A Tale of Two Cities
EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are
now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be
a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always
be introducing, and testing and demonstrating new materials and new
systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world of ingenuity
and imagination of American free enterprise.
—Walt Disney, Walt’s Last Film, October 1966
There was once a place where neighbors greeted neighbors in the quiet of
summer twilight. Where children chased fireflies. And porch swings pro-
vided easy refuge from the cares of the day. The movie house showed car-
toons on Saturday. The grocery store delivered. And there was one teacher
who always knew you had that special something. Remember that place?
Perhaps from your childhood? Or maybe just from stories. It had a magic
all its own. The special magic of an American home town.
—1996 brochure for Celebration, Florida, Disney’s planned community
The future has never seemed so old and so dated. But it wasn’t always
this way. Rewind and press play to sift through visions of a tomorrow
that never quite arrived—a world of rocket ships and tailfins and atomic
energy—plastic dreams and plastic realities—the future of the 1960s. Al-
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