EPCOT

EPCOT dedication - October 24, 1982 read by Card Walker

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.


EPCOT or as Walt Disney originally called it , the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt's original dream for EPCOT was a city where guests would be able to live, work, and play. It was supposed to be the city of tomorrow and a showcase of American ingenuity. In his last film, which was taped October 27, 1966 and titled the "Florida Film", he went into detail about the entire Florida Project and EPCOT in some great detail. The theme park that the Walt Disney Company built and opened on October 1, 1982 was much different. The park was more of a permanent World's Fair. It had pavilions from corporations and nations. Later in the late 1990s the Walt Disney Company opened a planned City called Celebration. They ran it for several years and eventually sold it off in the early 2000s.

EPCOT (originally called EPCOT Center) was the second Disney theme park to open on the Florida property. It isroughly twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. The monorail system was extended to connect the two parks. EPCOT consisted of two halves(think of an hourglass with the top being North and the Bottom being South). The North being Future World. Future World is were corporations sponsored an attraction based more on science, whether it be transportation, imagination, cultivation, etc.. The South half of the park is called World Showcase. Here nations sponsor an area on their country. The park originally opened with nine (Canada, United Kingdom, France, Japan, U.S.A., Italy, Germany, China, and Mexico). Morocco opened a few years later and Norway a few years after that.

 

Geek's Thoughts & Suggestions

EPCOT is one of the Geek's favorite Disney parks. The scope, size, and implementation of the theme is incredible. As you walk around World Showcase Lagoon you are treated to the sites, sounds, and smells of various nations of the world(represented in several pavilions around the lagoon) . You have the opportunity to learn a little about the country, either from the Disney exhibits and attractions or from the many cast members working the pavilions (most of them are from the nation they are working in and are part of an exchange program where they get to come to the states to work and study for a while). Future World gives you insight into some cutting edge technologies and experiences.

EPCOT is Disney's Largest theme park to date (yes Animal Kingdom has a larger land area, but most of the park is off limits to guests and reserved for Animals only or the attractions themselves). This means that the park can absorb and dissipate a much larger crowd than the other theme parks.

Geek Tip
When picking meeting spots in EPCOT be very specific. It sounds extremely cool to say we will meet you in Canada at 3:00pm, but the problem is Canada is a rather large area and consists of several shops, restaurants, walkways, shows, etc…. and you could spend quite a while looking for your party. So be specific when planning meeting spots.

The key to a successful trip to EPCOT I think is to allow plenty of time. Do not try to squeeze everything in a single day. The park is twice the area of the Magic Kingdom so that means there is a lot of walking and things to look at. If you have really young kids odds are 80% of EPCOT will bore them. Some of the attractions like Journey into Imagination work real well with young kids, but World Showcase usually does not go over that well.

A great way to experience the Disney parks is by taking a guided tour. Disney offers several. Check out our Guided Tours section for more information. The EPCOT tours are listed below, click on the active ones to read my thoughts and trip logs from them.

Behind the Seeds (1hr)
DiveQuest (2.5hr)
Dolphins in Depth (3.5hr)
Gardens of the World (3hr)
Hidden Treasures (varies depending on options)
Undiscovered Future World (4.5 hr)
Around the World @ EPCOT (the Segway Experience) (2 hr)



Quick Facts
  • EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
  • Opened October 1, 1982 (opening day stats below)
    • EPCOT Center 300 acres
    • EPCOT Center Parking Lot 210 acres (11,391 vehicles)
    • 24 attractions, 30 food locations, 71 merchandise locations
    • Nearly 3,000 designers and 4000 construction workers involved in the building phase 1
    • By the end of the first year of operation the park cost $1 billion
    • During 3 years of building over 10,000 workers representing 18 unions 22 general contractors and 500 sub-contractors participated in construction
    • A 1/8th inch scale model of this park covered over 1,428 sq. ft. which is larger than most homes
    • 54 million cubic ft. of earth were moved in construction
    • EPCOT shows and attraction were built to be played 14 hours a day 365 days a year
    • More than 1.5 million ft. of motion picture film was shot to produce 31 original EPCOT shows
    • After editing some 73,000 ft. of film represents the work of 16 production crews in more than 30 countries and every state in the U.S.

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