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In Disney

On The Reimagination of Epcot

The most exciting and, by far, the most important part of our Florida project, in fact, the heart of everything we'll be doing in Disney World, will be our experimental prototype city of tomorrow. We call it EPCOT. “EPCOT”. -Walt Disney

This morning I woke up and, like I often do, I popped over to Instagram. And I stumbled on this picture by the account @disney365newsblog:

And my heart broke just a little. As excited as I am for the changes coming to EPCOT, and as much as I know and appreciate so much that the park's time has come – it's hard to see the icons of our childhood coming down. It's something that I talked about at length when Illuminations ended at the end of September and it will never stop being true.

That said, again, I know this was all a long time coming. It's time. And all of the changes coming – many of which were detailed at D23 this summer – are exciting. Perhaps the simplest but most meaningful being the addition of this statue of Walt looking out on the park that was at the center of his dreams for this place when he began acquiring the land that would become Walt Disney World.

And equally important in all of this – that Epcot continues to honor the past in moving forward into the new. When Illuminations ended, they were smart enough to transition immediately into a temporary nighttime show that honored the park's history and extinct attractions: EPCOT Forever. I might not think that the show is perfect – and I've been honest about that before – but it's not supposed to be. It's temporary, and I'm grateful that they understood their fans enough to do it.

So it does my heart good to read that the water in the Fountain of Nations will be honored as well. Because – as you might know – the water in that Fountain isn't just any water. When EPCOT opened On October 1, 1982, countries from all over the world sent delegations to take part in its Ceremony of International Waters, where water from each of these represented countries was poured into the Fountain of Nations from special containers. And I've read from sources like Attractions Magazine that “water from the Fountain of Nations will be recycled and re-introduced into one of the new water features in the park to commemorate the past and honor the future.”

So let's continue to hope that, as Disney makes these changes, it's with a gentle hand that honors the past. Because always moving forward is the only way that we can continue to honor the man at the heart of all of this.

It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise. – Walt Disney

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