LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — If you are planning a trip to EPCOT — the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” know this: the community of tomorrow looks a lot like the obese cast of the animated flick WALL-E, thinks drinking cheap wine in fake countries is living it up, and acts like a selfie-stick is a surgically attached limb.
Yes, EPCOT in 2015 is nothing like the EPCOT of the 80s, 90s or even 2000’s. Once the shining star of Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) Magic Kingdom with educational adventures and a sense that you could actually learn something, EPCOT is now nothing more than a shill for Disney’s other properties.
The Seas attraction has been replaced by a Nemo ride. The boat ride through the Mexico exhibit now includes Donald Duck. And the popular Norway attraction — which taught visitors about the Norsk lifestyle and experience — has been shuttered. It’s being replaced by Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Sven — because the world needs more Frozen. And for the record, Arendal doesn’t really exist.
Disney clearly had to make a choice. Follow the dumbing down of the world by dumbing down its smart park…or take a stand and say, “we have many amusement parks and attractions for brainless fun, but we’re keeping EPCOT as an educational experience.” Sadly, Disney chose the former. While profits are soaring for the house of the mouse, a walk through EPCOT is disheartening. Visitors manipulate selfie-sticks while simultaneously guzzling cheap champagne in front of fake France. They bang drums in front of fake Morrocco.
What they don’t do is have the opportunity to stop living in their egocentric world and experience — or learn — something new.
This was the whole point of EPCOT.
Walt Disney’s idea — it’s been said — was to show how communities can work and live together through education. Instead, EPCOT is now feeding the “me me me” mentality — providing a lot of flash but very little substance.
While not the cause of terrorism and horror groups like ISIS, it’s not unreasonable to take a step back and wonder if Disney has a role — or responsibility — to teach, educate and show what the “community of tomorrow” could be if people put down their selfie-sticks and learned about other people.
But that’s apparently an idea long gone.
EPCOT was once about learning today for a better tomorrow. Now it’s just about profit.