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  1. #1

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    Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: EPCOT

    It occurred to me that location might have been Orlando's biggest flaw for the type of Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow that Walt Disney had in mind when he purchased thousands of acres of land in sunny Florida. (See: https://sites.google.com/site/theori...lorida-project )

    But considering the urbanization that occurred in Orange County, California...

    Imagine if Walt Disney had been able to amass those acres in Anaheim prior to opening Disneyland.

    Would the 1960s/70s visions for Florida have worked in Southern California? If anything, one major corporation could have consolidated it's offices and motion picture studios within EPCOT, and that's the Walt Disney Company.

  2. #2

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    That urbanization was going to happen anyway. Any plans with less urbanization would get priced out eventually.

    California City is still a possibility. If that HSR goes through Tehachapi and stops in Mojave, those lots will be worth something.
    Last edited by sediment; 03-25-2013 at 03:38 PM.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    My grandparents bought land in California City in the 60s but it didn't turn out to be a very wise investment.

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    If it was build in Silicon Valley, I think it would have worked.
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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    My grandparents bought land in California City in the 60s but it didn't turn out to be a very wise investment.
    The history of that city is quite interesting.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    After reading the history of California City it makes me wonder if any massive planned community could have worked in America, even if Walt Disney was the one planning it. That might explain why we still have not seen a true EPCOT, maybe Walt's last dream was to ambitious?

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by xboxtravis7992 View Post
    After reading the history of California City it makes me wonder if any massive planned community could have worked in America, even if Walt Disney was the one planning it. That might explain why we still have not seen a true EPCOT, maybe Walt's last dream was to ambitious?
    The infrastructure alone would be incredibly costly since it would need to be built before tenants move in. That's probably why we haven't seen something like that.


    Of course in China they have been building things like this for the last decade. And they are a failure.
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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by xboxtravis7992 View Post
    After reading the history of California City it makes me wonder if any massive planned community could have worked in America, even if Walt Disney was the one planning it. That might explain why we still have not seen a true EPCOT, maybe Walt's last dream was to ambitious?
    The reason why we never saw Walt's vision was due to the fact that Walt died. The people that were then running the company decided that they were in the business to "make money", not build a city from what I've read and seen in documentaries on EPCOT.

    So, I guess in their eyes it made more sense to make a theme park based on his concept to make money than rather make Walt's Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    No, it never would have worked. Planned communities are creepy, and the more so the more "utopian" it gets. Disney's uber-happy theme parks already give many people the willies.

    Humans are programmed to reject perfection. Variety is the spice of life, and contrasting textures and culture clash is what give melting pot cities like London and LA and New York their excitement. Walt's EPCOT, with it's humongous, one-style architecture would have seemed totalitarian and too controlling. It would have been an abysmal failure.

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by choco choco View Post
    No, it never would have worked. Planned communities are creepy, and the more so the more "utopian" it gets. Disney's uber-happy theme parks already give many people the willies.

    Humans are programmed to reject perfection. Variety is the spice of life, and contrasting textures and culture clash is what give melting pot cities like London and LA and New York their excitement. Walt's EPCOT, with it's humongous, one-style architecture would have seemed totalitarian and too controlling. It would have been an abysmal failure.
    Maybe never being built actually benefited EPCOT? Had it been built, only to fail people would have disregarded it. Yet because it was never built (thus never failing), people can view it as a spectacular concept from one of America's greatest visionaries.

    I also think many of the ideas of EPCOT also managed to enter city design. For example I look at the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City and see hints of EPCOT such as the retractable roof or the underground parking. Also Dubai could be viewed as a modern equivalent to EPCOT. I am sure many, many more city designs echo some faint traces of EPCOT's greatest ideas.

    So by never being built, maybe EPCOT became immortal?

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by DisCollector View Post
    The reason why we never saw Walt's vision was due to the fact that Walt died. The people that were then running the company decided that they were in the business to "make money", not build a city from what I've read and seen in documentaries on EPCOT.

    So, I guess in their eyes it made more sense to make a theme park based on his concept to make money than rather make Walt's Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
    Who's to say an Anaheim EPCOT wouldn't make money? Or serve as the "google" headquarters for the entire Walt Disney Co?

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by choco choco View Post
    No, it never would have worked. Planned communities are creepy, and the more so the more "utopian" it gets. Disney's uber-happy theme parks already give many people the willies.
    And all the resdients are aliens. Except for that one family. Oh, the old fish-out-of-water trope turned on its head!!

    Surprised it has lasted this long.
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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    If it was build in Silicon Valley, I think it would have worked.
    I could see that working...
    For the love of Disney....

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    To further the discussion, the OP's original question isn't really a hypothetical. A giant corporation-designed, master-planned (and master-controlled) community is being built. It's a company we all know and love. So, well, who would like to live here?

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    Re: Could EPCOT have worked in Southern California? Not Westcot, Not Epcot Center: E

    Southern California and Central Florida both lack one ingredient that is important to maintaining a dense urban form, especially today with automobiles and functional zoning. Geographic limitations. There are no big hurdles to sprawl like water or mountains. In both locations, I think EPCOT would have ended up like New Urbanist towns like Celebration or Seaside. People would abandon their car to get to the center, if. They lived close enough, but they would still need and use one to go elsewhere. And without something truly defining the limits the desirability of the city center would have seen sprawl begin wherever it could begin, likely at the property line.

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