October 5, 2009

Abandoned Science and Technology Pavillion for Epcot

The scope of possibilities for the near and distant future remains a recurring theme for Epcot. Unfortunately, so does the difficulty of keeping up to date with an area named Future World. Major pavillions are changing themes or leaving that concept as part of EPCOT Center. Wonders of Life no longer exists. The Living Seas is showcasing an orange fish named Nemo, and other than the smaller exhibits at Innoventions, the idea of staying on the cutting edge of technology and science now seems to be left behind in favor of Disney characters.

This was not always the case. Years back, the brilliant Imagineers designed several concepts for a major attraction highlighting developments in Science and Technology. If you look closely at the early EPCOT Center rendering above, this pavillion can be found at the direct left of Spaceship Earth in the area now occupied by The Living Seas with Nemo. (Do me eyes deceive me, or is that either the Moulin Rouge windmill at the France showcase or was a space devoted to the Netherlands once included on the drawing boards? Hmm...)

The character invasion is quite an unfortunate choice of direction for this amazing theme park. Not only does this move cheapen the experience once offered guests, it also is incongruent with the philosophy and intent of what was originally designed and built. Lastly, this same decision keeps Disney Imagineers bound from creating even more astounding technologies. I know they can do it if given the chance; let them prove it again.

(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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