Excitement of discovery:
Walt Disney envisioned a showcase for innovation. A place where people could experience the cutting edge of technology. A place celebrating human achievement. The embryo of an idea grew to become Epcot, the Disney discovery park — 305 acres of attractions, shows, interactive presentations, dining, shopping and architectural wonders where guests are immersed in a celebration of both technological accomplishments and international cultural achievements.
Planning the dream:
On Oct. 1, 1978, Card Walker, then president of Walt Disney Productions, revealed plans for Epcot Center, a theme park inspired by Walt’s philosophies. A groundbreaking ceremony was held one year later.
Epcot—Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow—was designed with two “lands” of discovery: Future World and World Showcase. Future World showcases the land, the seas, communication, imagination, energy and technology. World Showcase is a kaleidoscope of nations from throughout the world brought together to celebrate their cultural heritage, arts and entertainment.
Celebrating human achievement:
The opening of Innoventions in 1994 marked an exciting addition to the Epcot experience. This ever-changing exposition of gadgets and gizmos in the heart of Future World gives Epcot guests an opportunity to see, feel and touch the latest inventions and innovations that may change the way they live their lives.
On Oct. 1, 1982, Epcot opened. The dedication plaque reads:
“To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.
“Epcot Center is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative genius. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the 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.”‘ …E. Cardon Walker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walt Disney Productions, Oct. 24, 1982
The lay of the land:
Size: 305 acres
Two Worlds: Two distinct areas: Future World, a showcase of new ideas and technology; and World Showcase, villages celebrating 11 nations situated along a 1.3-mile promenade that encircles the 40-acre World Showcase Lagoon.
Entrances: Epcot has two entrances. The original entrance is convenient to the parking area and monorail station (the monorail runs between Epcot and Magic Kingdom Transportation and Ticket Center three miles to the north). The International Gateway entrance opened in 1990 near the France pavilion in World Showcase, providing park access to guests staying in Epcot resort area hotels.
Groundbreaking: Oct. 1, 1979
Opening Day: Oct. 1, 1982
Renamed to Epcot: 1994
Special Events and Openings: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, 1993, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, 1997
Future World pavilions:
- Spaceship Earth, 1982
- The Land, 1982
- Imagination!, 1982
- Universe of Energy, 1982
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends, 2006 (Original Living Seas: 1986)
- Innoventions, 1994
- Test Track (presented by General Motors), 1999
- Mission: SPACE (presented by HP), 2003
World Showcase pavilions:
- Mexico, 1982
- China, 1982
- The American Adventure, 1982
- Germany, 1982
- Italy, 1982
- Japan, 1982
- France, 1982
- Canada, 1982
- United Kingdom, 1982
- Morocco, 1984
- Norway, 1988