Twenty five years ago today final touches were being put on the theme park that would forever change what the world thought of the Walt Disney Company. EPCOT Center was hours away from an amazing live television special that would announce to the world all the marvelous things to come from what was, in fact, the last dream of Walt Disney himself. It must have been a huge emotional high for those involved in making it a reality.
The Disney Enquirer has a look at what Disney has orchestrated for tomorrow. Looks good. I saw a preview of some of the new merchandise and saw at least a few items I’d like to buy. The main ceremony is at 10:01AM at the Fountain of Nations Plaza you’ll want to arrive early to make sure you get a good view.
The Orlando Sentinel has a nice roundup on its own. The main story looks back at the early years and ponders what the future will bring. They also have 25 points of interest about EPCOT, and a follow up post to that with some more trivia from one of the theme park rangers.
Here’s a bit more trivia from my files:
- When Epcot opened on October 1, 1982. it encompassed over 300 acres. The Epcot Parking Lot was over 100 acres by itself and held 11,391 vehicles.
- Epcot’s 300 acres is approximately just one-percent of the total size of the Walt Disney World Resort. Less than 8000 acres, or about 25 percent, of the property are currently developed.
- The opening ceremonies for Epcot were broadcast on the CBS network in a special hosted by Danny Kaye. That show included lots of other entertainers including a young Drew Barrymore and Marie Osmond.
- Disney Imagineers and Kodak photography experts researched to find the perfect color for the pavement in Epcot. A custom shade of pink that made the grass look greener and pictures look brighter was eventually chosen.
- If the Geodesic Sphere housing Spaceship Earth were a golf ball, the person hitting the ball would be over 1 mile tall. If the golfer was playing on a 200 yard hole, it would have to be nearly 134 miles long – the average width of Florida’s peninsula – following the same scale. That’s a big par 3.
- The distance to walk around the World Showcase Lagoon is 2 Kilometers or 1.24 miles. At its deepest point the Lagoon is just 15 ft deep.