On October 1, 1982, Walt Disney Productions opened “Epcot Center”, daringly billing it as the fulfillment of Walt Disney’s last dream. The truth, however, is that Epcot Center as built had absolutely nothing to do with Walt Disney’s EPCOT.
Walt Disney wanted EPCOT to be a real City. The idea of the Florida project being a “Vacation Kingdom” didn’t exist until 1967- the year *after* Walt Disney passed away. It was the vision of Roy Disney, who didn’t think that EPCOT would be viable. Those who enjoy the current Walt Disney World Resort have Roy Disney to thank.
The first action undertaken by Roy Disney after his brother passed away was to cancel EPCOT. From that point on, the company tried to make people forget all about the original plans, despite the model that had been placed in DISNEYLAND and later moved to Florida’s Tomorrowland.
By the mid-1970’s, the company was planning a second theme park in Florida, following Roy Disney’s master plan. The company was considering two possibilities- Future World, a park where future technologies could be explored and World Showcase, a park where guests could explore the world from the relative safety of a Florida swamp.
These plans were put on hold, however, when Roy Disney’s handpicked successor Card Walker sought to handle the biggest complaint received in Florida- that EPCOT hadn’t been built. Since Walt Disney’s original plans were, like Disneyland in 1955, difficult to understand without seeing them in person, the public thought that EPCOT was supposed to be a theme park. So Card Walker stopped all other work at Walt Disney Imagineering and ordered staff to come with something (anything) that could be passed off as EPCOT. That’s when Future World and World Showcase were pushed together to become EPCOT.
Want to know what Walt’s EPCOT was supposed to be? Click Here.
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