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Expo_Seeker40

Living out some legacies tomorrow.

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Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well with the new site. I will be going to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow. I will definantly be seeing: It's A Small World (even though it is not the original), The Hall of Presidents with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the Carousel of Progress, and replicas of the dinos at the Universe of Energy in EPCOT Center. I will also be going on the wedway peoplemover concept on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

All ready and set to go. I got the camera and camcorder.

P.S. My grandparents who attended the world's fair will be coming along with me, so these rides will of course be very special to them.

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Mary Ellen, or whomever chooses to answer, is this model the same as has been pictured with Walt Disney? Is it the original model?

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If you ever have the chance, do go to Disneyland. They have the original Small World, the Ford dino's in the steam train ride, and the latest version of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Of course, Disney World does have the one and only CoP.

Have a blast!

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I have to type this quick, but I had a great time! I took many pictures that came out great. My camcorder malfucntioned later in the day due to a low battery, so I wasn't able to film the COP, but I did take pictures instead.

The carousel of progress was ectremely popular with people of all ages. There were lines right after the other. I was very impressed with the show, and can only hope that this ride can be saved and taken care of.

It's A Small world only had a ONE MINUTE wait. We rode that and had the boat to ourselves.

The Hall of Presidents and Mr. Lincoln was great to see on president's day, and was a walk on.

The people mov er concept and progress city model was also enjoyable.

Tomorrow will be to a permanent world's fair concept at EPCOT Center, and the replica ford pavilion dinos at the universe of energy.

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The EXXON/MOBIL sponsored WORLD OF ENERGY is in fine shape after all these years of daily presentations. I visited EPCOT on Friday, Feb. 6 and enjoyed every minute of it. My last visit was in 1992 and the dinosaurs are still chewing their lunch and fighting amongst themselves. Ellen DeGeneres is the filmed hostess that takes us all on the tour. It's hard to believe that these animatronic figures have stood the test of time, still operating after the originals started their performances at NYWF in 1964.

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Walt Disney World/Epcot is wonderful. During my first visit to Epcot I kept saying aloud "This is so much like the fair...so much!" In so many way's Disney World & Epcot are extensions and further explorations of the 64/65 NYWF.

Have a great time Expo! My best to your grandparents, too!

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During my first and second visits to Epcot (1996 and 1998), I kept having this sensation that I'd been at certain rides and locations before - one of the strongest at Spaceship Earth. It wasn't until around '99 that it occured to me that it was most likely due to my experience both at New York in '64 and Montreal in '67 (mainly New York). It took me all that time to realize how much Epcot was a permanent world's fair. Epcot is my favorite park, it connects with my "inner child" better then even the Magic Kingdom.

While I have no clear memory of the Tower of Light pavilion at the fair, I get a sense that entering SSE at Epcot similar. I'd enjoy hearing from those who have experienced both.

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Well we had a good time. Epcot though is changing very fast. I think Eisner has lost it! No longer is it EPCOT Center, a themed park dedicated to Walt's Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, but is now a park full of busy restaurants, and cheap gift shops. When I was there in 95, it was pretty much the original 1980s way. Now Horizons, the sequal to the Carousel of Progress, was demolsihed in 1999. All that is left is the flower box to the entrance of the building, and colored sidewalk with a horizons logo in the pre-show, this is now Mission: Space. World of Motion is now Test Track, but alot of the theming to the world of motion, like it's pavilion and transcenter still exist.

Epcot is not a six flags park or universal studious. If you want those rides go there, Epcot is a place for culture and futuristic understanding with fun, but educational shows. Eisner thinks he has to demolish everything. I did enjoy the thrill rides, but they could have been in harmony in the same buildings with the old rides.

Spaceship Earth may be demolished by 2010 for a rollercoaster! The wand over the sphere on SSE will come down around 2006. I only saw the Epcot symbol twice, and three pavilions still use their original symbol! I did take as much video and pics possible. I do hope Eisner goes because this is rediculous.

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I'm not an Eisner fan, but have to say that attractions are torn down or changed largely due to guest attendance - if people are happy going to them then Disney has no reason to spend a lot of money replacing them. You have to look at a show like the old Transportation attraction - it was cute when we built it back in 1982 (I was actually working on Epcot designs back then) but it was no longer appealing to visitors today. Disney does detailed ride counts and decides what stays and what goes accordingly. As much as I liked parts of the old show, attendance shows that guests prefer the test track that replaced it.

Disneyland recently replaced the Country Bears, which I loved, with an insipid Winnie the Pooh ride. Why did they take out the Bears? It was the lowest attended attraction, especially in the evenings, for many, many years. I can't see that the new ride is going to do any better, but you can bet that if the Bears had attendance figures like Pirates the show would still be there.

Disney has removed some popular rides like the subs and skyway due to their decision that they were too expensive to continue to operate, especially given issues with disabled guests. However, for the most part, if people are still flocking to the turnstiles then the rides will not arbitrarily be ripped out.

As far as the gift shops, etc., I agree with you - the push towards merchandise over new rides has long been a problem and seems to only get worse. Just remember thoush - Epcot is not really "a place for culture and futuristic understanding" - that was Walt's view, and was never really the Epcot that got built. It's a theme park, and unless you keep moving forward, with current tastes accommodated, people won't keep coming.

Bill

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Bill, so much of what you say is true. I think in my own case, there's a sense of frustration over the fact that since my last visit to Disney World in May 1993, my tenth trip in a span going back to 1976, too much has changed in ways I never would have thought possible.

When I last went, EPCOT still had Horizons, World Of Motion, the superior Cronkite version of Spaceship Earth and Journey Into Imagination. The Magic Kingdom still had 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the original Hall Of Presidents and even Mission To Mars was still going. Any list of my favorite attractions at those parks would have included all of them. The only favorite attraction of mine in 17 years I'd had to say goodbye to was "If You Had Wings" but that was because of the understandable fact of Eastern's declining fortunes that led to the company going under. Still, "Dream Flight" had been a fine replacement in the same tradition.

If I'd been asked that day which of those attractions would I expect to see gone in the future, the only one I would have picked was "Mission To Mars" which I knew was stuck in a 70s time capsule and had to go. And indeed five months later it was.

But 20,000 Leagues, the signature E-Ticket ride of Fantasyland? And not only that, but with the space still empty a decade later? Abandoned Skyway stations still sitting to decay five years after they were taken down? Mr. Toad, a ride so popular that they built double cars to accomodate extra passengers on what was already the only two-track ride in Fantasyland to begin with not long after my last visit? And don't get me started on the sad circumstances that led to the horrible PC rewrite of "Hall Of Presidents" and the removing of Royal Dano's vocals as Lincoln.

In EPCOT, I suppose the reasons on customer attendance do make more sense and ultimately say more about how younger generations of park visitors can't appreciate the kind of craftsmanship and care into an old-style "soak up the experience" kind of attraction that World Of Motion, Horizons and the old Universe of Energy was. Now the focus is on giving us thrill rides like "Test Track" which I really have no use for, or adding smart-ass type humor like the current version of Universe of Energy is. (I should add that my impressions of these rides that now exist come from seeing professionally shot video of these attractions and reading up on the changes that were made and why they were made). In the process, we're getting left with a reminder of why the kinds of attractions that the old Disney used to stand for, as well as those of the Fair for that matter, have not been able to survive for as long as we wish they could have.

For myself, all these changes after so many years of stability during a 17 year span of visits, happened much too fast and left me yearning for the old Disney World and the old EPCOT in the same way so many of us in this forum yearn for the Fair (which not having been born until after it took place is a feeling I can never have beyond wishing I could have seen it since it has so much in common with the vanished Disney World and EPCOT I loved so much). That's partly explained why in recent months I've become addicted to collecting home video of the bygone attractions and feeling grateful that this era of Disney history can have the kind of permanence in the mind that unfortunately the Fair attractiosn can not have.

I still think its sad though that "World Of Motion", the most worthy successor to "Pirates Of The Caribbean" in terms of providing a wonderful visual environment of AA technology you could soak up as you rode through at a leisurely pace, had to have disappeared.

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While I can't swear on a stack of bibles or produce a sworn witness, it's my understanding that the primary reason for the demolition of the Horizons pavilion was serious foundation failure. If I've got it right, Horizons may have remained slightly longer if the building was structurally sound. I've no doubt the ride was doomed, but I doubt Disney would have dismantled a building that was less then twenty years old for a fashion whim. After all, they did adapt the GM World of Motion structure to Test Track without major exterior modification.

I did get to ride Horizons once in May 1998, about a year before it was closed. While I found it entertaining, I had a sense that this was the type of theme ride that wouldn't appeal to the younger crowds. I suspect the Space Ship Earth ride also falls in this category and will go the way of the other rides - although I doubt the exterior structure will be altered to any great degree.

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I have seen stories about wanting to turn "Spaceship Earth" into another kind of fast-moving thrill ride, but the nature of the structure and its track tends to make such talk more impractical, which at least is a partial relief (though I think the wall-to-wall music they now use, the new narration and the loss of the "Tomorrow's Child" music at the top of the dome has lessened its effectiveness from what it once was).

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I can understand from both of your points of view. I always had a sentimental feeling for Horizons and World of Motion. It was one of the first major themed rides I experienced with my family and I will of course always cherish those memories. While change is of course needed with all parks, especially ones that seek the future, there is no need for the severe changes we saw at EPCOT. Horizons was the only pavilion that stressed the future, except for earlier segments as to how the future was seen in the past. I still think it could have been saved because we didn't have underwater cities etc, but segments with the space shuttle in the 80s color scheme could have easily been updated. It takes time and effort, something the disney company under Michael Eisner no longer care about.

The Quality of the parks, especially EPCOT had decreased in "magic". The only reason we still have the world of motion pavilion, entrance area, and updated transcenter is because General Motors still had faith in sponcoring the new ride, which would be Test Track, and with economic problems with disney, they (GM) saved the pavilion. Horizons was the first pavilion to be completely demolished. I guess I would have been ok with the Horizons pavilion occupied by Mission:Space, now all that is left is the flowerbox that you walked by to the entrance, and the original sidewalk pattern before you enter the new black sidewalk to Mission: Space.

Even if World of Motion had to be altered, I would have called it the world of motion pavilion. I'm not sure what I would call the slow moving omnimover ride, but it would be on the second level. I would then put test track on the lower level, and have the track in the back and not wrap around the building. Can't do anything about it now, but I just hope this doesn't keep on progressing because Future World will be another six flags.

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Horizon's wasn't my favorite Epcot attraction. Still, I thought it had entertainment value.

I agree with you, Expo. For Epcot to turn into another six flags would be an aberration of the original flavor of Disney magic.

The problem is that Disney magic isn't easy for everyone to see. It's better felt, tasted. Michael Eisner's approach has been hit or miss. He sometimes seams able to duplicate the formula that makes the entirety of Disney world, and Disney operations, so special. Sometimes it's as if he adds too much salt or sugar to the mix and we get a "new coke" of a product.

To be fair to Mr. Eisner; Walt Disney was a genius. His vision can not be easily matched.

I remember reading years ago that Walt was, at least in part, inspired to create Disney land when he spent the day on a bench watching younger people enjoying a stereotypical (for the time) amusement park. He thought of what it might be like to have an amusement park that was equally enjoyable for all ages.

I hope that in our future Disney World, Disneyland and whatever other Disney attractions might arise, will remain attractions for all ages. That it remains flavorful, and not bland. Well seasoned but not acerbic.

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Please don't misunderstand me and think that I am at all happy with many of the changes described at the Parks - far from it. I was just trying to make the point that things like pulling down Horizons are based on economics, pure and simple, not the whims of management.

Some photos from the past you may enjoy:

#1) Spaceship Earth under construction - April 1981 - the place was a sea of mud - hard to believe it opened the next year.

epcot-1.jpg

#2) Horizons - this scene shows one of the very few Audio Animatronic characters modeled after a real person. Anyone happen to know who he is?

epcot-2.jpg

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That's Pete Renoudet (Renaday) the voice of Henry in the Country Bear Jamboree, Third Officer Collins in Mission To Mars and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

Okay, I'll confess I know that because I got the Extinct Attractions Club DVD where he mentions that, and how he never got to see it.

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Pretty good, Eric. Is that DVD any good?

I knew Pete from working at Disney and it was a real kick to see him there, complete with his voice. The real Pete may have gotten older and retired but until recently the AA Pete marched on!

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Extinct Attractions Club DVDs are a little hit and miss at times. I really can't compliment them on their liberal use of footage from Disney TV shows and specials for the "documentary" portions of their presentations, and their "bonus audio" that they provide is clearly taken from what's available on the net. The real advantage is that sometimes they offer some source videos that are better than other home videos that circulate in the trade market.

The "Country Bear Jamboree" DVD they just released was their most professional documentary approach yet, with the interview with Pete, though he actually says the voice they used on the Horizons figure with his body isn't his voice.

So on the whole, it's a commendable effort they do, albeit with some reservations. Some home video I've received from others blows away their own presentations like the "Now Is The Time" version of "Carousel Of Progress" on their "Horizons" DVD. They're the only people I know of who offer any kind of home video of "Adventure Thru Inner Space" but unfortuantely you get mostly spectacular views of the loading and unloading areas and not much visibility inside.

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