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Epcot

Epcot is a theme park at Walt Disney World, in Florida, dedicated to humanity, culture and innovation.

History

Epcot is derived from the acronym EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), a term coined by Walt Disney when he planned a utopian city of the future.

Epcot was originally named EPCOT Center. Currently, the Disney company does not promote the use of the acronym in reference to the Epcot theme park because it feels the term no longer applies. Originally, the theme park was to be the "center" of the futuristic community Walt Disney envisioned and was placed on the center of the property owned by the Disney company in Florida.

The original vision of EPCOT by Walt Disney was of a model community which would be a testbed for city planning and organisation. In the 1980s, the Disney Company began experimenting with the model community of Celebration, Florida which has been mentioned as a realization of Disney's original vision although Celebration is based on concepts of new urbanism which is radically different from Disney's modernist[?] and futurist visions.

The idea of EPCOT was instrumental in prompting the state of Florida to create the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a legislative mechanism which allows the Walt Disney Company to exercise governmental powers over Walt Disney World. Control over the RCID is vested in the landowners of the district, and the promise of an actual city in the district would have meant that the powers of the RCID would have been distributed among the landowners in EPCOT. However, because the idea of EPCOT was never implemented, the Disney Corporation remained almost the sole landowner in the district allowing it to maintain control of the RCID and the cities of Buena Vista and Bay Lake. That the RCID is now primarily intended as an instrument of the Disney Corporation was illustrated when the RCID redrew its boundaries to exclude Celebration, Florida which would have diluted Disney's control over the RCID.

Park Layout

The park is broken into two distinct sections, Future World and World Showcase. Both of these sections are patterned after the types of exhibits which were popular at World's Fairs in the first half of the 20th century, only on a grander scale.

  • Future World consists of a variety of pavilions that explore innovative aspects and applications of technology. It is divided into three main sections, Future World East, Future World West, and Central Future World.
    • Central Future World
      • Spaceship Earth[?], the geodesic sphere towering 18 stories tall and covered completed in triangular silver panels made of alcubond[?], is the gateway to Future World and Epcot. It is a slow moving omnimover[?] ride through the history of communication with a focus on the development of cultures and the future of technologies.
      • Innoventions Plaza
        • The Fountain of Nations, a large choreographed musical fountain that performs a new show every 15 minutes, is located in the main courtyard. During the opening ceremonies of Epcot, water from sixty nations was poured into the fountain, giving it its name.
        • Kristos, a circus-act of group strength and flexibility, performs daily near the fountain.
        • Mouse Gear is Epcot's largest store, offering a wealth of Disney related merchandise.
        • Ice Station Cool, an igloo wedged into the side of Innoventions, offers guests a chance to taste various Coca-Cola products from around the world.
        • The Fountain View Espresso and Bakery overlooks the Fountain of Nations and offers a coffee-shop atmosphere.
        • The Electric Umbrella, Future World's main counter-service restaurant, offers typical theme-park-style fast food.
      • Innoventions, located in two pavilions (aptly named Innoventions East and Innoventions West), houses hands-on exhibitions from various science-and-technology oriented companies (e.g., IBM and Segway).
    • Future World East
    • Future World West
      • The Living Seas[?] is one of the largest (the largest?) indoor aquariums in the world. Guests can view many different animals, including manatees, as well as learn about the preservation of the Earth's oceans[?].
      • The Land[?] is a pavilion focusing on the Earth and human interaction with the natural environment. It contains many different attractions, including a boat ride through a working greenhouse and a couple of shows.
      • Journey Into Your Imagination[?] is a light-hearted ride starring Eric Idle and the Epcot mascot, Figment[?]. Guests travel through a series of sensory-enhancing environments in an effort to learn more about imagination.

See also: Celebration, Florida



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