Saturday, January 21, 2012


EPCOT is an acronym. It stands for "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow."

Left alone, the phrase sounds like a Russian maguffin.

“Comrades, proceed to Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow!”

Perhaps this is a quibble, but it's easily fixed, and the solution could affect a lot of positive change.

Instead of "EPCOT," let's call it "the EPCOT."

A determiner like "the" would help to elevate the title above its adjectives.

“Shall we stroll to the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow?”

We won't be the first to alter the title. EPCOT's had three major incarnations, each with its own name.

In the beginning, EPCOT (no determiner) was Walt's very own city. It was a sort of capitalist commune. Or anyway, it would've been, but he died before it could be built.

The concept was diminished into EPCOT Center, a theme park dedicated to science and world cultures. While it inspired cultish loyalty from everyone who's ever had a worthwhile opinion about Disney, it also bored the masses.

This concerned Michael Eisner, so he curbed the concept even further. The name was changed to "Epcot" (which is either gibberish, or a character from the Lord of the Rings), the scripts were re-written for a First Grade Reading Level, and classic rides were replaced with vulgar carnival thrills.

What remains is an atonal park, too weird to live, and too rare to die.

None of these incarnations satisfy your humble writer. Walt’s Community had little regard for the retired, the disabled, and the right to privacy. The Center talked loftily, but it walked modestly. Epcot is a hot mess.

Of the three, only Epcot now exists, but it’s haunted by the strengths and flaws of its predecessors.

Each of these will be exorcised in future articles. We’ll pull the park from the shadow of Walt’s Community, realize the ambitions of the Center, and appeal to Eisner’s impatient, illiterate demographic without sacrificing gravitas.

For now, let’s start by adopting an obvious, grammatical name.

There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow at the EPCOT.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed totally, but EPCOT, regarded as boring? NEVAH. The public flocked to EPCOT Center in the early years, only left when EPCOT became stale in the early 90's.