Thursday, July 3, 2008

Epcot 1978: Dubailand?

With the recent activity in Dubai to create a world-class travel destination, it is interesting to note that early plans for EPCOT Center included a United Arab Emirates pavilion.

Press materials describe the pavilion as follows:

"Guests arriving at the Pavilion presented by United Arab Emirates will immediately pass two ancient Arabic Dhows (sailing ships). Inside the pavilion visitors first experience the excitement of a re-created Bedouin encampment. Located at the center of this desert oasis will be the traditional ascetic black tents which symbolize Arabian warmth and hospitality. Guests browsing within these tents will observe a veritable treasure of Arabian hand craftsmanship both on exhibit and for sale. Surrounding this encampment, a series of cultural displays and facades will be constructed authentically duplicating the arid architectural style typical of the Arabic countryside. Guests passing through this area will also be exposed to the fragrant aromas of an Arabian restaurant offering the finest in traditional Arab food.

"Upon exiting the Bedouin encampment, guests are beckoned by the opulent royal marquis to enter an Arabian nights experience, a thrilling magic carpet ride through the Arab World's most fascinating cultures, both past and present. As guests glide above the courtyard area, a powerful mythical character appears before them to serve as narrator and guide through the adventure. Leaving the black tents behind, magic carpets actually pass through the mythical character's apparition into a star-lit night where the narrator describes early Arabic contributions in the fields of astronomy, navigation, and mathematics. Once again, the narrator appears in front of the approaching magic carpets to guide guests into a showcase of medicine, chemistry, libraries, and science, all of which had their earliest beginnings in the Arab World.

"Finally, the mythical character appears once more to present the many cultural contributions occurring in the Arab World today."


-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

There have been so many fantastic ideas for World Showcase that have, for one reason or another, never come to fruition. I'll keep my fingers crossed for them though. Thanks for continuing to give us these fantastic glimpses into the past Craig!

Basil said...

The pressure is on now for a new post with the shout out from AATM.