Monday, October 1, 2012

Walt Disney World's EPCOT Turns 30

All artwork (C) Disney
Lake Buena Vista, FL (October 1, 2012) -- Thirty years ago today, EPCOT at Walt Disney World opened its doors as Epcot Center.  The combination of two unique themed entertainment concepts, Future World and World Showcase, opening day pavilions included: Spaceship Earth, Universe of Energy, World of Motion, Journey into Imagination (ride portion opened March 5, 1983), The Land, Communicore, Mexico, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.

The park's first and second anniversaries were marked by the openings of Horizons, with its 240' wide IMAX Omnisphere screen, and Morocco, respectively.  Other pavilions to open over the years have included  The Living Seas (now The Seas with Nemo and Friends), Innoventions (replacing Communicore), Test Track (replacing World of Motion), Wonders of Life, Mission: Space (replacing Horizons), and Norway.

The park's concept is loosely based on the Walt Disney Company's idea from the 1960's for a planned city at Walt Disney World, known as the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT,
1978 concept painting of Future World by Tim Delaney
Herb Ryman concept painting of Horizons pavilion, which opened Oct 1, 1983
Concept painting of transportation level, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Herb Ryman concept of International Shopping District in EPCOT the city, forerunner of World Showcase
1974 concept of World Showcase.  A separate park from Future World, nations would occupy a shopping center-like structure, with each having different pavilion sizes but equal sized facades.