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  1. #1

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    July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Epcot Center was just a few months old when a friend and I visited the new park with our cameras in January 1983. I returned to the same spots at Epcot this year to see how things have changed.

    This is the first part of a three-part series about World Showcase.


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    World Showcase is an example of lost opportunity. It could have been something very wonderful, the height of Disney perfection, but it is static and shown deterioration of the concept.

    The world has gotten less safe, and much more dangerous and divisive. Let's not keep adhering to the United Nations hubris. World peace was never attainable. For so long, there was detante, but it was actually building up to the next conflict.

    Each represented nation has changed in how it is perceived in modern times. They are less pretisgious except for China, which has risen and still rising. India is up and coming as well. They need to bolster the China pavilion and add India. Personally, the American exhibit seems totally redundant (see Magic Kingdon) and can probably be ousted for India. Other countries in Eastern Europe and South America should be added as regional exhibits to add balance to the showcase.

  3. #3

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    World Showcase is an example of lost opportunity. It could have been something very wonderful, the height of Disney perfection, but it is static and shown deterioration of the concept.
    I think that World Showcase is still something "Very wonderful." Overall, it's one of the best maintained parts of Walt Disney World. In recent years, many of the restaurants have been upgraded.

    Yes, the films all need to be replaced with entirely new films, and it would be nice to see attractions added to some of the countries that don't have one. Epcot Center was a large, bold venture when it was designed and built, and World Showcase is still one of unique areas that Walt Disney World has to offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    The world has gotten less safe, and much more dangerous and divisive. Let's not keep adhering to the United Nations hubris. World peace was never attainable. For so long, there was detante, but it was actually building up to the next conflict.
    World Showcase was never about politics, and it shouldn't be. Despite tensions around the world, there's nothing wrong with celebrating the foods, architecture, music, art, and other culture in countries around the world — traditional and what's popular today.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Each represented nation has changed in how it is perceived in modern times. They are less pretisgious except for China, which has risen and still rising. India is up and coming as well. They need to bolster the China pavilion and add India. Personally, the American exhibit seems totally redundant (see Magic Kingdon) and can probably be ousted for India. Other countries in Eastern Europe and South America should be added as regional exhibits to add balance to the showcase.
    My opinion is that The American Adventure has aged gracefully and is by no means a redundant duplicate of The Hall of Presidents or anything else at the Magic Kingdom.

    Yes, it's a shame that no new countries have been added to Epcot since Norway in 1988. Adding India, Brazil, and Russia would go a long way to presenting a more complete view of the world. Then again, Disney has never claimed that World Showcase is a comprehensive view of the world.

    I ran an article last year about this subject: WW Goes to WDW at Yesterland.com: World Showcase at Epcot.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Thanks for the article, Werner. The homogenization of the restroom signs is a horrible misstep, displaying how Disney continues to veer from it's former position as #1 in themed immersive environments.
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

  5. #5

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Ok... I never watched kim possible, can you at least direct me to an episode?
    I am Scary Scott,
    Call me a turn coat, a lunatic, loup garou, or skin walker. Shape shifter, lychanthrope, A moon watcher, or just crazy.
    I am Scary Scott, The steampunk, brony, author of Northern CA, that has just moved to Southern CA!
    Poor? Yes. Money? Forget about it, I got none! If I had it, I wouldn't for long, I want too much stuff!
    Disneyland for me is my absolute favorite place on earth, So I am the oddest werewolf you ever will meet.


    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Scary: your post is dripping something. Tastes like sarcasm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karalora View Post
    This is excellent news! There are all sorts of good changes to the park that we were promised when Hell froze over.
    Hey, any of you like MLP Fan Fiction? (Laugh now, but It's practice for being an author some day!)
    Anyhow, check out my profile on fimfiction.net I'm Phoenix Quill there.

  6. #6

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Scary Scott View Post
    Ok... I never watched kim possible, can you at least direct me to an episode?
    The facade modification was done for for Disney's Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, an Epcot attraction.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    Thanks for the article, Werner. The homogenization of the restroom signs is a horrible misstep, displaying how Disney continues to veer from it's former position as #1 in themed immersive environments.
    The new restroom signs are courtesy of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. There are strict requirements for accessibility in public facilities and signage is a part of that. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, the result can be a homogenized environment.

  8. #8

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    Re: July 22, 2011: Then & Now - World Showcase at Epcot, Part 1

    Regrettably, I didn't visit Epcot until 1991, eight years after it opened, so I am really enjoying the photos from the early days of the park. And, I love seeing comparison, then and now photos of places. Thanks! I just bought a used copy of "Walt Disney's Epcot: Creating the New World of Tomorrow" on Amazon.com and can't wait to see it. Only recently did I discover that there was two versions of the book, a shorter version, and, a longer version that has much more than the shorter version that I had picked up at a second-hand store years ago.

    Recently I stumbled upon some heartbreaking photos online of the defunct and derelict Splendid China park. I visited the park once, thankfully, while it was still open. It is a shame that Disney didn't acquire some of the marvelous miniature replicas of Chinese landmarks and add them to the China area of Epcot. They would have been a wonderful addition and would have preserved some fantastic works of art created by Chinese craftsmen. On a side note, Huntington Gardens here in Pasadena opened the first phase of a splendid Chinese garden a couple of years ago. Some of the materials were imported from China and Chinese craftsmen helped to build it. Whenever I visit the beautiful garden, I always imagine that I am back at Epcot!

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