It’s WDW’s 40th anniversary this year, and there have been so many great moments during that time. But for me, the best thing that’s happened to Walt Disney World in 40 years would have to be the opening of EPCOT Center on October 1, 1982.
Walt Disney dreamed of a city that would become a showcase for innovation, exploration, and design. After Walt’s death, Imagineers sought to realize his vision of a futuristic city that would inspire visitors and celebrate the spirit of invention. From the dedication speech:
To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship—welcome. EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney's creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere in the world. - E. Cardon Walker
When EPCOT Center first opened, it didn’t have all the bells and whistles and E-ticket attractions it has today. Future World contained only four pavilions (The Land, Universe of Energy, Spaceship Earth, and World of Motion) and the World Showcase had nine (Mexico, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, France, and Canada). Over time, more pavilions would be added, some would be taken away, some would be replaced, big attractions would move in, we’d meet a little purple dragon named Figment, and EPCOT Center would become Epcot.
I write about Epcot a lot on this blog, and it’s always been my favorite piece of WDW. And even though Walt Disney World contains all kinds of magic and princesses and castles and roller coasters and Yetis, my favorite part of any WDW trip is always that first stroll through Innoventions Plaza. Epcot, more than any other park, captures the spirit of Walt Disney’s vision for the future, even though he never got to see it. And yeah, the Epcot of today sometimes deviates from the original mission (adding Nemo and Co. to Seabase Alpha and letting Kim Possible infiltrate the World Showcase are both tragedies). But more often than not - when I see the monorail glide past, or when I watch the Segway tour roll by, or when I experience that moment of awe when you reach the top of Spaceship Earth – I think, Walt would have liked this.
Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Manda’s Disney Blog.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad
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* WDW Things That Never Cease to Amaze Me
* Book Review: The Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia