Epcot Theme Park Turns 30 today!

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Epcot (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Epcot (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Disney News: Happy Birthday Epcot!

Back in 1982, Disney World welcomed visitors to Epcot on October 1st for the very first time. One of Walt Disney’s  original Florida Project ideas, it was Card Walker, the Walt Disney Productions president in the 1980s, that dedicated EPCOT by saying “Our goals for EPCOT Center are quite clear, we want to first entertain, then inform and inspire all who come here.”  It’s now been thirty years that guests have been wandering through the many attractions and exhibits in the Future World and then strolling along the 1.3 mile route that borders the 40-acre World Showcase Lagoon as they are introduced to 11 world nations.

From the world pavilions to the renowned International Food & Wine Festival, Epcot has been a major focal point of Disney for the last thirty years – here’s a look at how it all started.

The History

It was in 1978, that plans for Epcot Center were first unveiled. Epcot was an acronym that stood for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” and designed with areas for discovery: Future World and World Showcase, just as it is today.  Future World would highlight the land, the seas, communication, technology, energy and imagination, while the World Showcase would focus on world nations. One year later, on October 1st, 1979, Disney World broke ground for Epcot, and three years later they had their opening day. It was in 1994 that the word “Center” was dropped from the name.

Epcot construction (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Epcot construction (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Dedication Plaque

During Epcot’s opening, a dedication plaque was placed to welcome everyone to a place of “joy, hope and friendship” with the following words:

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.”‘ …E. Cardon Walker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walt Disney Productions, Oct. 24, 1982

Here’s to hope for people and the world!

Epcot’s World Showcase pavilions and the year they were built:

  • Mexico, 1982
  • France, 1982
  • Italy, 1982
  • United Kingdom, 1982
  • Germany, 1982
  • China, 1982
  • Japan, 1982
  • The American Adventure, 1982
  • Canada, 1982
  • Morocco, 1984
  • Norway, 1988

Tell us…

Were you at Epcot the day it opened?