A couple weeks ago, Progress City USA posted Disney’s 1993 vacation planning video. This is significant because 1993 was the last “normal” year before the parks (especially the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT) began their mid-90s metamorphosis into what they are today. I highly encourage you to head over there and check out the whole thing (click here) but I wanted to comment on the section of the video devoted to EPCOT Center:
First of all, it’s interesting that the World Showcase has barely changed at all. Other than El Rio De Tiempo becoming the Gran Fiesta Tour, EPCOT’s southern half is pretty much exactly as the video describes it.
The Future World portion of the video, though, is what really makes you realize how much has changed. What blows me away is how much more there was to do at Future World in 1994 compared to today. Part of it, of course, is that Wonders of Life is now closed, and it housed two large attractions (Body Wars and Cranium Command) and several smaller shows and exhibits. But what about the existing pavilions? Horizons, World of Motion, and Journey Into Imagination were all replaced with rides that are significantly shorter. Soarin’ is also less than half the length of the Kitchen Kaberet/Food Rocks show that it replaced. So, even if you remove Wonders of Life from the equation, the fact remains that today’s EPCOT visitor spends less time actually experiencing attractions than they would have in 1993 simply because the rides are shorter.
In an article about Horizons that I read recently, one of the factors in the decision to close and demolish it was said to be that the current generation of theme park visitors gets bored during fifteen-minute dark rides. Is that true, I wonder? Have our attention spans shrunk over the past fifteen years or so, so that anything other than a five-minute thrill ride is incapable of holding our attention?
I encourage you to tell me what you think in the comments.
By the way, if you look at the right side of the page, you may notice that I’ve added lots more tags. Hopefully, they’ll make it easier to find the posts that interest you.