How many times do I need to voice my disapproval of this 'theme park' before people realise it is a complete waste of time in my opinion. Of course, I understand different people like different things, but it does rankle with me that Americans who have a host of great theme parks at their disposal still choose to visit EPCOT - an empty park with no good attractions!
The food is great at EPCOT, and the theming is OK in the World Showcase section of the park, but the whole place is just old now. It was great and perhaps relevant in the 1980s (I wonder how old EPCOT fans are - were you kids in the 80s perchance?) but it has not aged well.
Like most American parks, they live in their reputation from yesteryear. The only true modern parks in Florida are Islands of Adventure and Animal Kingdom (and even AK is ruined by stupid 'off the shelf' attractions like Primeval Whirl). The fact is, EVERYTHING else has not yet been brought into the 21st century. Compare this to Tokyo DisneySEA, or Disneyland Paris, or even Universal Studios Singapore. There is simply no comparison, but obviously cost-conscious and arrogant Americans are not going to venture outside of the 50 states are they?! That would be too much to ask.
I think it is ludicrous to pay for entry to a theme park where there are no thrill rides whatsoever. At EPCOT, there is Mission: Space, Soarin', and Test Track - adequate rides them all, but hardly anything to whet the appetite. Every other Disney park in Florida has a marquee attraction to draw the crowds, whereas it seems EPCOT relies on IllumiNATIONS and its [overrated] dining experiences.
I saw an article of TPI the other day whereby the author praised Disney for dressing up Mickey and Minnie in Italian attire during the opening of an envelope at EPCOT. So what? It's hardly something like that I call value for money. At the majestic Tokyo DisneySEA in Japan (I recommend researching online about this park, Americans) every Disney character is dressed in the attire of each 'port of call', so it's hardly something to lavish praise upon EPCOT for, is it?
I totally believe EPCOT should not even be a park that charges an admission fee. I think it should be Disney's free entry park, but then guests are charged for riding the attractions and so-called rides, like is the case at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK.
2010 saw the opening of a major new world class attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure, and further afield for you Americans there was a new state of the art Universal Studios theme park at Sentosa Resort World in Singapore. I find it absolutely ludicrous that even in this day and age people still harp on about EPCOT and its delicious chow mein! You people seriously need to get out more.
I still don't get your love for Impressions, however I admittedly have not been a fan of French cinema since I forced myself to watch the critically acclaimed (yet decidedly unnecessary) films I Stand Alone, and Irreversible. Gaspar Noé and I are not on speaking terms, I assure you. And obviously, some scars just run way too deep.
Incidentally, the final comment about "...adding Robert to the Suicide Watch list..." in the thread you linked ("prefer other films") was a masterful stroke of wit and thinly veiled social commentary. I had forgotten I even wrote it. Thanks for the reminder! =)
And while we're self-plugging, allow me to refer you to my Drinking around the World experience at Epcot.
A "brief" explanation of why I love Epcot...
The anonymous poster is right when he/she says there aren't many worthwhile attractions. To me, there are only six must-see attractions in the park, two of which Robert mentioned above. I even consider the beloved Test Track to be a complete waste of time. For this reason, I try not to think of Epcot as a theme park, but rather as one of the world's coolest markets.
Spaceship Earth is my favourite piece of theme park architecture and it acts as the market's skyscraper. Like many skyscrapers, the ride to the top can be hit-or-miss, but the building itself is beautiful from every angle.
The streets of this market are immaculately clean and are surrounded by architecturally unique landmarks and sprawling gardens. Not to mention they sparkle at night. Free soda is available at a nearby store. A city fountain dances to music and lights every so often, putting on a show that rivals the Bellagio's. Jumping fountains add to the fun.
The interiors of many of the buildings share a likeness with many city museums: they haven't changed in decades. Regardless, the buildings have attractive exteriors and are fun to visit with people who haven't experienced them before and, every so often, a museum will be updated or replaced with something new and fresh.
In the south end of the market resides an ever-changing daily technology conference. Just east of the conference is an eco-farm and experimental greenhouse. This market also features an aquarium with friendly animal experts.
The north market, which centers around a man-made lagoon, has an array of beautiful restaurants serving international food varying in quality and pricing (though the service at every restaurant is exceptional). Street entertainers from around the world perform multiple times daily but will not request, nor will they accept, tips or donations.
In this market, there are no bylaws preventing citizens from having an alcoholic beverage in the street. Smoking is permitted in designated areas only. Public transportation is fast, efficient, and free of charge, though mostly everything is within walking distance. A nightly fireworks performance blows away the expectations of many tourists.
This market doesn't have rundown warehouses, unsightly factories, vandalized parks, litter, gangs, thieves, drug dealers, murderers, piles of concrete and steel, smog, harassing street merchants, filthy public restrooms, dead or dying trees, mesh fences, idling cars, crosswalks, or any of the other various ugly qualities that come with visiting most city markets. This is the kind of market where you can happily blow an entire day sitting in the shade, watching the other happy citizens strolling by, sipping on a cocktail of your choice.
That's why I love Epcot.
So, what's your point? You don't like Epcot? Okay. I guess that means there will be one less person standing in front of me next time I go to experience Mission: Space, Test Track, and Soarin'. You don't like Americans? Okay, join the club. But before you do, you might consider the fact that were it not for an American visionary named Walt Disney, your precious Toyko DisneySea would not even exist today.
1. I too think Tiger Woods will go bye bye along with the Hoyts (though I think they are inspirational to the fullest), and Peter Jennings. I think the later two would get mixed up in the shuffle and nobody would really know who they are. In other words, pretty much the sports players, unless historically known (like Magic Johnson or Jackie Robinshon). Obama's footage is MADE for this show! I mean, we got Jackie Robinson and Sandra Day O'Connor. Regardless what you think of our president, he broke a huge glass ceiling. I would take some inspiration from "Golden Dreams" which is gone from DCA.
2. Suprised that the Sunshine Food Fair was a bit of a dud for you. I always have found their food much more bold and exciting than most counter service places in theme parks and you can get an excellent quick breakfast. In my opinion, its the most underrated place to eat at EPCOT.
3. Mexico, along with Norway, have been on my family's "do not eat list" for some time. Its just we hope that there are more tacos and stuff on the menu, as bad as that sounds. We prefer the outside cantina more (which was AWESOME). Still, on the inside, you can't beat the environment and the food was good, just not what what was expected I guess.
4. Intoxicated guests are the best at EPCOT. Just hang around the United Kingdom area and you will find them. Then again, its the only proper way to experience Impressions (just kidding). However, I am certain that the disembodied spirit narriator is talking to ME!!!!!!!
5. Joshua Council's "Drinking around the World" is the most important piece of journalism on this site!
6. To the Anon poster, Really?
Thanks for the strong compliment, Anthony, though I highly doubt my adventures through the drinking glass are all that important.
On the note of Akershus, my family considered it to be the best Epcot, and possibly theme park, restaurant when we visited in 2002. The food was authentically Scandinavian. The setting was beautiful and quiet. The service was professional and friendly. Now, it has become another damn character meal, so we have avoided a return trip. Can anyone comment on Akershus' current quality?
Epcot is for those of us that CAN'T afford to take a trip to every continent in the world. Sure, it's a lesser experience overall, but it's a different experience. Saying that Americans don't want to visit the rest of the world is ridiculous... yes there are some that don't want to, but isn't the Epcot experience about cast members providing a pseudo-worldly experience? Where else can you see multiple versions of Santa Claus in a few hours?
At Epcot I can go to Mexico without the fear of fake Federales robbing me. At Epcot, I can go to France without worrying about being treated horribly due to being an American. It doesn't mean I don't want to travel. Travel is good when you can afford it. I'd say it's more closed minded to hate Epcot assuming that Americans don't want to travel.
Thrill rides don't make a theme park better... some of the best attractions in Universal or Disney aren't even thrill rides. Pirates of the Caribbean. USH's Studio Tour. MIB.
I'd hardly call Space Mountain, Matterhorn, or Big Thunder "extreme" thrill rides. But they're still fun. Besides, thrill rides aren't for everyone. For every person that loves Splash Mountain, there's the person that adores Peter Pan.
And the obsession with "being 21st century?". I don't get it. Most of the Haunted Mansion and Pirates have "ancient" technology and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Why have a problem with Epcot? All Disney Parks are about atmosphere and the illusion that you're in another world... so how different is Epcot's "Disney-fied" world showcase to something like the entire Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom or even Hollywood Studios? They're not real places, and neither are the Epcot "countries".
Whereas when it opened, I thought it was very clear what Epcot wanted to be and it succeeded. I don't think that's at all clear now.
Okay it's clear when you go to a theme park you don't look for immersion, you look for just rides. And that's understandable. Epcot isn't about that. Epcot is inspirational. It's there to teach and entertain at the same time. And it does it quite well. Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Soarin' IMO are great rides. Say what you want but I don't think any GM plant would let you go through their test course. Also The Land is just amazing. Living With The Land teaches the public about our agricultural future. Then you have the Seas. Sure Nemo is there but SeaBase Alpha is pretty amazing. Also Innoventions is a great way to learn how to better prepare yourself for the future.
To say the World Showcase's theming is OK, well you really need to take in all the sights. Especially in the China pavilion.
Once again Epcot is about inspiring and and if your not with that well, you don't have to go. I'm sure the attendance will still increase.