Epcot Forever: A Tribute

Epcot Forever: A Tribute

Earlier this week I posted a tribute to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It included a video which overlapped with a montage of images from Epcot. With the new nighttime spectacular, I’ve created a tribute to Epcot Forever, with a montage of images that overlap with the design of Epcot.

The message of Epcot Forever is One Little Spark. It’s also a message that Epcot is forever changing and evolving. You hear terms like dream and blueprint. I felt that the inspirational ideas drawn by early Imagineers were the “spark” that created the Epcot we have come to love. So I’ve interspersed those images with video of the fireworks.

Here is the tribute show:

And what do I think of the fireworks themselves?

  1. I love the music of Epcot. As I spoke in a recent podcast, the music of this park speaks to my soul in amazing ways. Therefore I was so excited to see a show dedicated to the music of the park. My salute to Walt Disney World Entertainment for doing so.
  2. In execution, however, I feel that the layout of everything is messy. In particular, those songs I love are often no more than a dozen or so bars worth of music before they move on to something else. In the arrangement of Golden Dream, the orchestral plays with only “flying high” sung twice. There’s no mention of America.
  3. One Little Spark is used as a thread throughout the entire arrangement. I like that a lot. But can I say that I’m really exhausted by corporate being on the fence about the use of this attraction. This is a signature attraction at Epcot. Figment is sold in a wide variety of products throughout the park. And yet I hear that management is still doing measurements on how well people know the Figment character, whether they like the character, and whether the character should be kept. For Pete’s sake, just move forward with Figment! Make that attraction better. I’ve addressed the wisdom of the original attraction in one of my posts/podcasts during Dragon week. Check it out!
  4. The fire barge and the fountains have been removed from the show. In it’s place are kites that light up in the sky, even at times producing pyro. It’s very cool, and I could see it used in HarmoniUS as well.
  5. All that said, the show seems to be a tribute to Epcot music, but mostly Aladdin’s Whole New World. I can see this song play out in every castle show around the globe. As great as a song this is, I don’t understand why it’s used to such a great extent in this show. It has nothing to do with Epcot. I think if the ending of Reflections of Earth were put in its place, the crowds will have gone wild. People hated the parade replacement to the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland, known as Light Magic. But they loved the soundtrack of the show, which included Baroque Hoedown from the Electrical Parade. That same approach could have been used here.

With all that said, I love this show, and I learned to love it more as I created the tribute video. I decided to use Whole New World as a tribute to World Showcase.

And I look forward to the future. I’m even looking forward to the new fireworks show that follows, HarmoniUS. I was just hoping in some way that Epcot Forever might be so good that it could be re-modified as a pre or post-show in the same way Magic Kingdom has Once Upon a Time playing along side of Happily Ever After, or in the same way that the Wonderful World of Animation precedes Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. I would invite Walt Disney World Entertainment to re-consider how they might re-format this show as a pre or post show when HarmoniUS opens.

J. Jeff Kober

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