Monday, July 20, 2009

Disney World Musical Theming III: A look at Epcot

Subtitled: "How I learned to stop worrying and love Epcot"

Full Soarin' Epcot Soundtrack

The Original Journey into Imagination Ride Music

Horizons Music 1

Horizons Music 2

Tomorrow's Child

Epcot is a jumbled mess, but I love it. The Imagineers involved with it's beginnings literally explained that they had two projects mocked up: a Future World, based, sort of, on Walt Disney's concept of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and a park based on showcasing international cultures. They literally shoved the two models together and decided, yes, yes that looks about right. What they had made was a year round World's Fair, which they would consistently deny was just a year round World's Fair (sound familiar? AK's promotions which insist it is more than just a zoo with rides.)

Originally Epcot was just for learning and drinking it seemed. Before boarding your omnimover in the Living Seas you watching an education video about water, and how water has effected the Earth and our evolution. Now the Living Seas has been transformed into a paraphrasing of the movie, Finding Nemo. The movie was great, and the ride is entertaining, but you come out and look at the famous space aged sphere that houses Spaceship Earth and you remember, isn't this meant to be future world? What do lost cute, cartoon fish have to do with that exactly??

There was the, now defunct, Wonders of Life Pavilion, which contained Body Wars and Cranium Command, took a lighthearted look at everything from teenage hormones to DNA. Yes, the information was more candy-coated than at the Living Seas, or The Land Pavilion, but it definitely taught some children a few general facts about human biology.

The Original Journey into Imagination, and it's pavilion,was a Montesorri-esqu experiment with creativity and children. Jump over here, you make music, run through that tunnel, the lights change. It was all about interacting and creating. The new, maimed, "Open house at the Imagination Institute" lacks a lot of it's original pavilion and seems just to chant about experiments and senses with no experience for the children afterward.

Mission Space is one of the few new attractions that I feel actually fit the theme, though it does make Future World look a bit more like Space-World. That is not to say that I don't miss Horizons, I really do, but I think that Mission Space is the logical next step. It will be so easily plussed because it is a simulation, and thus could be reprogrammed completely.

As for Soarin', a ride I also truly love, the Land Pavilion was just where it sort of fit best, and since it was such a success in Disney's California Adventure, they found the slot and stuck it in. I have hopes that the Imagineers will film new footage that fits in with the the theme more, though I doubt this will happen anytime soon since it is relatively new and very successful. I can dream though, of a Timekeeper like video you could "soar" through, but it will likely just be a dream for some time.

How does the confused theming and purpose of Epcot reflect in it's music? Listen and then you tell me.

Original Plan for EPCOT

(yes I am such a dork that I made these videos semi-Epcot colours.....)

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