Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Characters in Epcot

There has been a debate for some time now regarding whether traditional Disney characters should be used prominently in Epcot. When EPCOT Center first opened there was a distinct lack of the traditional characters. There has always been characters with the notable one being Figment, but the Fab Five were for the most part conspicuous except for Mickey at certain special events and the odd piece of memorabilia. The above photo represented a time when a small shift took place. When Wonders of Life opened in about 1989 several exhibits featured the expected Disney characters including the Goofy About Health exhibit. I remember seeing more of Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto in costume around the park at that time too. Now you can find character merchandise everywhere and other non-Epcot originated characters have made their way into attractions (i.e. Nemo, Simba and Lion King characters at Circle of Life). I think this shift was inevitable, and I don't mind it as long as it's done well. I'm sure with the success of The Seas with Nemo and Friends that we will see more of this in the future.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Camera Center

I recently posted about Gateway Gifts located at Spaceship Earth in Future World. I mentioned how cool I thought the location of that shop was in relation to the actual attraction Spaceship Earth. Here is a photo of the Camera Center which is located in the other front "leg" of Spaceship Earth. Not much has changed as far as the exterior of these locations since my first visit in 1989. I think the 1980's vision of the future for these locations is still cool today and love taking a quick browse through both locations.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Living Seas Queue

Another reason I used to love the old Living Seas pavilion was the queue that featured all the great nautical memorabilia. This is a model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that was in the queue, and there was a poster for the live action Disney film as well. These items really helped to invoke a bit of science fiction feel to the pavilion that is no longer there. Please see my previous post on Seabase Alpha for more on the pre-Nemo Living Seas pavilion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gateway Gifts

I have fond memories of leaving EPCOT Center as a kid and always having to stop in Gateway Gifts before reaching the exit to make any last minute souvenir purchases. I was always fascinated with where this shop was located as it is actually in one of the supports for the massive Spaceship Earth. Of the three supports, this shop is located in one, the Camera Center is located in another, and in the back of Spaceship Earth the ride vehicles descend and Earth Station (now Project Tomorrow) as well as the VIP area are located. Much EPCOT Center branded memorabilia used to be sold here, but now it is the typical WDW fare. I just remember being so sad that we were leaving that I would try and stick around in this shop as long as possible before facing the inevitable exit.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ellen's Energy Adventure

A must do for our family in Epcot's Future World is Ellen's Energy Adventure. Many skip this attraction either due to its length or the seemingly boring subject matter. But do not underestimate this attraction as every time we see it we enjoy it more and more. The subject of energy is a pertinent one in this time we live in and the subject is presented with humor without being overly dry or boring. Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye play off of each other with wonderful comedic effect. Yes, Bill Nye may not resonate with kids today who may not know who he is, but after learning that many Bill Nye DVD box sets are available to purchase, it would be wonderful if today's children could be educated through these new DVD's.

Also, I still love the part of the attraction that moves through the prehistoric dinosaurs and am glad this part was preserved from the original attraction. Next time you visit Epcot make sure to set aside some time to experience this multisensory treasure of an attraction.