Tag Archives: Geodesic domes

Trip Report from Holy Land Experience, Circa 2002

13 Aug

News broke last week that the Trinity Broadcasting Network has stepped in to save the Holy Land Experience, a Jerusalem-themed attraction not far from Disney World.

Mr Broke Hoedown (aka Collateral Damage) has just published a trip report from his April 2002 visit to the Holy Land Experience. Here’s a snippet from his report:

After getting my ticket, I then passed through the Jerusalem Gate, sans Ass or Palms, and wandered straight into a recreation of a Jerusalem street market which might easily be confused with a souvenir shop. The tchotchkes offered here and at various carts around the park are all Old Testament: a variety of shofars, several types of menorahs and jet black yarmulkes (suffice to say this selection of keepsakes has done nothing to soothe Jewish feelings about the park). The day I was there there was only one depiction of Jesus to be seen: a standard-issue, saccharine painting of an Anglicized Him meeting the woman at the well. All other paintings feature either Moses or Abraham. Indeed this lack of Christian imagery is ubiquitous throughout the park and on its customers. I didn’t see a single cross on anyone inside of the park. The only cross I did see was a small and relatively discrete one in The Land’s logo: It takes the place of a star in the sky over a silhouette of the old Jerusalem skyline. Admittedly that logo is on everything from key chains to tote bags to t-shirts but compared to the trifurcated circles of Mickey Mouse which are incorporated into buildings, landscaping and food at Disney World, The Holy Land is a model of restraint. (Indeed after visiting The Land, I was keenly aware of what it meant to have Disney’s corporate logo offered to me in cookies, ice cream and cakes of butter. Body of Mickey, anyone?)

I suppose you won’t be surprised to know that Broke Hoedown Jr and I spent the day in Fantasyland instead.

It’s Official! Epcot Wand Coming Down by October 1, 2007

5 Jul

From the Sun-Sentinel:

Epcot Vice President Jim MacPhee announced this morning that the time has come to remove the structure, which has served both as a colorful, lighted Epcot sign since 2000, and as a lightning rod for criticism from Epcot purists who contended the image was out of character for Epcot’s architecture.

The structure leans on Epcot’s previous and future iconic figure, the Spaceship Earth Pavilion, a180-foot geodesic sphere that can be seen for miles.

The arm and glove went up for Walt Disney World’s 2000 millennium celebration.

Now, however, with but with Epcot’s 25th anniversary this fall, and the temporary closing of Spaceship Earth ride, MacPhee said, “We think the timing of the removal is right.”

Deconstruction of the 50-ton structure begins Monday, and will be completed shortly before the park’s 25th anniversary, October 1. Also coming down are the 36-foot-high “Epcot” letters and colored stars splashing across the sphere.

Epcot purists will no doubt notice that this is one of precious few times that Disney has made any public statements about the upcoming 25th anniversary. Could there be more to come?

Is the Epcot Wand Coming Down?

26 Jun

Once again, rumor has it that the infamous wand atop Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot may be nearing its end. Kevin Yee of MiceAge.com reports:

The demolition of the wand atop Spaceship Earth has apparently cleared its last hurdle: the fiscal 2008 budget decision, and it’s a certainty now. The wondrous effects this will have on the futurism of Epcot, not the cartoonization of it, cannot be repeated often enough. Someone pointed out to me in emails, following my article about Tomorrowland losing its hope and optimism in favor of cartoons and irony, that Epcot really took up the mantle of futurism and hope when it opened in 1982. That’s quite true.

The wand is not, however, without its fans. Dave from MouseExtra defends the wand, arguing that in fact it supports Epcot’s current vibe and themes:

The general consensus is the Wand flies in the face of Epcot’s original plan of futurism, and in some ways it does. But that plan has been largely abandoned, as more attractions get updated to something less reminiscent of a World’s Fair, and now the removal of the wand seems somewhat counter to the changing winds at Epcot. If we did not have Nemo, Crush, the Three Caballeros, and who knows who else in the future, then removing the Wand would make perfect sense. But Epcot is not the corporate-driven sounding board for a hopeful future it once was, and is now a more family friendly Disney park. Seven years ago, the Wand didn’t fit the theme of the park outside of its tie-in to the millennium. But now, in a not-so-subtle way, it does.

I gotta admit, setting aside any consideration of what’s right for Disney corporate, I’ll be happy if the wand comes down. It’s purely for aesthetic reasons. The unadorned Spaceship Earth is just wonderfully retro in its space-age futurism. A return to the tomorrow we dreamed about yesterday. I can almost taste the freeze-dried ice cream now.

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