Plans for a utopian community have been scrapped, but Disney's newest theme park will offer visitors a bold glimpse of technologies to come, by Dennis Meredith photography by Brian R. Wolff
The cavernous workshop looks like T Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory as Walt Disney would have conceived it. Patiently awaiting the spark of life lie rows of robots in the shape of milk cartons and baked hams, most with cartoonish expressions on their humanoid faces. They look absurdly naked, their clear-plastic skin revealing steel bones and muscles of hydraulic and pneumatic tubing.
This workshop is one of many around the country where parts of the newest Disney theme park are being pieced together. For now, the park site is a collection of warehouses rising out of a damp Florida landscape of palmetto and pine, two and a half miles from the already crowded Walt Disney World near Orlando. When the park opens on October 1, 1982, it will be the $800 million translation of Walt Disney's grandest dream: the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
At Epcot Center, as the park will be called, visitors will see a startling array of theatrical events for which the Disney "Imagineers" have exploited a host of advanced technologies, from fiber optics to computer graphics.