If you were alive in the 1980s and early 1990s, you knew that EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World was a big deal. You knew this because Disney marketed the heck out of the place. Not only were entire television commercials devoted to it . . .
. . . but Spaceship Earth was featured prominently in the intro to the weekly Disney Sunday Movie, even more prominently than Cinderella Castle:
A person back then could be forgiven for thinking that Spaceship Earth, not Cinderella Castle, was Disney World’s signature icon. Today, things are very different. Take a look at a couple of Disney Parks commercials from the last five years:
Judging from commercials like these, you’d think that the Magic Kingdom is the only thing at Florida’s Disney World. Now, I understand that the Magic Kingdom is the most quintessentially “Disney” park on the Florida property. But EPCOT is the most unique theme park on the planet. Universal has Studios parks in Florida and California. Busch Gardens has animals and roller coasters. But only Disney World has an EPCOT. Where else can you ride through the history of civilization, see giant Animatronic dinosaurs, visit a Mexican pyramid, and take a Viking boat ride all at the same park?
Disney has a stated desire to appeal to a broader demographic than just little girls and their parents. That’s why they cancelled the princess-themed meet-and-greets in the new Fantasyland in favor of a Seven Dwarves coaster. In EPCOT, they’ve got a whole park with that kind of broad appeal. Why not advertise it? Why not remind people that it’s there?
EPCOT is a big gun in Disney’s arsenal. It’s time they remembered to use it.