Disney will pivot Epcot away from its "sponsored content" model

Epcot Center (now "Epcot") is a weird stepchild among Disney themeparks; it started as a kind of ghastly parody of Walt Disney's plan to build a totally controlled domed company town on the enormous tract of central Florida land that is Walt Disney World, and became a cash-cow-oriented park whose radical break with themepark design norms was a blessing and a curse. Read the rest

The incredible true story of the Epcot Horizons superfans who ruled the ride

In 1995, after a year-long closure, Disney re-opened Horizons, the GE-sponsored original Epcot ride devoted to showcasing different ideas about the future, a kind of heir to the Futurama at the 1939 New York World's Fair; fearing the ride was likely to be shuttered soon, two Epcot superfans began covertly exploring and documenting the ride, figuring out its ways and means until they learned how to penetrate it and hide from Disney employees while sneaking in their friends and having little celebrations. Read the rest

Video from the opening of Epcot Center's Spaceship Earth

Dan R sez, "This corporate news piece from the opening of 'Spaceship Earth' has plenty to offer the casual to semi-rabid technology fan who is also partial to World's Fair-esque exhibits about the FUTURE! Great footage of 'Spaceship Earth's' exhibits abound, and the film also features other highlights of EPCOT, including Exxon's 'Universe of Energy,' replete with animatronic dinosaurs."

I got trapped on Spaceship Earth during opening month (it had been going down sporadically all day, resulting in heroic queues), just as we reached the top. After a long wait at the apex, we all got to walk down the stairs to get out. It was my first look backstage at a ride. It was seminal.

Chronicle News Update: EPCOT (Thanks, Dan R!) Read the rest