Even though The Living Seas pavilion was being planned as early as 1978, it still wasn’t ready in time for opening day. The original design of the seas was different from the others, in the respect that it features more a more organic architecture, and a more fantastical approach.
The original concept for the living seas was a large, dramatic pavilion that featured a dark ride, and a huge fish tank. Entering through a sandy cove you were greeted in a preshow theater by the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. Who welcomes us to visit and explore the underwater world.
The main dark ride in the pavilion would have been expansive. Your vehicle of choice would be a completely glass bubble. Animatronic fish, huge detailed sets, shark attacks, shipwrecks, and many visual effects would make the ride a must see. You would be able to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the continental shelf. And for the finale, the ride would enter a 200 ft. diameter tank. The ride would empty into a futuristic research station much like seabase alpha, featuring exhibits about the sea, and a restaurant with a dive chamber going through it.
As planning continued, the shift was made to a more realistic and scientific pavilion, which ultimately meant the removal of the dark ride. There existed many versions of the pavilion that borrowed ideas from both versions, but ultimately the Living Seas was built under the sponsorship of United Technologies.
(Who may or may not have had a say in the development of the pavilion.)
EPCOT was truly a challenge for the Walt Disney Company. And these were only 3 of the many ideas that never made it into the finished product, EPCOT Center. The great thing about these ideas and concepts is that they can still be used and they can still inspire new ideas today! Which may lead to inspire some ideas I have… 😉
Keep on dreaming,