Thirty years ago today - October 1, 1982 - EPCOT Center opened to the public. Walt Disney World suddenly went from having one park, the Magic Kingdom, to having two. EPCOT Center focused on the future, in Future World, and it focused on the world, in World Showcase. EPCOT Center was a revolutionary park for Disney, in that it deviated from the tried and true format found in Disneyland and in the Magic Kingdom.
I had the great pleasure of visiting EPCOT Center for the first time in July 1983, just nine months after it opened, so everything was still new and exciting back then. And I loved it all - Spaceship Earth, the World of Motion, Journey into Imagination, the Land, the Universe of Energy, Communicore. Horizons was still being constructed, and it opened three months later. And the Monorail was running above it all.
World Showcase was pretty neat, too, but it didn’t appeal to a 12 year old boy quite as much as Future World did. I did enjoy El Rio del Tiempo in Mexico, and I thought that the American Adventure was a technological marvel. But I didn’t come to appreciate wandering through the countries without “attractions” until several years later.
EPCOT Center has grown and changed over the years. New attractions have come, and others have gone. Some attractions have changed slightly, and some have changed considerably. The park’s name has even changed from EPCOT Center to just Epcot.
I still enjoy Epcot just as much as I enjoyed EPCOT Center all those years ago. It is still a fun place to me, despite some of the changes that I may not always be happy about. In some ways, it seems like the focus on future technologies has been reduced somewhat, making Future World sometimes more of a Current World. I still enjoy many of its experiences, but I do sometimes miss the old days. Maybe some more good things are in store.
Today, as Epcot celebrates 30 years, here is hoping that its future is even brighter.
Check back tomorrow for another Epcot post!