Despite what the tram guides might tell you, EPCOT does not stand for "Every Person Comes Out Tired." EPCOT Center (now just Epcot) was based on Walt Disney's dream of building a utopian town called the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Disney died without his dream realized, and his successors decided to instead build a theme park that focused on Disney's ideas of celebrating human innovation and promoting a promising vision of the future (as well as knowledge and the cultures of the world).
Granted, projections of what the future will look like have changed since 1982. The future we're living in doesn't necessarily match what forward-thinking optimists envisioned back when the Commodore 64 was named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year." As the decades wore on, some of EPCOT's attractions were removed as they became obsolete and, more importantly, lost their corporate sponsors. The sad truth is that many of the rides you may fondly remember from your childhood excursions to EPCOT are now nothing more than rubble in some Orlando landfill. This might be the most depressing list we've ever run on Topless Robot, so please stand back from your windows and put away your steak knives. These are the Top 10 EPCOT attractions that no longer exist.
10) Millennium Village
The World Showcase at EPCOT has thankfully survived throughout the years without many changes to its whirlwind tour of recreations of Mexico, France, Norway and other nations. But to celebrate the new millennium, Disney added another pavilion from late 1999 through 2000 that included cultural performances and visual tidbits from other nations that weren't normally part of the World Showcase, such as Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Scotland and even Easter Island! While obviously never intended to be a permanent feature, the Millennium Village added some needed diversity to the World Showcase's somewhat limited and stagnant collection of countries.
9) The Living Seas
The Living Seas, housed in a building that looked like a seashell with water swirling around it, isn't totally gone. What was once depicted as a visit to Seabase Alpha and a tour of the surrounding ocean (with real sea life) has been converted to Finding Nemo-palooza. EPCOT has always been the Magic Kingdom's brainier cousin, but in this case the more scientific aspects were toned down for a larger emphasis on a well-known cartoon character. Anyway, The Living Seas also used to include a model of the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a popular Magic Kingdom ride that Disney closed in 1994 and totally demolished ten years later. We're still bawling over that one.
8) Captain EO
Looking back at Captain EO with adult eyes, maybe it hasn't held up so well. It featured Michael Jackson as an unconvincing spaceship captain leading a band of cuddly misfit aliens in a pretty boring and ridiculous adventure to bring an angry alien empress the gift of a mediocre song ("We Are Here to Change the World") and a dance that was no "Thriller." However, it's worth recognizing what a big deal Captain EO was at the time. It was an approximately 20-minute 3-D movie that cost a whopping $30 million to make and was directed by Francis Ford FRIGGIN' Coppola. Disney had scored themselves an exclusive extended-length video from the King of Pop! Captain EO ran at EPCOT from 1986 to 1994, although there have been pleas to bring back the attraction following Jackson's death. Disney's response to the idea has been lukewarm.
While it still exists in spirit as Innoventions, Communicore (which stood for Community Core) is a quaint memory for many who were there during its 1982-1994 tenure at EPCOT. Located in two semi-circle pavilions, Communicore was the EPCOT version of an arcade. There were tons of hands-on and interactive games that allowed you to experience the latest technological innovations. There were educational and groundbreaking video games, a constantly updated U.S. population counter, an interactive picture-phone, a presentation about how Disney's animatronics worked, learning stations about energy, and a HUGE gift shop, among many other things. The star of Communicore was undoubtedly SMRT-1, an adorable blue robot who responded to your voice and would play trivia games with you. It's funny to think that pretty much everything you could find in Communicore is now in some way available on the average computer.
6) Wonders of Life
Opened in 1989, this was perhaps the most interactive of EPCOT attractions, offering several stations like bicycle simulators, a personal health quiz and a sensory-bending crooked room that taught you more about how your body and mind work. Body Wars let you basically shrink down like Dennis Quaid in Innerspace and take a motion simulator ride through someone's blood stream. Continuing the Martin Short connection (as Quaid traversed his innards in Innerspace), the actor starred in a horrifying movie called The Making of Me in which he told you about how his parents conceived him, depicted with amorous cartoon sperm and sexy eggs, culminating with live action birth footage. After stealing the innocence of many stork-believing kids with apathetic parents, Wonders of Life closed for good by 2007, the golden dome that housed it now providing space for various events. The giant DNA strand that sat outside the pavilion has been removed.