But Disney died before he could realize his vision, and the Disney company decided that it just wasn't equipped to pursue the concept without his strong guidance. That doesn't mean the plan was forgotten, though, and on Oct. 1, 1982, the less socially ambitious EPCOT Center (now simply called Epcot) opened to the public.
Just a few weeks before he died, Walt Disney detailed on film his plan for this Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The film starts with about five minutes of narration laying out the overall Disney philosophy, then another few minutes in which he talks about his plans for "Walt Disney World" -- a phrase he uses not to mean the Florida amusement park we know today, but a much bigger project of which the amusement park is only a relatively small part, and of which EPCOT is the all-important hub. About 9 minutes 40 seconds in, he begins discussing his plans for the futuristic EPCOT city (which, it emerges, is intended to be within a climate-controlled dome):
And here are tributes to the Epcot that we know today, from its 30th birthday last year:
- Walt Disney