May 8, 2015

EPCOT Center's World Key

EPCOT Center's World Key Information System was one of the new- and most user friendly- technologies developed for this new theme park. In conjunction with the Bell System (later renamed AT&T), guests could walk into a large but friendly space and find several kiosks enabling them to make reservations for restaurants at the Walt Disney World property. Under the shadows of Spaceship Earth, this could be done by touching the screen and following the prompts. Should that fail or should a guest need specialized assistance, a Guest Services host would appear and provide further help.

In 1982, these types of technologies were presented in a warm and engaging, yet very future focused, environment. The goal of the Imagineers was to present this Future World portion of the park in a way that was inviting, celebrating the human element of the future and how we would all connect with each other more easily- and for a better life than in the past. All with one little spark and more of creativity and imagination.

Unfortunately, like most good things from the Company's past, this too was bastardized by corporate and personal greed with little vision for the park.  Future World and soon later World Showcase became a place to tie in characters from Disney's latest films, milking that cash cow of animation for all its worth.  

Why do I bemoan what's become of the once elegant EPCOT Center? If you had seen it in its heyday, you'd understand. And if you have not experienced the park that way, you can only imagine what you've missed.

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