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EPCOT's 25th - Denise from Mousesteps.com

This morning I was up at 6am for the Epcot 25th anniversary!   I waited until some light in the sky appeared, and I drove over to Epcot -  arriving at about 7:30am.  There weren't too many people there yet, I'd heard that a few arrived as early as 4:30am!!!   Hard to believe.  I'm not that committed. :)

I had signed up for the Epcot 25 event, though the nametag I received today didn't really do anything specific for me.  I had a great spot during the rededication, and a 2nd row seat for Marty Sklar on my own.   But it was nice to feel included for a little while anyway.

The CM's at Epcot let us in early, around 8am.  There were buttons and commemorative brochures, and the special t-shirt (which I did buy, even though I never normally pay full price for anything at Disney!)   The shirt is a replica of one I had as a teenager, right after Epcot first opened.   It's hard to believe I've been going to Epcot for 25 years, I still remember it being built.

I took photos around Spaceship Earth until the ropes were dropped past the pin station (which was busy all day and evening!).  I don't even know what todays pins looked like.   Once the rope dropped, I walked around a bit - then took a spot to stand for the ceremony.   One of the best parts of the ceremony for me was the music.  Lots of great Epcot songs, like "Listen to the Land" and "Making Memories".

The ceremony was nice - the highlight for me was Marty Sklar.  He's a Disney Legend, someone who has helped open all 11 Disney parks - and you can just tell that he respects Disney fans, as well as the legacy Walt Disney left behind.   I don't want to minimize the rest of the ceremony - we had some nice fireworks, Jim Macphee spoke, and there were cast members brought up onstage representing various countries, as well as areas in Epcot Future World.  But seeing Marty Sklar in person - both during the ceremony and during his talk at the Circle of Life - that was well worth todays visit.
After the rededication, a couple of friends and I made our way over to the Circle of Life to see Marty speak.   I wasn't sure if we'd get in, but we got the BEST seats, 2nd row center!  I don't know how we pulled it off.    Unfortunately, no photography was allowed.    However, that is because there were photos  and artwork that had never (to my knowledge) been shown before.    There was so much covered in the 1 hour that he spoke.  One of my favorite parts was seeing artwork for pavillions that never made it to the World Showcase.   Those included Denmark, Africa, Costa Rica and Iran.   The artwork was amazing, very detailed!  We also learned that America was originally going to be the first building in World Showcase - as one would enter.  But being that it was supposed to draw you into World Showcase, it was put across the lagoon.   The one hour with Marty Sklar was a great experience, I just wish it could have been longer.

I headed over to the Epcot exhibit briefly, I do plan to spend more time there.  The items on display include artwork, photographs and souvenirs from the early Epcot years.   It is interesting - but I wish it were even more detailed!

After uploading some photos to my website, I headed back to Epcot for dinner.  From Tutto Italia, we were going to find a place to stand for Illuminations.  However, it started raining torrentially for a half hour.  Then just as it seemed to be safe to go out, it started again.  The last time, I was all set up with my camera and tripod, and we had another 10 minutes of rain (which delayed the fireworks by about 5 minutes).   My camera wasn't handling the wet weather too well, so I have very few evening photos.  But Illuminations was amazing - a great ending for the 25th.   I was in the line of smoke, so I left Epcot with my wet socks over my shoulder, trying to get the chunks of soot from my eyes!

But in the end, it was a great day.    Not overdone, not underdone - Epcot had a wonderful 25th anniversary

For more pictures and coverage of the day, visit Denise's Website at http://mousesteps.com

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