Epcot’s future is about human stories – with help from Disney Myths

Zach Riddley stands in front of the Epcot monitor with the spaceship Earth in the background.

photo: Sabina Graves/Gizmodo

A lot of new things are happening as part of Epcot Ongoing 50thAnniversary celebration Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, io9 invited to preview the latest expansion pack.

Last year things started at the opening Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the French Pavilion, in just a few weeks Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will transport park guests new space travel adventure. For a theme park centered on exploring far-flung cultures—remote areas, environmental biodiversity, the future of travel, and festivals that highlight how people celebrate the seasons around the world, Which makes us wonder how to choose a popular Disney IP in a market that’s been touted as more than only a theme park.After all, it’s supposed to be Walt Disney’s experiment for tomorrow’s communities, testing new innovations for the betterment of humanity (and why a district created).

During our visit, io9 Discuss recent changes to the park with Imagineer and Creative Portfolio Director Zach Riddley – includingpudding How to mix and match Disney’s popular IP needs to be thoughtful Pay tribute to the heart of the park’s vision with reimagined pavilions and recreational offerings.

Sabina Graves, io9: With Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind During the operation of the park, we saw the full development of Epcot. WCan you share about leading the next phase of transformation?

Zach Ridley: for me, what’The great thing about leading this as a fantasy engineer is that this is the park I went to as a kid. I kind of had to give myself the responsibility to think about how to move this park forward. for us, it’That’s the biggest shift we’ve made, we’ve been able to take a lot of the elements out for people to experience them, picture Ratatouille, harmonious, and Space 220—and many more guardian–thist is also it’an ongoing process. [In] world Celebration, one of the four communities we use to organize the park, One of our largest projects with Spaceship Earth in the heart of the park.We don’t lock down these ideas, but they are indeed a work in progress Have a center pot so you can create these moments…

io9: Like the Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection” light show during the Festival of the Arts?

Riddley: Yes, take “Rainbow Connection”—

io9: (Says aloud not realizing) Bring it back.

Riddley: (Laughs) And it’s amazing to see. I mean, it’s such a great icon to be so emotional. At night this entire place can be programmed in the way that Spaceship Earth is in terms of lighting, music, and color. We have over 12,000 programmable LCD fixtures once this is complete—and so take “Rainbow Connection,” but entirely immersed. And I think that’s the tone, that’s the spirit of it underlying all of the ideas. Later it can be changed for the Food and Wine Festival in that same space, we can have new topiaries [for Flower and Garden]. But as an Epcot fan, you probably know one detail, This is Our illuminated pavement.TonHe was an early design feature of Epcot, Fiber Paving.We have new technology so we embed it here Actually Shape of Epcot logo. So it’s like bringing it back.

io9: So I didn’t experience Epcot until I was an adult, but I wrote about it growing up as a fan of Walt Disney’s original vision for the city of the future. I love Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, we have those edible plants and things that are a sustainable resource that pays homage to the core themes of his plan throughout. can you talk What if we’re going to see this in some future environment as well?

riddle: For us, it’s about possibility. We say it’s magic and possibility. So it’s a park about people and things that inspire us. [We thought about] The themes we wanted to come up with, we looked at what timeless ideas and stories Disney could bring, but [are] something else You can experience it in 20 years. And you still have that desire, so we’re not going to create a situation where it’s outdated and we’re going to go over it and look for it.So for us, these are We refer to these timeless stories as themes unique to Epcot.We do have a full greenhouse live with the land, a showcase of all these techniques.and water journey –It’s a great example of how Epcot and Disney’s intellectual property can come together. water tour Inspired by Moana is another experienceas part of the vision. That’s in WnounNatural community, on the other side of the park, adjacent to ocean and that land.

io9: yes, Moana Fits perfectly with these themes!

riddle: for water tourr, the idea really celebrates the cycle. You actually have a chance to meet water, just like Moana meets her friend water in the movie, We have some really fun experiences when you moveInvented just for this, with this totally unique trail.But the real theme is the importance of protecting water, like the water cycle, all water is eEssentially limited, It is important for us to understand what it does and preserve it as a resource, So we can use elements from Moana’s story.But Epcot’s story is about water and its protection; The idea is rooted in real thoughts, real things that inspire us but actually bring you into that experience.That is our thoughts thEpcot’s unique space can bring life to life.

io9: How do you balance this with still being adequate or finding ways to bring back what Epcot fans know and love?

riddle: It has a very unique personality and Design Heritage.A sort of The many choices we’ve been making —Not only in personal experience, but even if bring back sign Epcot own font – go Back to the original park.So how do you bring everything back Unite? You only do it here. You know, we have it here, but then push it in this way, again, Fresh and relevant for fans who may have never been here forward.Tonoh me that is final The transformation was successful.


Want more io9 news?See when you can expect the latest Miracle and star wars Release, what’s next DC Universe on Film and TVand everything you need to know Dragon House and The Lord of the Rings: Ring of Power.

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