Sponsored by….   Leave a comment

As we all know, Epcot Pavilions tend to have sponsors. When EPCOT Center opened in 82′, all of the Future World pavilions were sponsored, giving it even more of the World’s Fair feel. But in 1994, Horizons became the first pavilion to lose a sponsor. Sadly, that contributed to its death. Nowadays, most pavilions do not have sponsors. Some of the still-active sponsors advertise what they do very well (Test Track, for example), while others have what they do hidden away (Sum of All Thrills). Some just aren’t very obvious. In this discussion, I will list all future world attractions and their sponsors, what their sponsors do.

Spaceship Earth

  • Bell System (1982-1984)-the American Bell Telephone Company and AT&T led organization that provided telephone service in the United States from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly.
  • AT&T (1984-2004)-originally the American Telephone & Telegraph Company, is an American telecommunications company that provides voice, video, data, and Internet telecommunications and professional services to businesses, consumers, and government agencies.
  • Siemens AG (2007-present)-Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate. Since 1 January 2008, the company is divided into 3 sectors- Industry Sector, Energy Sector, Healthcare Sector.

Siemens is really an odd sponsor for this pavilion as it has nothing to do with communication. The previous sponsors, and sponsors for other pavilions (with maybe the exception of Mission Space), always had to do with what the pavilion was about. With Siemens as sponsor, the ride has shifted focus from communication to developing technologies. It has, in my opinion, ruined the decent. Not because it’s gutted and full of triangles and curtains, but because it has nothing to do with communication. It’s become more like a Horizons kind of looking at the future.

Universe of Energy

  • Exxon (1982-1996)-a brand of motor fuel and related products sold by ExxonMobil (Which would later sponsor it). From 1972 to 1999, Exxon was the corporate name of the company previously known as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey or Jersey Standard.
  • ExxonMobil (1996-2004) -The Exxon Mobil Corporation, or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil.

Wonders of Life

  • MetLife (1989-2001)-MetLife is the second largest life insurer in the United States, with more than $3.3 trillion of life insurance in force. A leader in savings and retirement products and services for individuals, small business, and large institutions, MetLife serves 90 of the largest Fortune 100 companies.

The ending of MetLife’s sponsorship lead to the closure of this pavilion. The conference room is said to be one of the most advanced in Epcot, and was hardly ever used.

Horizons

  • General Electric (1983-1993) -“From jet engines to power generation, from financial services to water processing, and medical imaging to media content…”

It should seem fitting to call Horizons the sequel to Carousel of Progress, not only for the family, but because of the sponsor. GE sponsored the CoP in Disneyland, WDW, and the World’s Fair.  GE’s Theme Song (We Bring Good Things to Life) was even infused into Horizons’ exit corridor music loop.

Mission:SPACE

  • Hewlett-Packard-HP specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as a diverse range of printers and other imaging products.

Originally, Compaq had sponsored the pavilion. But Compaq was bought out by HP in 2002, before Mission Space opened. Some say that this is one of the reasons Mission Space didn’t become what the original plans called for. Personally, I’d love to see SpaceX or another space-flight company to sponsor it.

World of Motion/Test Track

  • General Motorsalso known as GM, is a United States-based automaker with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. GM manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries.

General Motors was the first company to sign up for an Epcot pavilion. After seeing the great success Ford had in the 64′ World’s Fair, they didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to team up with Disney. They haven’t pulled out yet, and the coming refurb shows signs of them remaining sponsor (albeit, focusing more on Chevy than their other brands).

Journey Into Imagination Pavilion

  • Kodak (1982-2010)-a multinational US corporation which produces imaging and photographic materials and equipment. Long known for its wide range of photographic film products, Kodak is re-focusing on two major markets: digital photography and digital printing.

Kodak pulled out in 2010. They still sponsor the park maps, the 3D shows (excluding EO), and probably have something to do with photopass as well. As cameras become more accessible and everyday, Kodak is really on it’s last legs. It’s no wonder they pulled out.

The Land Pavilion

  • Kraft Foods Inc. (October 1, 1982 – September 26, 1993)-is the largest confectionery, food, and beverage corporation headquartered in the United States
  • Nestle (September 27,1993 – Early 2009)-the largest nutrition and foods company in the world, Nestlé has a wide range of products across a number of markets including coffee (Nescafé), bottled water, other beverages, chocolate, ice cream, infant foods, performance and healthcare nutrition, seasonings, frozen and refrigerated foods, confectionery and pet food.
  • Chiquita Brands International (Living with the Land sponsor as of 2011)-an American producer and distributor of bananas and other produce, under a variety of subsidiary brand names, collectively known as Chiquita.

Who knows what this Chiquita sponsor will do for Living with the Land? Perhaps some nice sprucing up and a new ending isn’t too much to ask for?

The Living Seas Pavilion

  • United Technologies (1986-2001)-researches, develops, and manufactures high-technology products in numerous areas, including aircraft engines, helicopters, heating and cooling, fuel cells, elevators and escalators, fire and security, building systems, and industrial products, among others.

UT also owned Otis Elevator Company, who constructed the Hydrolators in the pavilion.

(Since Innoventions has way to many sponsors for me -or anyone- to talk about, I’m going to highlight one exhibit)

Sum of All Thrills

  • Raytheonis a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in defense systems and defense and commercial electronics. Raytheon is the world’s largest producer of guided missiles.

Bet ya didn’t see that coming! But this division of the company is probably not the main sponsor. If you have actually gone to the website on that card you get (and I recommend that you do), you can see what section of Raytheon is the more likley main sponsor. And that is:

  • “Math Moves U”-in November 2005 Raytheon launched ‘MathMovesU’, an educational initiative intended to make math and science more interesting and accessible for young people, funded by $1 million in annual grant
*All company descriptions (excepting GE) come from Wikipedia

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

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