Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk, and Bill Nye: Epcot Needs You!


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This is an open letter from a concerned fan. I love Walt Disney World. I’ve turned my passion for it into my job because of how much I love it. And as ridiculously desperate as this might sound I am calling on Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk, Bill Nye, and any other leaders in science and technology to help Disney reshape Epcot into what it should be. I know it is unlikely that my plea will be heard, but I figured I’d try.

You may or may not know that Epcot was planned as a utopian city by Walt Disney himself. The plan later changed into a theme park once Walt passed away, and the intent of the park shifted to focus on celebrating science, technology, and the wonders of the American enterprise. The park was intended to shape the minds of children by informing and entertaining them about our world, and whats beyond.

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Unfortunately something has changed. Increasingly Epcot is slipping away from enlightening the American public, and sinking to dangling their intellectual properties in front of guests eyes, making them forget what this park was supposed to be about. Disney has realized that educating people is harder to sell then entertaining them with their favorite Disney characters, but why can’t they do a little of both. Can’t Disney use these characters as a tool for how they inform the public?

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Recently Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek said that, “We will be doing some major transformation at Epcot in the future.” At first this seemed promising, but he continued by saying guests can “likely expect less emphasis on exhibits and replicas, and more on the characters and rides typical of most Disney theme parks.” This should be alarming. If Disney follows through on this plan eventually Epcot, a park intended to inform people, won’t teach them anything besides the lyrics to the newest Disney movie.

No one is arguing that the Disney parks shouldn’t include intellectual property characters from Frozen, and every other Disney movie, but that wasn’t what Epcot was intended to be for. If Disney wants to build more attractions including these characters they should go right ahead, but why don’t they put them in the parks where it is appropriate.

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Leaders in technology and science, this is where you step in. Epcot sees almost 12 million guests a year. Many of these guests are families with young children. We need your voice and platform to tell Disney that science and technology are important to the minds of the young children who will be visiting their park. Now obviously in a capitalistic society Disney doesn’t have to listen to anyone on this issue, and it is very likely that they will go forward with washing away the educational aspects of their park, but I still believe we should speak out against their actions on this. American kids are becoming increasingly disinterested in science, math, and technology, but Disney has the opportunity with a park like Epcot to help change that trend. The park was the perfect tool to teach kids why science, math, and technology matter. There is a good chance this article will never reach who I am intending it to reach, but if it does, we need to hear your voice on this.

Photos: Non-DIS Photos Labeled For Reuse



*The information contained in this article represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the DIS.

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