November 2, 2009

Future World Becomes Discoveryland

Now that the D23 convention is over, and the announcement for the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland has been splashed all over the internet, I started thinking about other "leaked" plans and ideas for Walt Disney World.

If you are a big Epcot fan (or an even bigger EPCOT Center fan), you also wondered why absolutely nothing was announced for this park. These old and abandoned plans (above) for a revamped Future World probably got your heart racing a bit. Let's face it- Future World needs some help! We've got a shuttered Wonders of Life, an Imagination attraction that lacks the fun factor and charm of the original, and the mish mash that is Innoventions. What we discovered with this plan was not all that encouraging however.
Let's look closer- Spaceship Earth becomes Time Racers- a high speed attraction. It's joined by a roller coaster themed to the rain forest, and the elegant Living Seas gets a character infusion. (Guess we cannot win them all!)

As time goes on, it seems pretty clear that neither the Disney Company executives nor the Imagineers themselves can come up with a concept to bring Future World back to the leading edge of design and technology. Or it may just be an issue of money to fund it.

Although Soarin', Mission:Space and Test Track thrills guests, they represent a contemporary version of what is out there. Much like the character invasion of the Disneyland style Tomorrowlands, these attractions are fun, but they represent moving in the wrong direction.

Where is the vision for the future? What represents the hope of tomorrow or the concepts that will change the way we live? It is missing in action. At least until another visionary like Walt himself shows up with the ideas and clout to bring the Future back to life.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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