Happy Birthday Epcot!
If you listen to Theme Park Thursdays, you know we often discuss just how old Frank is. I’m here to tell you, it’s completely true. BUT he’s not as old as Magic Kingdom (yet). I, on the other hand, share a birth year with Epcot.
October 1, 1982 Spaceship Earth welcomed us to Walt Disney World’s second park. I was 9 months old. Future World and the World Showcase brought Walt’s vision of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow to life.
In 2004, I was lucky enough to begin working in Epcot. Not only that, but my job was to share current and future technologies with guests. Was it a coincidence that I began working in the park that opened the same year I was born? A cosmic connection? Fate? Perhaps. Either way, I am thankful I had that opportunity. Today, I get to share Walt Disney World with my children. Growing up with Disney as our second home, it’s quite a surreal experience to share it with a new generation.
*Photo credit: guide-to-disney.com
I leave you now with Walt’s vision for Epcot:
“But the most exciting and by far the most important part of our Florida project… in fact, the heart of everything we’ll be doing in Disney World… will be our Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow! We call it E.P.C.O.T.
E.P.C.O.T will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems.
And E.P.C.O.T will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise. I don’t believe there’s a challenge anywhere in the world that’s more important to people everywhere than finding solutions to the problems of our cities. But where do we begin… how do we start answering this great challenge? Well, we’re convinced we must start with the public need. And the need is for starting from scratch on virgin land and building a special kind of new community.
So that’s what E.P.C.O.T is… an experimental prototype community that will always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future, where people actually live a life they can’t find anywhere else in the world. Everything in E.P.C.O.T will be dedicated to the happiness of the people who will live, work, and play here… and to those who come here from all around the world to visit our living showcase. We don’t presume to know all the answers. In fact, we’re counting on the cooperation of American industry to provide their best thinking during the planning and creation of our Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow….
And most important of all, when E.P.C.O.T has become a reality and we find the need for technologies that don’t even exist today, it’s our hope that E.P.C.O.T will stimulate American industry to develop new solutions that will meet the needs of people expressed right here in this experimental community.”
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-Jen aka Sister Dillo