Walt Disney World
Walt Disney--The Man
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Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow
A large part of Walt's vision for the Florida Project included a large area he referred to as the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, or E.P.C.O.T. His hope was to provide a place where industrial innovation and residential innovation could blossom. A hope for a place where innovation could be seen all around and where traffic and the like were not part of everyday life.
In this video from Walt's Disneyland TV Show Walt explains his original idea for Epcot. Definitely worth watching.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9M3pKsrcc8
The Disney company did not start working on the Epcot theme park until 1979, 8 years after the opening of Magic Kingdom. This is of course because the driving force behind E.P.C.O.T. was Walt himself, who had unfortunately died in 1967. (Read more on The Florida Project page.) Today's EPCOT was originally known as E.P.C.O.T. Center to reflect the fact that the park was built to embody the ideals and values of Walt's idea of E.P.C.O.T. the city.
The park consists of two sections—Future World and World Showcase—laid out in an hourglass shape. Both sections are patterned after the types of exhibits found at world expositions. In its early years, Epcot was often called a "permanent World's Fair." The park is dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was named E.P.C.O.T. Center until 1994 when the park became known as simply EPCOT.
Although Walt's idea for EPCOT didn't come to pass, you can see how his ideas were used in creating the theme park. Technology advancements and Shopping among city streets from all over the world were two ideas Walt had included in his E.P.C.O.T. Also of note is the idea of a "permanent World's Fair" ; Walt had participated in the 1964-65 World's Fair in NYC.
This is a map from 1983. Note that two of the countries in today's World Showcase--Morrocco (1984), Norway (1988)--were not in the park. (Countries being considered in 1983 included Isreal and an Africa showcase.)
Yet to be added to Epcot's Future World:The Living Seas--1986 (North of The Land), and Wonders of Life--1989 (between Horizons and Energy).
The total cost to build the park is estimated at $1.4 billion, and took three years to build (at the time the largest construction project on Earth). Covering an area of 300 acres, it is more than twice the size of The Magic Kingdom.
Video: A nice montage of construction on E.P.C.O.T. set to a song sung by Danny Kaye.