Which Disney Park Was Originally Intended To Be A Populated Community?
Today the Walt Disney EPCOT theme park is a massive showcase of world cultures all oriented around the giant golf-ball like structure at the center of the park known as Spaceship Earth. While today the park is focused on present day and historical cultures as well as presenting a vision of the future inside the Future World pavilions and Spaceship Earth, that wasn’t Walt Disney’s original vision for the park.
Back in the 1960s, Disney envisioned EPCOT to be, as the unpacked acronym Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow would indicate, a site where he would build a Utopian community featuring the best technology, the best city planning, and an overall showcase for the best everything the world had to offer from home construction techniques to schools and recreational facilities. In a 1966 short film, Walt Disney laid out his plans for the park and how to fix the problems of the day:
We’re convinced we must start with the public need, and the need is not just for curing the old ills or the old cities. We think the need is for starting from scratch on virgin land and building a special kind of new community. So that’s what EPCOT is… an experimental prototype community that will always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future where people actually live a life they can’t find anywhere else in the world. Everything in EPCOT will be dedicated to the happiness of the people who will live, work, and play here… and those who come here from all around the world to visit our living showcase.
If you’re curious what happened to the grand vision Walt had for EPCOT it, unfortunately, died with him. Upon Disney’s death The Walt Disney Company decided they didn’t feel comfortable creating a futuristic city without the vision and energy of Walt Disney himself to guide and shape it. The plans for EPCOT were modified and we have the park you see today: a park that isn’t exactly a community of the future, but one that showcases the history of communities past and present as well as offers up a healthy dose of what the future might look like.