Implemented Concepts

Walt Disney's original plans for E.P.C.O.T were not developped as planned and not prototype city exists today within Walt Disney World resort. E.P.C.O.T was designed around several key concepts and some of them did find their way in the various developments of the property.


Master Plan drawn by Walt Disney, 1965-66
(c) The Walt Disney Company / The Walt Disney Family Foundation

Master Plan drawn by Walt Disney, 1965-66 applied to current satellite view of Walt Disney World.
Map by Jack Barnes. Editing by NhojSenrab.
(c) Google Earth

Current land usage of Walt Disney World
Map by Jack Barnes. Editing by NhojSenrab.
(c) Google Earth

In its phase 1 (Magic Kingdom) and phase 2 (Epcot Center), the development of the Walt Disney World property stayed very close to Walt Disney's own master plan. The Magic Kingdom and Epcot themeparks are located around where it was planned earlier. We can also say that about the very first official hotels on property: the Contemporary and Polynesian resorts. 


Underground "utilidors", Magic Kingdom
(c) The Walt Disney Company

The Swedish-built Automated Vacuum Assisted Collection (AVAC) was the first waste system of its type installed in the United States. It is an integral part of waste collection for the theme park, intricately linked through the utilidors by pneumatic tubes. Trash is deposited in several collection points around the park. Every fifteen minutes it is drawn through the tubes at speeds up to 60 miles per hour and sent to a central compactor station.


Irish and Asian areas for the International Shopping Center. 1966.
(c) The Walt Disney Company

At topday's Epcot themepark, World Showcase - a permanent World's Fair featuring the look, feel, cuisine, entertainment and shopping from countries around the world - is in line with the proposed enclosed international shopping center that was supposed to be built below the cosmopolitan hotel deck. Despite not being built in an enclosed building, the result meets Walt Disney's description: "Shopping areas where stores and whole streets recreate the character and adventure of places ‘round the world…theaters for dramatic and musical productions…restaurants and a variety of nightlife attractions."
To learn more about the history of World Showcase, please visit our From Prototype to Themepark: World Showcase section.


Monorail System Network since 2010
(c) Paul C Martens

Implemented in 3 separate lines (The Express Monorail from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom , The Resort Line from the TTC to the Monorails hotels and the Epcot line from the TTC to Epcot themepark), the Monorail system has established itself as a real public transportation system since its debut in 1971 on the property.


PeopleMover concept art.
(c) The Walt Disney Company

E.P.C.O.T included 2 main transportation syystems: the Monorail for the long-distance journeys and the Wedway PeopleMover for local connections. Even if a PeopleMover system does exist today in the Magic Kingdom themepark, it's more an attraction ride than a real transportation system as departure and arrival stations are the same. But the attraction proves that the technology is working. In the 70's, Disney promoted the PeopleMover system and the George Bush Intercontinental Airport bought and installed its own "Inter-terminal train" in 1981. Its the only Disney transportation system installed outside a Disney property.


Walt Disney World Stol Airport.
(c) The Walt Disney Company

The current resort had a small aircraft runway located east of the Magic Kingdom parking lot. When the resort opened in 1971, Shawnee Airlines began regular passenger service from Orlando's McCoy Air Force Base (now Orlando International Airport) directly to Disney World's STOLport (Short Take Off and Landing) on a daily basis, with flights lasting only a few minutes. Today, the runway mostly is used as a staging area for buses and no longer is in service for aircraft. The original E.P.C.O.T project included a full-service "Airport of the Future" for national and international flights. Today, Orlando International Airport outside Disney boundaries has this role. Therefore, the "airport" concept was partly implemented in the first years of operation of Walt Disney World.