The late Walt Disney made an immensely successful career – of topping himself. Last month his final production was announced, posthumously, and it was a whopper: a $600-million Disney World on 27,400 acres near Orlando, Florida, containing a real live city of the future for full-scale people.
The city is called EPCOT—Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow—and will have a population of 20,000. It will share the World, whose acreage is twice the size of Manhattan, with an amusement park five times as big as California’s Disneyland, a jet-port, and a 1,000-acre industrial park.
EPCOT (below) is a curious blend of rigid 19th-century planning, fantasy, and some surprisingly advanced urban design concepts developed by what the Disney organization calls its “imagineers.” At the center will be a 600-room hotel, complete with a seven-acre roof deck and waterfalls. Ringing the hotel will be 50 acres of offices, “international shops,” and streets—all under glass (section above). EPCOT will have “the first noise-free, pollution-free city center in America,” the imagineers claim.
Pedestrians and vehicles will be completely separated, each on its own level. Circulation between the glazed center and the outer-ring residential areas will be by monorail and the WEDway People Mover, a continuous series of little elephant trains shuttling back and forth electrically.
“In its endless task of depicting urban life 25 years into the future,” the imagineers pledge, “EPCOT will never be completed. Tt will always be introducing, testing, and demonstrating new ideas and new technologies.”