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Where in the World

Trivia of the Day

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Day 20 - September 21, 2012   

For the past 20 days we've been taking a look at Epcot. We've covered everything from how the park was organized, how Epcot inspired Hidden Mickeys, animated films, and other theme parks. We've talked about the design of the pavilions, and a whole lot more. Today we are going to be going back ("Backstage?" - Ellen's Energy Adventure) to the very beginning.

In the early 1960s Walt Disney began to worry about the future. Not necessarily his own, but the future of his children and grandchildren. He was realizing that communities were getting more unorganized which in turn resulted in more crime, uncleanliness, and just a lower standard of caring for fellow humans. While these fears were troubling to him he began to realize that if someone could bring a more organized lifestyle to cities it could change not only cities, but the country as a whole.

Knowing that his team of Imagineers had mastered the way to use space with Disneyland, he began to obsess over the idea of creating his own city that would help showcase new ideas that would make living that much easier for mankind. But how on earth could he pull this off? He needed the space in order to pull out this miracle so his next step occurred at the 1964 World's Fair.

During the Fair Walt experimented with new ideas like the Peoplemover, a transportation system that never stopped. More importantly, he wanted to see if Disneyland style attractions would attract as much buzz on the East coast as they had on the West coast. The Fair was a huge success for Disney so he decided to secretly purchase land in central Florida for a brand new Disneyland-East. More importantly, he would use this land for the idea that had been circling through his head for a few years. And experimental city that would help all mankind.

After consulting his time Imagineers about the idea and purchasing some land, Walt put out a 25 minute video explaining his plans for Disney World. These plans consisted of a few resorts and one theme park - the Magic Kingdom. The main attraction, however, would be EPCOT, an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. After guests would land at the airport (which was located at the southern point of Disney property - close to where ESPN's Wide World of Sports is today) they would hop on a monorail that would take them into EPCOT.

Here guests could discover what future living would be all about and try out some of the newer products put out by different corporations around the country. Walt, being the genius business man that he was, was hoping his 25 minute video would attraction CEO's from various companies that would in turn ask Walt if they could showcase their newest products in this experimental city. Luckily for Walt, the video was getting a lot of attention and he was truly showing the world once again that he was the number one innovator in the world.

Unfortunately on December 15, 1966, two months after the video aired, Walt Disney passed away. The ideas of EPCOT were put to the side and a bigger question was waiting to be answered: Would Disney world even come into being?

Tomorrow we will continue our story as we see what happened after Walt's passing and how EPCOT, the city, would eventually evolve into EPCOT, the theme park.

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