite frankly was not impressed. With all the history that is Italy, I can't believe that there was nothing that could be imagineered as an attraction.
                how do you know if they are over priced if you've never eaten there? just curious (I'm assuming you mean over priced by Disney standards as everything at Disney is over priced) in my opinion via napoli is a great addition and has great food including the best on property pizza I have had so far however there is no need for two full service italian restaurants. they should close tuto italia after opening a new pavilion (to be discussed later) so that there will not be an overflow of adr's at other locations and the space should be used for an italian gondella ride through italy and an expanded via napoli restaurant.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Germany - This pavilion is one of my favorites, but the building is there and the ride that was supposed to be in the building never completed. How about completing it and please return the Biergarten restaurant to it's former glory. The food has been dumbed down so bad that after the last two times, I am not so sure I wasn't to return.
                actually said building is completed, just not for the ride. the loading area is currently the entrance to biergarten and the remainder of the building is either used by the restaurant, shops, rehearsal space, and storage. they could still build a ride here but most likely it would be a non water dark ride as the concrete flume cuts have been filled in, there is plenty of room for the attraction however, all they need to figure out is how to prevent a bottleneck between the restaurant and the ride entrance.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                The Outpost area- This is prime real estate for at least 2 more countries, lets's put some new countries here. Africa was done at the Animal Kingdom. ......as for new countries how about Russia, Greece, Spain to name a few, I'd be happy with most any country other than Brazil.
                whats wrong with Brazil? i think it would make a great addition along with Spain, India, Greece, and Russia in that order.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                China, another well done pavilion, this is probably the only pavilion that really doesn't need a lot of work.
                I think that China still needs some work the food is mediocre and not very authentic, and the film is frankly a tad boring in my opinion regardless of its informative abilities.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                Norway- Maelstrom needs some work done to it. The ride itself is OK, but then you get to the boring film at the end, and now with most people walking right through, what's the point in showing it. There used to be an authentic Scandinavian restaurant here, but they've turned it into a lousy princess character buffet. Bring back the original concept and update the attraction. The bakery here used to be good too, now it seems either the food is stale or they are out of what I want.
                i agree about Maelstrom and the film as i mentioned earlier, i also had a great experience at the bakery recently and have honestly never had a bad experience there so perhaps its just bad luck but in my opinion but in my opinion its a quality establishment. unfortunately the restaurant changed, i think it would have been more successful if it wasn't a buffet before the switch as Norwegian cuisine is phenomenal if made correctly.

                Originally posted by ti2gr View Post
                One of my biggest complaints, and this relates to all Disney Parks at WDW, is the outdoor vending carts everywhere. A popcorn cart is one thing, but when it has a whole menu of options and now has 4 or 5 refrigerated carts to go along with it, put it in one of the many vacant restaurants or shops. Same with the retail carts, there are so many vacant storefronts in all the parks, but yet there are carts selling merchandise in the streets.
                Amen! i can think of 10 empty spots in the park off the top of my head right now

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                • #48
                  Re: The Problem with Epcot

                  Originally posted by goofy donald View Post
                  In my opinion i think the ride ending is fun and rather enjoyable. if anything i certainly don't think its a serious point of concern or a down grade, its just something different. there are a longggg list of things that are of higher importance for being fixed then that assuredly.
                  It's not serious, per se, or the absolute biggest problem in the park, but it's definitely a downgrade. I go into Spaceship Earth to be awed and inspired, not to watch a silly JibJab animation I can make at home in fifteen minutes, on a tiny screen.

                  ITA about moving some of the vending carts into disused indoor space. It's a no-brainer; it clears up traffic problems, improves the view, and shows off all that great architecture that's currently sitting around doing nothing. They're probably afraid of their A/C bills going up or something.

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                  • #49
                    Re: The Problem with Epcot

                    Epcot really only has 2 problems, and they're both pretty obvious.

                    1. Future World needs to get back on theme.
                    2. World Showcase is underdeveloped.


                    All the other issues are kind of secondary to those two. Though, I think marketing for the parks in general (at least on television) is downright horrendous. Watching a Disney Parks ad you would think there is only one park and it's some weird mix of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom that doesn't actually exist anywhere in the physical world. That's clearly not doing any of the parks without a castle any favors. The company's unfortunate solution seems to be to make all the other parks like the ones they know how to market instead of developing different strategies for the parks without pixie dust because that's somehow...better?
                    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
                    sigpic

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                    • #50
                      Re: The Problem with Epcot

                      Originally posted by Dapper Dan View Post
                      I think marketing for the parks in general (at least on television) is downright horrendous. Watching a Disney Parks ad you would think there is only one park and it's some weird mix of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom that doesn't actually exist anywhere in the physical world. That's clearly not doing any of the parks without a castle any favors.
                      I was just thinking the other day that when you do see a rare TV spot for WDW, it's all preschoolers jumping in pools and hugging Mickey, with an occasional shot of a working Yeti swiping at a coaster car.

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                      • #51
                        Re: The Problem with Epcot

                        I think the thought in the marketing dept is that... Sell people on MK and then they will fill the rest of their days at the other parks.
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                        • #52
                          Re: The Problem with Epcot

                          Originally posted by KingEric View Post
                          I think the thought in the marketing dept is that... Sell people on MK and then they will fill the rest of their days at the other parks.
                          Probably, but there are people out there that aren't into princesses and fairies. They might not go to Walt Disney World if they think that's all the place has to offer. When the place opened they advertised it as, "Come to Walt Disney World, we have freaking everything people do when they go on vacation." and that was when they had a lot less than they do now.
                          It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
                          sigpic

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                          • #53
                            Re: The Problem with Epcot

                            Originally posted by Dapper Dan View Post
                            Probably, but there are people out there that aren't into princesses and fairies. They might not go to Walt Disney World if they think that's all the place has to offer. When the place opened they advertised it as, "Come to Walt Disney World, we have freaking everything people do when they go on vacation." and that was when they had a lot less than they do now.
                            The people who aren't into princesses and fairies won't go to WDW anyway. A lot of us who are "Disney people" don't realize that Disney has become a niche market. Disney doesn't hold the place in popular culture that it did 30, 40, or 50 years ago. Back then, the idea of WDW as a sort of "Swiss army knife" resort was appealing, because as you say, even the non-kiddie market could find something to do there.

                            A lot of this has to do w/ the "lifestyle branding" movement in advertising, where the brand drives the experience, rather than vice versa. Customers identify w/ a brand not because of the products the brand sells, but because of ideas the brand claims to represent. In this context, Disney means characters, princesses, magic, etc., so people go to DisneyParks(c) expecting to get those things. As brilliant and inspiring as it was, the suits decided EPCOT the science and world culture park didn't fit that model, so it had to be turned into EPCOT the we-don't-know-what-to-do-so-we'll-cram-in-whatever-we-want park.
                            Disneyland Historic Preservation Society
                            Charter Member

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                            • #54
                              Re: The Problem with Epcot

                              Originally posted by Broadway Guru View Post
                              As brilliant and inspiring as it was, the suits decided EPCOT the science and world culture park didn't fit that model, so it had to be turned into EPCOT the we-don't-know-what-to-do-so-we'll-cram-in-whatever-we-want park.
                              Is not this what has happened to pretty much every DisneyParkDisneyParks

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                              • #55
                                Re: The Problem with Epcot

                                On my way home I was listening to this week's episode of Inside the Magic and the show ended with the audio of the Super Bowl XXXIV Half Time Show. While Strategic Planning clearly got their hands on the production it was also a sad look at how much The Walt Disney Company has changed in such a short time span. A Half Time Show produced by Disney would no longer make sense to the Company, the public or even many Disney fans.

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                                • #56
                                  Re: The Problem with Epcot

                                  I think that there's an elephant in the room that no one is looking at: Future World.

                                  When I first visited EPCOT in the mid-80's as a child (87, 88), it felt like I was living in the future. When I re-visited the park in 2003 as an adult, it felt old, and more than a bit sad, despite the additions of Test Track and Mission to Mars.

                                  The problem is that when you base a park, in part, on futurism, constant updates are needed. Attractions need to reflect the march of progress, not just in terms of content (new edits to particular attractions' plots), but also in terms of aesthetics. The 1980's vision of how the future would look is humorous today.

                                  Now, I don't believe that EPCOT cannot work as it was originally opened. I was only 7 and 8 years old when I first visited the park, and it was by far my favorite part of Disney. Cool, interesting technology is always cool and interesting, and the notion that people are too dumb/impatient/whatever to appreciate it strikes me as highly cynical (not to mention actively reinforcing those ideas).

                                  The problem, as I see it, is that even assuming Tinkerbell waves her wand and EPCOT refines and strengthens Future World's original theme, would it be able to stay continuously relevant? Would Disney want to put in the constant time, effort, and money to update it regularly? Does something like EPCOT have a natural shelf-life?

                                  There are legitimate bottom line issues about having a park whose theme is always being grounded in today's reality while looking toward tomorrow. The original concept may just not be sustainable in the long term. Which, of course, sucks (I'm a Horizons 4 life kinda guy).

                                  So, instead of thinking about how to simply change the attractions for now, how would you address the long term future of the park? That, IMO, is the real crisis.

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                                  • #57
                                    Re: The Problem with Epcot

                                    Originally posted by KevinM1 View Post
                                    I think that there's an elephant in the room that no one is looking at: Future World.

                                    When I first visited EPCOT in the mid-80's as a child (87, 88), it felt like I was living in the future. When I re-visited the park in 2003 as an adult, it felt old, and more than a bit sad, despite the additions of Test Track and Mission to Mars.

                                    The problem is that when you base a park, in part, on futurism, constant updates are needed. Attractions need to reflect the march of progress, not just in terms of content (new edits to particular attractions' plots), but also in terms of aesthetics. The 1980's vision of how the future would look is humorous today.
                                    Oh it was mentioned - check out these posts
                                    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...post1056699136
                                    http://micechat.com/forums/walt-disn...post1056700134

                                    The 80s look of the future isn't that it was so wrong and goofy, but that much of EPCOT was about 'cutting edge' instead of futurism/Sci-Fi (Seas and Horizons of course having futurism concepts - but not ones that have been invalidated really). The cutting edge started to move at blinding speed with Microprocessors and ICs that starting becoming more common place as EPCOT while it was being designed and built. So while EPCOT got to benefit from being on the cutting edge itself, because it was static, it meant it got left behind too.

                                    That's why the rehabs of the 90s had to come to quickly.. FW's tale about the cutting edge was already out of date and stale. Add that to the mixed emotions people had about edu-tainment and the suits of the time abandoned EPCOT's original vision and grandeur for smaller, simpler, and more entertainment focused.

                                    Alas in doing so, they lost so much of the impact that was the original FW
                                    Last edited by flynnibus; 02-10-2012, 07:07 AM.

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                                    • #58
                                      Re: The Problem with Epcot

                                      This has been a fascinating discussion... one where I actually think that most people's opinions are valid and correct on most points.

                                      This all being said I would like people to answer this question:

                                      If EPCOT was a stand alone theme park would it get 11 million people a year to visit it? And if it was stand alone resort how many people a year would actually visit it?
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                                      • #59
                                        Re: The Problem with Epcot

                                        Originally posted by KingEric View Post
                                        This all being said I would like people to answer this question:

                                        If EPCOT was a stand alone theme park would it get 11 million people a year to visit it? And if it was stand alone resort how many people a year would actually visit it?
                                        Probably not, but then again, I'm not 100% sure how useful a question it is to ask ourselves. It wasn't conceived, designed, or built to stand alone (EPCOT the city, sure, but not EPCOT Center the park).

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                                        • #60
                                          Re: The Problem with Epcot

                                          Originally posted by KingEric View Post
                                          This has been a fascinating discussion... one where I actually think that most people's opinions are valid and correct on most points.

                                          This all being said I would like people to answer this question:

                                          If EPCOT was a stand alone theme park would it get 11 million people a year to visit it? And if it was stand alone resort how many people a year would actually visit it?
                                          If it were in a metro area people didn't have to fly across country to get to.. like DL is.. I'm sure it could compete with not the same, but still good numbers.

                                          You can't fault any park for getting some of it's attendance from it's neighbor attractions.

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