Since Disney made a series of announcements regarding the future of Epcot®, a development regarding its fountain should give guests reasons to be optimistic about the park’s overhaul.
First comes the news of the Fountain of Nations, which has recently been shut down to make way for that area of the park’s construction. When running, it would perform a short water show set to music every 15 minutes.
When the fountain was first built, representative from each of the countries in World Showcase poured water from their countries into the fountain. Though it would inevitably be replaced by rainwater, the message of unity it sent was one that would follow it until it’s last days came.
But in a gesture that Is worth applauding, Disney placed some of the fountain’s water into containers from Switzerland and Mexico’s original representative, storing it to later be added to a new, unspecified water feature set to come to Epcot®.
The symbolism behind the gesture is obvious, but more subtle is what it means for a park that was symbolic of so much in its heyday.
The move shows accountability on Disney’s part, as the new Epcot®-centric D23 announcements seemed to indicate that not only had Disney remembered much of what the park stood for, but knew how to evolve that for modern times.
This fountain showcases Disney’s sensitivity to the countries represented in its park and the cultures it puts on heavy display. A simple gesture, using containers from the Walt Disney Archives as the transporting vessel for the water, shows a seriousness by Disney as they approach this new version of the park. Such a simple act is enough to instill hope that Disney is creating a version of the park where original ideas and intellectual property can coexist and further one another.
It is a promise to the longtime Epcot® that what made the park so special in the first place might not only stick around, but could be enhanced in the coming years. It is business at its best, where Disney shows an attentiveness and understanding to its guests that it understands what they need most, in hopes the company will both keep its loyal customers and inspire them beyond what the average theme park might do.
How Disney carries through on those ideas remains to be seen, as Epcot® is only in the earliest stages of its renovations, but through its simple handling of the fountain, we as clients should be able to feel a little more hopeful that the company not only notices us, but cares about what we hold as important, and what once made every detail in the parks so special.