Notes & Quotes: Walt Disney’s E.P.C.O.T. Project

Rendering of EPCOT

Notes & Quotes are where I post links to and information about the resources used in my book Corporate Empathy.

The video below describes Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT and the Disney World project in Florida. The video was used as a promotional tool to illustrate to the Florida State Legislature, Governor, and public why the Disney Company was requesting such expansive property rights and autonomy. Five months after Walt Disney’s death in December 1966 Florida Governor Claude R. Kirk, Jr. signed into Florida law the statutes creating the Reedy Creek Improvement District that gave the Disney organization almost total autonomy within its borders.

The most exciting, by far the most important part of our Florida project, in fact the heart of everything we’ll be doing in Disney World will be our Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. We call it EPCOT. – Walt Disney

However Walt’s vision of Disney World and EPCOT was never realized.

EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, that will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems; and EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise. I don’t believe there is a challenge anywhere in the world that’s more important to people everywhere than finding solutions to the problems of our cities. – Walt Disney

Walt Disney’s Plan for EPCOT

Here the Disney staff will work with individual companies to create a showcase of industry at work. In attractive park-like settings the 6 million people who visit Disney World each year will look behind the scenes at experimental prototype plants, research and development laboratories, and computer centers for major corporations.

So this is EPCOT, the heart of Disney World. In other parts of the country a community the size of this prototype could become part of an entire city complex, composed of many such communities, planned and built a few miles apart. In Disney World about 20 thousand people will live in EPCOT. Their homes will be built in ways that permit ease of change so that new products may continuously be demonstrated. Their schools will welcome new ideas so that everyone who grows up in EPCOT will have skills in pace with today’s world. EPCOT will be a working community with employment for all; and everyone who lives here will have a responsibility to help keep this community an exciting living blueprint of the future. – Disney World Promotional Video

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