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The Spirit of EPCOT Center

As difficult as it is to comprehend, try your best to imagine the current Walt Disney Company spending 37 Billion Dollars on a single project. Yes,... THRITY-SEVEN BILLION Dollars! What could possibly be worth such a staggering amount of investment? How on Earth could one begin to justify such financially risky endeavor!? And what bank would even entertain such a proposal longer than a single millisecond?

By now, you should be getting (at least) a small idea about as to the gravitas EPCOT Center held for Walt Disney Productions in 1982. For the “theme park” cost was roughly 50% of the net worth of the Company in 1982. By comparison, the (very conservatively estimated) $6.5M Shanghai Disneyland, is less than 9% of the company today.

So why did, Card Walker approve of such an ambitious project?  Although not explicitly stated, the following video does give some sense as to the enormiously altruistic aspirations everyone involved with EPCOT Center was striving for. 


“The Spirit of EPCOT Center”
February 1983
Featuring (in order of appearance) 

Donn Tatum, Tony Baxter, Ken Anderson, Marty Sklar,
John Hench, Randy Bright, Dr. Alan Yarnell, Ray Bradbury,
Dr. Carl Hodges, Bob McCarthy, Ward Kimball, Card Walker & Walt Disney     


Clicking on the Vimeo icon will take you to a special description with clickable “chapters” for the individual interviews in the presentation.                                    

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Reader Comments (2)

I love this video. Watching this gives me a feeling of inspiration and optimism that cannot be matched.

July 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrent young

Great video - thanks for posting. It really captures what the early EPCOT Center days were all about. Clearly the people profiled in the video were focused on implementing Walt's Vision for the property.

With the current version of Epcot seemingly vision-less in scope, could these concepts still work today? If Disney were to infuse these same ideas today into the park, updating a 'future world' for example, could it have the same impact as it once did? Obviously, if I'm here on this site, I believe it could. :)

Thanks again for posting.

July 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRick D.

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