This is a story of a project with the epic name: EPCOT = Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt’s last dream was to build an entire city. Twice the size of Manhattan!
I’ve been inspired by Walt Disney for as long as I can remember. But it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this video a decade ago that I understood what a genius he truly was. A one-per-generation kind of futurist.
- As a true role model he framed the project as an experiment/prototype. “Everything you see in this room may change time and time again - as we move ahead.”
- Was built with the hope to inspire others to develop new solutions.
- “Will never be completed”/”Will always be in the state of becoming”. Constantly iterated upon.
- “We must start with the public need”
- “Dedicated to the happiness of the people who live, work and play here”
- Like any futurist from the 60s the main focus was on transportation. 3-level innovative traffic management, parking automation, the first monorail in the west, the “PeopleMover” etc.
Unfortunately, Walt passed away only a year after the EPCOT press conference (unfiltered cigarettes = bad).
After he passed the brother Roy took over the project but changed the focus completely. Instead of building a city, he decided to turn it into an attraction instead: Walt Disney World Resort. Mainly because Roy and others questioned the feasibility of operating an urban city (rightfully so).
However, some of Walt’s original ideas live and can be seen at the most visited vacation resort. A whopping 58 million people go to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida each year (?!?!?!).
This video alone sparked an interest in Walt and sent me down a pretty pleasant rabbit hole. I suddenly wanted to know the story behind the storyteller. Luckily a couple of good documentaries have been released since:
- Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow: The Futurism of Walt Disney 1:41:19 (FREE)
- Walt Disney - The Man Behind The Myth 1:59:38 (FREE)
- American Experience, Walt Disney two episodes (Highly Recommended!)
Header photo by Walt Disney