I have always been a fan of the Disney brand. It is something that I grew up with and because it is such an integral part of American culture it is hard to escape from. I went to Disney World as a child but don’t remember a lot of it because I was so young, but I went back twice during high school for spring training for my high school lacrosse team. While there we go to explore all of the parks and have an amazing and “magical” time.
One thing that stuck out in my memory from these trips was being in Magic Kingdom and wondering if there was anything in the houses along main street besides the store fronts. I wanted to live there and never leave Disney but, I have learned that it is all a facade. Learning that EPCOT was originally meant to be simulated community made me rethink what Disney is all about. The “Mickey Mouse History” by Mike Wallace described EPCOT as, “Disney dreamed of “a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry and research,” a permanent testing ground for new ideas in urban planning. Under its gigantic bubble dome, American know-how, ingenuity, and enterprise would overcome the ills of urban life”(142).
This to me did not sound like the kind of place that anyone should want to live. It sounds to me like you would be a test rat for Disney and is frankly creepy from the pictures. You wouldn’t be living a free life you would always be monitored which feels morally wrong and corrupt.
This planned community sounded a lot like The Truman Show film starring Jim Carrey who plays Truman. In the film Truman’s life is staged and being filmed for the enjoyment of the public. Truman has no idea this is happening and is actually living inside of a bubble and make-believe world. Things start to fall apart and he realizes that his whole life has been a lie and he has just been a product of entertainment. If EPCOT turned into what it was meant to be, I feel that all of its residents would be like Truman and become products of entertainment and consumerism. The inhabitants of this city would all be products of Disney and Disney ideals. This presents a fundamental problem with Disney. Disney is meant for entertainment and when they try to create places like EPCOT and Disney’s America they are creating a false consumer reality. Disney would be controlling the thoughts of the public in an inhumane and immoral way. The fact that EPCOT did not become what it was planned to be is a blessing and shows that the public does not want to be controlled by a conglomerate just like Truman didn’t want to be controlled by a TV show.