This past Sunday was the 35th anniversary of the opening of EPCOT Center, the second park at Walt Disney World in Florida. The park’s name has since been shortened to just Epcot, mostly lower-case and no “Center,” but those are not the only changes that the park has undergone.
We were not there for the actual anniversary, but we were there back in December, which is when this photo was taken. Although many things have changed since those old days, at least they still have Spaceship Earth there, and it still looks great at night thanks to some dramatic lighting.
In fact, you might say that Spaceship Earth is about the only thing that has not changed all that much from when the park first opened. Most of the other Future World pavilions have had a change in focus and/or theme, so that much of Future World is not even focused on the future anymore. Spaceship Earth still has that overall focus, at least for now. With the addition of Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Future World to go along with Nemo and Friends, things just are not quite the same.
World Showcase is suffering much the same fate, with the additions over the years of the Three Caballeros in Mexico and Frozen in Norway. The recent announcement of the Ratatouille ride coming to France leaves you wondering what might be next as Epcot continues to shift from a park about the future to just another park with rides and Disney characters.
I wrote five years ago for Epcot’s 30th anniversary about how Epcot isn’t EPCOT, referring to Walt Disney’s original concept of an actual futuristic city named EPCOT, but now Epcot isn’t even EPCOT Center anymore. That is how time (and upper management) changes things, I guess.
I do have to honestly say that Epcot is still a fun park. I enjoy the attractions that are there, and most all of them are well done in the Disney way of doing things. However, I have not seen the Frozen attraction in Norway because of big crowds, which itself speaks of how most people see the changes to Epcot over the years. The average theme park visitor appears to enjoy all of the character infusions that Epcot has had over the years. The Three Caballeros are fun to see in Mexico, and the Ratatouille attraction’s first incarnation in Disneyland Paris looks pretty interesting. And Walt Disney World finally gets a Marvel attraction with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Although I was not there for the opening of EPCOT Center, I was there in the early days. I probably did not realize at the time of my first visit that the park had not yet been open a full year. I just thought it was cool.
And while I still think that it is pretty cool, I sometimes long for those old days when the future was still futuristic.
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. - Psalm 37:37
About the Photos
I was looking back through the photos of our December 2016 trip and realized that there are still several that I have not shared yet. And I felt that these go well with my thoughts on Epcot’s anniversary that I had been kicking around in my head. So here they are for you to see. A nice, round think like Spaceship Earth was definitely made for fisheye lenses, too. Just my own opinion, but I have these photos to back it up.
Photos: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: December 20, 2016
Location: Epcot, Walt Disney World, Florida