November 11, 2008

Energize Us

In my collection of Disney memorabilia, I have a special appreciation for the pieces related to EPCOT Center. Why? Never again would anything this special be attempted. At its opening in 1982, this amazing, one-of-a-kind park was at once future oriented, optimistic, and sweetly charming. EPCOT Center represented everything wonderful that could be accomplished by the Imagineers without an animated character in sight! Discovery, wonder, and exploration of realms real and yet to be found awaited each visitor.

This concept from a corporate preview booklet shows the main entrance of the Universe of Energy attraction in Future World. Long before Hollywood celebrities invaded Disney's theme park attractions, this groundbreaking pavillion combined a surprising new way to transport guests into the story and then told it through a creative use of film, music, and animatronics.

My last visit to Energy revealed this pavillion needs a bit of an overhaul. Animatronics didn't work, sets seemed stale, and the main characters are past their prime. Hopefully, it is on the list of projects to revitalize Epcot. This great attrction deserves some attention without being turned into just another thrill ride or one more animated film promotion.

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