Even for those of you that don’t follow the Walt Disney Company regularly, the news coming out of Anaheim, CA from the biannual gathering of Disney fans called D23 has been nonstop since last Friday. Even though the event ended Sunday night, recaps, opinions, and second-guessing continues today – and probably will throughout this week and beyond.
With intellectual properties like Disney Studios, theme parks and resorts, and the studios of Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and now most of Fox, the entertainment giant is continuing to grow beyond expectations.
D23 was three days of seemingly nonstop announcements about the upcoming movies from all the studios mentioned above, new attractions at theme parks world-wide, new partnerships, and the unveiling of Disney+, the streaming service that will launch November 12. Artists, actors, and people normally behind-the-scenes were onstage everywhere at the Anaheim Convention Center, each presentation seeming to outshine the previous one.
I’m not even going to attempt to unpack everything that happened at D23 – there are much better sources for that.
Instead, I want to leave you with a couple of images – courtesy of Disney – and a quote by Walt Disney:
If you don’t know what these represent:
- The top image is a representation of four “neighborhoods” coming to Epcot – a transformation of the park in every sense of the word.
- The image on the lower right is a new statue of Walt Disney what will occupy “Dreamer’s Point,” a transition from Spaceship earth to the rest of the reimagined Epcot.
- The quote in the lower left is from Walt Disney, part of a longer statement about Epcot he made in October 1966 – only two months before his death.
Think about that.
While Walt Disney was totally immersed in the building of Disneyland in California, and led in the acquisition of the thousands of acres that would become Walt Disney World in Florida, he never saw the first shovel of dirt turned, much less the completion of any part of Walt Disney World.
The EPCOT he dreamed of was not the Epcot Center that opened in 1982; all of the work done in major upgrades since then – and including this projected “transformation” – are not going to make that happen.
But the dream did not die with the dreamer.
His vision of ‘a new Disney world’ outside of Orlando, Florida, especially his concept of Epcot, was so strongly a personal, life-summing statement that many believed the dream might die with Walt. Not so. For in addition to the fantasy empire Walt had created, he had also built a unique organization.
– Richard Beard, Walt Disney’s EPCOT
Led by Walt’s older brother Roy, who postponed his retirement, the talents of the entire Disney organization went ahead with the Florida project.
Because that’s what dreamers do…
…they dream, and make sure there is a team who understands and lives the dream, and will keep it going.
So that’s what Epcot is: an experimental prototype community that will always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future…
– Walt Disney
Will your dream live beyond you?