Clearly, yesterday's piece on the Universe of Energy becoming an attraction based on Guardians of the Galaxy has fit a nerve. The whole Disney universe has been talking about this for weeks now. And it is the way it should be when the suits like Robert Iger decide to blow away something so iconic and central to the focus on what made EPCOT Center so amazing.
If the Universe of Energy provided the fuel to Future World, the epic Horizons was its heart and soul. The above piece of concept art by genius Herb Ryman perfectly captures the forward thinking but human focused pavilion. Some may argue that Spaceship Earth defines Epcot's core values, but I'd strongly counter that it was really Horizons that fully articulated what the park was all about.
The demolition of the attraction was the very first sign that the suits were moving away from what made the second Walt Disney World park unique and compelling. The next steps which brought the character invasion only cemented the direction. Frozen and Guardians are just now the major first fruits of that decision. EPCOT Center and all it stood for is dead.
Can Epcot be saved? That question (see the link) remains to be seen. Characters may come in- and even with good attractions- but it is still possible to treat this park with the respect it deserves. Will that happen? We'll have to wait to find out.
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)