New Disney Dish Podcast w/ Jim Hill: Epcot’s Habit Heroes and IBM Think!

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Join Jim and me as we review the new Habit Heroes and IBM Think! attractions at Epcot’s Innoventions. Jim also talks about the challenges in maintaining the “future” part of Future World. Here’s the link to listen in iTunes. Here’s the direct MP3 file.

One of the ideas discussed for keeping Future World “future-y” is to invite college and university R&D labs to exhibit their ideas. In 2008, for example, the folks at MIT’s User Innovation Lab were working with 3-D printers – three or four years before they became relatively common. Showing ideas such as those, while still in their infant stages, would give Epcot an element of “here’s the future” it’s (mostly) lacking.

How would you suggest Epcot bring back its future-looking perspective?

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Posted on March 19, 2013

2 Responses to “New Disney Dish Podcast w/ Jim Hill: Epcot’s Habit Heroes and IBM Think!”

  • by Andrew Drummond on March 20, 2013, at 9:22 am EDT

    The past 2 have been fabulous episodes (New Fantasyland and Innoventions). I really like this new format of a 20-30 minute episode about a particular attraction. If you’re looking for attractions to do in the future, I think that Kilimanjaro Safaris, Captain EO, The Great Movie Ride, and Space Mountain would make for good episodes. They are all attractions that are headliners that have either changed recently or are in relatively constant flux.

    I’m also really looking forward to when you guys talk about FastPass+. Between Jim’s take on the company and business reasons for the implementation choices to Len’s take on how the new system will positively and negatively impact touring, that will be a great episode (once the system launches for real I assume)

    Anyway, great show as always. I have tried virtually every Disny podacst that exists, and this is the only one that I make sure I get every single episode (well this and Of Mouse and Man).

    Yuo guys make commuting so much more fun.

    Thanks!

  • I have to say that I had trouble listening to this podcast, much as I did the last time Len and Jim discussed Habit Heroes. I can’t help but feel that Len and Jim would have had greater sensitivity had the targeted group been anyone other than fat people, and that makes me, as a fat listener/subscriber, question my support for the show and site.

    Let me say up front that I am a Disney theme park guest. I was offended by Habit Heroes when the posters were released, before it opened. I held out hope that the actual attraction would be better and more balanced in its depictions, but it wasn’t. I, like many Disney guests, was upset by the attraction. I, like many Disney guests, contacted Disney about it. That is, this wasn’t just some activist organization getting press for themselves, as I feel like Jim and/or the exec he spoke with was trying to imply.

    The attraction conflated the message of body size and health, both via the characters and the message. A thin person who is sedentary and eats poorly will be almost as unhealthy as a fat person who has those behaviors. Those behaviors may make the thin person fat or not; they’re still bad behaviors no matter what impact they have or don’t have on body size. Likewise, eating well and moving more are healthful behaviors, whether they impact your body size or not. To give a fat child the message, on vacation no less, that their body size alone makes them less healthy or less valid isn’t just mean, it’s dangerous to their long term health. Len and Jim were quick to note that “the message” is prevalent elsewhere. Yes, it is, sadly, very easy to see the message that fat people are bad, unhealthy, and unworthy in day-to-day life. That’s exactly why it didn’t need to be at WDW.

    I love visiting WDW. I respect that they edited the attraction based on feedback. The fact that they take feedback and value guests to that level is part of what I love. But what I love even more is that when I visit WDW, I’m treated like a person of value, not an inconvenience or annoyance due to my size. Habit Heroes, in its original form, flew right in the face of that acceptance. I’m very glad Disney decided to edit it.

    And, to me, whether the dismissive attitude I heard in the podcast was solely taken from the executive or was Len or Jim’s own attitude, it reinforced to me exactly why it was important to edit that attraction. We have enough prejudicial messages out there that fat is bad and thin is good, at the expense of health and more importantly at the expense of people. No one was benefiting from yet another one.