Walt Disney passed away on December 15, 1966. Even when he was dying from lung cancer
, his brother, Roy O. Disney
, stated that Walt was still planning his city in the hospital. Walt was using the ceiling to imagine his city, planning excitedly.
After Walt's passing, the company directors decided that it was too risky to venture into city planning now that its biggest advocate was gone. But Roy persisted and took the reigns on the project, stepping out of retirement to do it. Unfortuantely, Roy could not convince the board to build EPCOT. But, he did pull ahead with the Magic Kingdom project.
The Walt Disney World Resort opened in October of 1971 with only the Magic Kingdom and a two hotels. Roy insisted it be called Walt
Disney World as a tribute to the man who dreamed it up. Epcot
In the late 1970s, Disney CEO Card Walker
wanted to revisit the EPCOT idea. But the board was still weary and all agreed that Walt's EPCOT would not work in its initial incarnation; they thought that no one would want to live under a microscope and be watched constantly. The result of the compromise was the EPCOT Center theme park, which opened in 1982.
While still emulating Walt Disney's ideas, it was not a city; it was more of a World's Fair. But it did, and still does, revolve around technology and the future in the Future World area. The World Showcase is a embellished version of the downtown shopping area, albeit without the enclosure.