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Epcot's Evolution: Disney's Ultimate World's Fair of Technological and Cultural Synergy

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This thesis addresses the conception and eventual execution of Walt Disney's model of the city of the future, one in which individuals would work, live and play. EPCOT, representing an

This thesis addresses the conception and eventual execution of Walt Disney's model of the city of the future, one in which individuals would work, live and play. EPCOT, representing an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was envisioned as a utopian and idealized society in a bubble. Aimed at eliminating the ills that plagued American society of the 1960s by returning individuals to community roots, complete with emerging technologies and innovations to improve lifestyles, EPCOT would take inspiration from unique urban planners and innovators. But EPCOT failed to materialize in its original form once Disney passed away on December 15, 1966. The massive city planning venture eventually evolved into a World's Fair-like theme park called Epcot Center, where the correlations between culture and technology would become blurred in this entertainment venue. The park's success stems from its ability to carry components of its community vision, but to appeal to visitors' interests in experiencing application of new technologies through exposure of other cultures and ideas. Technology and culture, while often interrelated, but sometimes at odds with one another, substantially account for Epcot's development over the past 50 years. This thesis not only reflects on Walt Disney's EPCOT the community, but also details how the Walt Disney World theme park has contended with addressing the dualistic relationship between technology and culture.

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  • 2014-12

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Interactive Storytelling at the Disneyland Resort: Analyzing the Story through the Lens of Video Game Theory

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Walt Disney dove into his first theme park project in 1955 with Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in order to have a safe, clean place he could enjoy with his

Walt Disney dove into his first theme park project in 1955 with Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in order to have a safe, clean place he could enjoy with his daughters. However, he knew to make his park a success, he would need to do so without sacrificing the elements of storytelling that made him famous. What sets Disneyland apart from other theme parks such as Six Flags Magic Mountain or nearby Knott‟s Berry Farm is an intense attention to detail for storytelling and the creative integration of the most innovative, immersive interactions possible for the guests. The key to the overall company‟s success is storytelling, therefore the key to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts lies in their dedication to providing the best overall experience for their guests by immersing them into a story they can easily engage in. The Walt Disney Company has, in recent years, made extra efforts to make the experience of the guests more interactive (Malmberg 144). The demand for this type of interactive experience has increased since such media forms as contemporary commercialized video games became popular to the mainstream, acclimating audiences to more engaging experiences. Park visitors now desire the freedom to move within a certain setting in order to create their own story and to have forms of control over their interactions with the environment.

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  • 2012-12