Program or Course
HIS 697 Capstone Project
Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
This work views the performative and consumerist traditions of the World's Fair and how Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center was essentially created to exist as a "permanent World's Fair" in theme park form. From viewing the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair alongside Epcot Center (1982) the similarities in the visitor experience are analyzed. Walt Disney's presence at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair seems to work as testing grounds for ideas with lower stakes than presenting permanent attractions, some of which would later be moved to the parks. Epcot Center offered guests two main areas of entertainment, in a manner that mirrored the New York World’s Fair layout—Future World and World Showcase. Any guest can “visit” France, China, Italy, Germany, and beyond under one entrance fee, allowing them to try “authentic” food and see unique entertainment. Epcot and the World's Fair present an this unique opportunity for visitors to "travel the world," though it is important to recognize that these encounters are not entirely authentic.
Davis, Annie, "Around the World in Two Days: Walt Disney's Epcot Center and the World's Fair Tradition" (2022). Student Scholarship & Creative Works. 20.