Preface Edit

[Fade in to Jerk at Tomorrowland]

Jerk: Star Command, this thing on my arm is a sticker. Oh! Happy New Year everyone and what better way to ring in the new year of 2015 than with a look at the original [dramatic] theme park of the future? [Cut to clip from Tomorrowland trailer] No, no, no. Not that one... Actually probably that one metaphorically. I'm talking about EPCOT [Cut to MikeJ pointing at Spaceship Earth, fanfare sounds, cut back] This is part one of my three-part 30 Years of EPCOT retrospective, first released on October 24th, 2012, thirty years to the day after EPCOT Center's grand opening ceremonies. As you can see, I am not in EPCOT, I'm in front of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, which, you may remember, I promised to review last time.

[Cut to an old clip from the end of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue Part 2]

Jerk: Be sure to join me next time when I review the other big ride that opened at the Disneyland Resort last summer, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure.

[Cut back to Jerk at present day]

Jerk: Well, for a variety of incredibly stupid reasons each incredibly stupider than the last, that did not happen. Maybe some day. [scoff] How is that rascal Some Jerk gonna talk his way out of this one? [laughs]

[static; Cut to the "technical difficulties" logo; static]

Episode Edit

[Cut to Jerk at Animal Kingdom]

Jerk: Hi. um, I-I-I know it's been a really really long time, again. And I-I-I know I promised my next video would be on DCA's new Little Mermaid ride but uh... something happened... Something bad. [cross dissolve to Jerk in front of the said dark ride]

Jerk: So, after waiting twenty-two years, which is six years older than Ariel herself, is this half-fish cartoon ride worth the wait or just deadweight? Let's find out, shall we? [Jerk enters the ride, but in the next shot he ends up in a house] So, you can see right away from the queue that... [confused] This isn't the Mermaid ride.

Chris Hanson: [played by Garrett Snook, aka Il Neige] Mermaids don't have rides, they have gills.

Jerk: Sweet mother of God, it's Chris Hanson!

Hanson: Why don't you take a seat, just, just... just take a seat. [Jerk pulls out a chair] On the floor please. [Jerk does as he kneels down behind the counter. Only half of his face can be shown] So, uh, who exactly were you trying to do here?

Jerk: I was trying to...

Hanson: [interrupts] Really? Because I have the transcript right here and it says that you were trying to "ride a sixteen-year-old half-fish cartoon." tsk tsk tsk.

Jerk: That's not what I meant.

Voiceover: [interrupts] He thought his talking would trick us into tolerance of his fishy fetish, but, little did he know, that he'd soon be dangling from a hook named Hanson.

Jerk: How are you doing that?

Voiceover: This is the voice of God, Jerk, and I created Christ Hanson and my perfect ima- [skipping] my perfect ima-, my perfect ima, -my perfect ima-, my perfect ima-, my perfect ima-, my perfect ima-, my perfect ima-

[During this mistake, Jerk gives a disappointed look. Hanson pulls out a firearm and shoots the record player]

Hanson: Let's go over "deadweight." Now, that's just not nice. Teenage girls, they're very self-conscious about their bodies and their pulses.

Jerk: They always told me Satan would be attractive.

Hanson: And then, you said, "let's find out, shall we?" Now, there's bound to be a sexual slang term somewhere... If not, it totally should be. Anyway, I'm Chris Hanson and... [discovers that Jerk has disappeared]

Jerk: [offscreen] You're sadistic and crazy!

Hanson: Cops outside! I knew I was forgetting something. [Cross dissolve to Jerk]

Jerk: So anyway, I've been on the run from Disneyland ever since, hitch-hiking mostly. I've crossed at least seven state lines and at this point I literally have no idea where I am. But you know what? Screw it. It's been too long. I'm just gonna find the nearest theme park celebrating a milestone and I'll be doing a review on that. [Jerk walks to his right and walks into Spaceship Earth] Oh, nifty. To all who've come to this... happy place (?), welcome. I'm Some Jerk with a Camera.

[Camera zooms in to Spaceship Earth and cross dissolves into a montage of footage of the making of Epcot and vacation footage of the theme park as the titles appear]

Jerk [v/o]: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. In all of Disney history has there ever been a more frustrating acronym. It's been thirty years since the opening of Epcot Center and it still inspires countless arguments. It's Walt Disney's last dream, it almost bankrupted the entire company. There's no other theme park like it, for a reason. There's booze, my feet hurt.

[Cut to Jerk at the Epcot entrance. The camera zooms out and reveals Jerk, not noticing the camera, talking to himself with his hands.]

Jerk: [Dad] It's educational. [Child] I wanna go to Magic Kingdom. [Dad] Well, we took the wrong monorail, so we're here now. [Child] We took the wrong monorail because you can't read, Dad! [Dad] Well you were a horrible mistake. I forgot to wear a mi-

Doggans: [offscreen] Jerk! [Jerk notices and stops]

Jerk: Like all acronyms, Epcot may sound like a particularly nasty STD, but unlike an STD, Epcot began as a wondrous burst of output which lead into a lifetime of painful regret.

Jerk [v/o]: It began life at Disney in the early '60's in heavy secrecy under the name 'Project X'. And once Walt was finished videotaping teenagers putting a car in the pool, he called it a movie and his life on the planet was complete... but then he got bored and decided to make Disney World.

Jerk: Last night, I got bored and I WATCHED Project X. Where's MY millions of tourists? Didn't have Matthew Broderick or a chimp.

Jerk [v/o]: Having already conquered the worlds of film, television and tourism, Walt's next step seemingly was to flat out take over the world.

Evil Queen: [with the audio from M. Bison] Of course.

Jerk [v/o]: He wanted to take everything he learned from Disneyland and apply it towards building a real city, an experimental prototype community of tomorrow if you will, a place where the titans of industry could all open headquarters and grant the populous access to their latest and greatest innovations, thus making EPCOT a perpetual city of the future.

Jerk: So in a way, Walt had the idea for Silicon Valley before Silicon Valley, only his zeros were Mouse ears and his ones were bulimic princesses. But, of course, the same uncreative businessmen who swore Disneyland would never work now just wanted another Disneyland they knew would work. I wish that didn't make sense.

Disney/Jerk: Hi, I'm Walt Disney.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: Hi, I'm a wealthy businessman.

Disney/Jerk: I wanna make the first sound cartoon.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Disney/Jerk: I wanna make the first feature-length cartoon.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Disney/Jerk: I wanna build Me-land.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Disney/Jerk: Hey look! They built Me-land and it worked.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: Good, now build more of them.

Disney/Jerk: No, now I wanna make the city of the future.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Disney/Jerk: Then, I wanna discover the secret to cold fusion.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Disney/Jerk: Then, I wanna build a slaughterhouse that'll manufacture cows by running backwards.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Disney/Jerk: Then, I wanna bring an entire race of super-intelligent pancakes that can tell time, build rockets, go to Mars and beat all the Martians so much that they get fat, blow up and give us all free fireworks.

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: Are you high?

Disney/Jerk: Nope, the only things I smoke put a tumor in my neck and kill me. [Disney and the businessman laugh together for an extensive time]

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: Seriously, if you don't turn my money into money, I will guillotine your whole family.

Child/Jerk: [on the gallows] What?

Disney/Jerk: He's bluffing.

Jerk: So, a compromise was reached. To appease the bankers, the project would be called "Disney World". And it would include another Disneyland-esque theme park. But as far as Walt was concerned, EPCOT was the raison d'etre. EPCOT was to be the Fantasia to Disneyland's Snow White, preferably without the crushing failure this time. Even for Walt, it was probably too ambitious and had he succeeded, who knows where he would have stopped? A Disney state? A Disney country? A Disney planet? A Disney galaxy?! Would every cell in the universe have grown mouse ears? Would the mouse ears have grown mouse ears have grown mouse ears have grown mouse ears have grown mouse ears have grown mouse ear--?

[cut to a "Technical difficulties" logo, reading "Cranial Re-Modulation In Progress". The music that plays in the background is "Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor On the Bedpost Overnight?"]

[cut to Jerk standing in front of the castle while the "Dream Along with Mickey" show plays in the background]

Jerk: [moving like an animatronic figure with a deeper, robotic voice] The Walt Disney Company has never conspired to control the world. They know nothing about the secret program which does NOT even exist, where Bolivian mice are certainly NOT being trained to crawl inside human brains and control them. Please enjoy this clip of a monkey wearing a hat.

[cut to said clip]

Jerk: Hehe, monkey.

[cut to the land acquiring footage]

Jerk [v/o]: So after scouting up and down the East Coast, Walt settled on Central Florida for the location of his new Waltopia because nothing stimulates industry like 900% humidity and complaining bunny rabbits.

[cut to Phil Buni]

Phil Buni: You know what else? People in Florida always misuse the word "Literally." That LITERALLY makes my head explode every time--

[cut to Jerk standing in Hollywood Studios]

Jerk: Phil?! That episode was 15 months ago, have you been bitching about Florida this whole time?

Phil: Wellll, every so often I bitch about GLEE for 10 minutes. There's multiple threads of the rich tapestry of things that piss me off. The Great Circle of Bitch, if you will.

Jerk: Whatever makes you unhappy.

Phil: And here's ANOTHER stupid thing-- have you heard about this new race of Bolivian mice that can crawl inside the human brai--

[cut to the same "Technical Difficulties" logo from earlier with that music]

Jerk [v/o]: Before too long, Disney bought up a mass of Florida swampland twice the size of Manhattan, and before even less long, Walt was showing off his new toy on camera.

Walt Disney: By far, the most important part of our Florida project [cut to the same footage in "One Man's Dream/Walt Disney Presents" pavilion] will be our Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. It's the most exciting and challenging assignment we've ever tackled, [music cuts out] and speaking for myself and the entire Disney organization, we're ready to go right now.

Jerk/Director Not Unlike God: Aaaaaaand, cue the cancer. [crashing body sound] My work is done here. That's a life people, strike the set and burn 'em, say it frozen.

Jerk [v/o]: Even in the sad face of Uncle Walt's tragic nicotine-induced demise, God bless 'im, the remains of the company finished the Florida Project as best as they could without him. They even added his first name to the place in tribute [hence, Walt Disney World]. Trouble is, Walt was never really one to hire people who could lead for him, and the Walt Disney Company without him was kind of like a chicken with its head cut off [cue said footage, counting itself down seconds earlier as "Warning: Thing You Can't Unsee", set to "Yakety Sax" from Benny Hill]. All the means for going places were still there, but the reasons for doing so were suddenly vaguely mysterious.

Jerk: Here's the precise difference in management in a nutshell: When Walt was around, Epcot was the priority, and the Magic Kingdom was kind of an afterthought, because they'd already done Disneyland. [cut to him on the bench with the statue of Roy and Minnie] But when his brother Roy here was in charge, suddenly the Magic Kingdom became the priority, and Epcot became the afterthought. Because they'd already done Disneyland. The uncreative businessmen had struck again. Curse you, uncreative businessmen! Someday your reign of tyranny will end. Someday we 99-percenters will think of a plan to defeat you!

[cut to the same uncreative businessmen from earlier]

Wealthy businessman/Jerk: You fool, that'll never work!

Jerk: Yeah, you're probably right. Let's see what's on Twitter. [looks] Ohhh, Snooki, your feed is the REAL happiest place on Ear--

Roy Statue/Jerk: Heeeeeelp meeeeee. They've coated me in bronze and left me here to die. [Jerk slowly walks away] Please don't leave! Minnie's so abusive.

Minnie Statue/Jerk: What wuz dat, bitch?

Roy Statue/Jerk: Nothing!

Jerk: So when Roy [Walt] Disney World opened in 1971, it was remarkably Epcot-free, and it remained that way throughout the 1970s, perhaps out of fear of never living up to Walt's lofty standards. In the meantime, Hollywood was being taken over by auteur directors, even the children's films. And since the only auteur Disney thought they'd ever need was long dead, their stubbornly bland family-friendly "What would Walt have done" attitude was getting less profitable every year [Shaggy D.A., Pete's Dragon, Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Herbie Goes Bananas, The Fox and the Hound, Condorman].

[cut to Jerk standing in the queue for Rock 'N Roller Coaster]

Jerk: The one time they tried to make a gritty movie, it didn't go well.

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