Bob Rogers' Legends panel 2012: Disney leaders look back on Epcot's 30th anniversary
Written by Robert Niles
ORLANDO - Every year at the IAAPA Attractions Expo, Bob Rogers (a friend and registered member of Theme Park Insider) gathers several Disney Legends for a wide-ranging talk about the history of the Walt Disney theme parks. This year, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Epcot, Bob shook up the usual routine and instead invited five current and former Disney Imagineers to talk about the development of the park.
I've selected some of my favorite highlights from this year's 90-minute talk. I never worked in Epcot, but I'm the husband of a former Epcot cast member, so I love hearing from some of the people who made this park happen. And I found it both refreshing and reassuring that some of Disney's current creative leaders also acknowledge room for improvement in this beloved park. Now, to get the suits in Burbank to open the checkbooks!
On design philosophy
Tony Baxter, Sr. Vice President, Creative, Walt Disney Company:
Marty Sklar, Retired, Walt Disney Imagineering:
The importance of music in theme park storytelling
On The American Adventure
Rick Rothschild, now Founder and COO, FAR OUT! Creative Direction:
"There [originally] was a three-head show once, with Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and Will Rogers. As that whole process of evolving the story took place, the notion that the 20th Century was so close to us, there was so many different ways that we could tell history, that the idea of only having one spokesperson… Will Rogers, is probably not the best way to reflect the principle narrative all the way through the 20th century. We actually let the 20th Century begin to tell its own story, to allow the narrative come from a variety of different voices that are each speaking to their point in history. You can't sometimes summarize in one, sometimes you have to let the many take the storytelling."
What's wrong today, and needs to be fixed?
And this exchange:
Eric Jacobson, Creative Leader EPCOT, Walt Disney Imagineering :
On Epcot's legacy
Monty Lunde, President, Technifex:
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