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Neverworlds – The World City Model

The World City Model, EPCOT 1975THE “WORLD CITY” MODEL: Project designer John DeCuir completes an initial concept for the World City model, an amphitheater depicting a future community in the process of grown and adaptation.
- Walt Disney Productions, 1975

In 1975, EPCOT Center was a far different creature than the park that debuted in 1982. Known then by the unwieldy moniker “EPCOT Future World Theme Center”, the park had yet to be mated with its counterpart, the World Showcase, which was still intended for a site across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom.

At the center of the parks layout, shown below, was the “World City” model. This would be part of the park’s Communications Corridor, or “Communicore”, which would act as the park’s Main Street area and extend from the park’s entrance through to where the Fountain of Nations is today.

EPCOT Future World Theme Center layout, 1975EPCOT as conceived in 1975 – The EPCOT Future World Theme Center. The World City model is at the center of the layout, with the Communicore extending from the the park’s entrance at the bottom of the image.

The World City model was described in the 1975 Walt Disney Productions annual report:

– The World City model, which would combine advanced entertainment techniques – miniaturization, video projection, animation and computer-driven simulations and displays – to trace the evolution of the major cities of the world, and to portray a model community of the future in the process of growth and adaptation.

The artist in the image at the top of the article is John DeCuir Jr., long-time Disney Imagineer. His father, John DeCuir Sr., also worked for Disney while also having a long career as a prominent Hollywood production designer and art director. His credits included Hello, Dolly! and Cleopatra, among many others, and relevant to our discussion he worked on the original Space pavilion intended for EPCOT Center.

The younger DeCuir has a long list of Disney design credits, including the Hall of Presidents, the Contemporary and Polynesian resorts, World Showcase, Spaceship Earth and later MuppetVision 3-D and Alien Encounter. He has continued to work on film and television projects to this day.

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2 comments to Neverworlds – The World City Model

  • wow – another amazing post. I had no idea this was the initial layout for EPCOT. The expansion of the world cities model would’ve been interesting for sure.

  • Thanks – the history of EPCOT’s development is a really interesting subject, as it was originally far different than the park we know today and it’s something that Disney never talks about. Most fans know about the original city concept, and the park that was built, but there are many little-known steps in between. I’m working on a big project trying to tie it all together but thought I would share this little tidbit in the meantime :)

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