EPCOT Center vs Epcot. What's the big deal?
EPCOT Center was a celebration of Walt Disney's grand vision. It's a permanent world's fair with tributes to innovation and world cultures. Sure, it wasn't exactly what Walt wanted, but it was close enough. EPCOT had a purpose. It revolutionized the theme park business. Edutainment was born. For the first time in Disney World, people learned something while having fun. EPCOT center was something different. Something spectacular. Something special.
The name Epcot, signaled a difference in the history of the park. It was a change in direction away from it's original vision. It was no longer Walt's park. Since the name change, Epcot has suffered from a lack of vision. This has resulted in a lack of consistency. Wonders of Life now sits empty and dormant. Thrill rides, not edutainment, have become the mission. Spaceship Earth is no longer a grand and miraculous spaceship. Even it has given way to cartoons and simplicity. Pixar even found it's way into the Living Seas. Through all this change, however, World of Showcase has remained remarkably stable. But is no change, good change?
Now by all means, this isn't bashing Epcot. I still love the park. But it is no EPCOT. There is still hope, though. Like a great attraction once said, "If we can dream it, then we can do it." And I for one certainly dream of a future more like EPCOT than Epcot.