U.S.A. Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 11, 1982)
A Georgian mansion (colonial style structure) featuring the
Audio-Animatronic attraction the American Adventure, the Liberty
Inn restaurant, and the America Gardens Amphitheater.
United Kingdom Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 19, 1982)
British streets featuring the Rose & Crown Pub &
Dining Room restaurant, Pringle of Scotland shop, His
Lordship shop, Toy Soldier shop, and
Biscuit Barrel shop.
Mexico Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 21, 1982)
A Mesoamerican pyramid featuring the El Rio del
Tiempo attraction, the Artesanias Mexicanas shop,
and the Cantina de San Angel restaurant.
German Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 15, 1982)
An old German town platz with a risen statue of
St. George and the Dragon featuring Glas und
Porzellan shop, Biergarten restaurant,
Süssigkeiten shop, Der Bücherwurm shop,
Weinkeller shop, and the Der Teddybär shop.
Italy Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 14, 1982)
The city of Venice housing the Arcata d'Antigian
shop, the Il Bel Cristallo shop, and the L'Originale
Alfredo di Roma Ristorante restaurant.
Japan Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 20, 1982)
The torii (gate of honor) and the goju-no-to (five-story
pagoda) including Mitsukoshi Department Store,
Teppanyaki Dining Rooms restaurant, Yakitori House
restaurant, and the Mitsukoshi Restaurant.
France Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 20, 1982)
The Eiffel Tower, sitting beyond the entrance to the Palais
du Cinema, featuring the film Impressions de France, the
Plume et Palette shop, the Boulangerie Patisserie pastry
shop, La Maison du Vin shop, Les Chefs de France
restaurant, and the Au Petit Cafe restaurant.
China Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 3, 1982)
The Temple of Heaven featuing the Circle-
Vision 360 film Wonders of China.
Canada Pavilion (DEDICATED OCT 13, 1982)
The Hotel du Canada's French Gothic including the
Circle-Vision 360 film O Canada!, the Northwest
Mercantile Trading Post shop and Le Cellier restaurant.
World of Motion Pavilion
housing the General Motors Transcenter
auto display, and the animated film
The Water Engine.
Universe of Energy Pavilion
featuring Universe of Energy film, Mirrored Theater
film, Energy Creation Story film, and Energy, You
Make the World Go 'Round film.
information and guest services presenting
The EPCOT Earth Station Film.
the park's 18-story iconic sphere (sponsored by the
Bell System) housing an attraction designed with
the help of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury.
featuring the FutureCom display, sponsored by Bell.
including the Stargate fast-food facility, Centorium shop,
TravelPort attraction, Energy Exchange display, EPCOT
Computer Central display of computers, and Astuter
Computer Revue show in EPCOT Computer Control.
Sponsored by Kraft & housing the Listen to the Land
attraction, Tomorrow's Harvest tour, the Farmers
Market food court, the Kitchen Kabaret audio-
animatronic show, the Harvest Theatre showing the
film Symbiosis, and the Good Turn Restaurant.
Journey into Imagination Pavilion
including the Image Works area, and the Magic Eye
Theater showing the 3-D film Magic Journeys.
EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World opened on Friday
October 1, 1982. It was Disney's second theme park in
Florida and, based on square footage, was the largest
Disney theme park in the world at 260 acres (until 1998,
when Disney's Animal Kingdom opened). EPCOT Center was named
to reflect the ideals and values of EPCOT the city. (By 1995-96, the
name EPCOT Center was shortened to simply Epcot.)
Located at the front of the park is a plaque bearing Disney chairman and CEO
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.
The park's name derived from the acronym EPCOT (Experimental Prototype
Community of Tomorrow), a utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney. (He
sometimes used the word "City" instead of "Community" when expanding the
acronym.) Walt's original vision of EPCOT was for a model community, home to
twenty thousand residents, which would be a test bed for city planning and
organization. This vision was never realized. Walt wasn't able to obtain funding and
permission to start work on his Florida property until he agreed to build the Magic
Kingdom first - and he died 5 years before its opening day.
Instead of being a community consisting of homes and
businesses, the $1.2 billion EPCOT consists of Future
World and World Showcase. They feature the kinds of
exhibits which were popular at World's Fairs in the first two-thirds of the
20th century - in particular the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Many of the opening day attractions are still running today and of
course much has been added to Epcot since 1982 (such as the
Morocco & Norway Pavilions, Living Seas, Test Track, and Mission:
SPACE). Epcot may be the only place on Earth where you can
explore the whole world ... in just one day!
Future World Opening Day Pavilions -
showcasing the land, communication, imagination, energy & technology:
World Showcase Opening Day Pavilions -
a kaleidoscope of 9 nations from throughout the world brought together to
celebrate their cultural heritage, arts and entertainment:
OCTOBER 1, 1982 - THE DAY THE 21ST CENTURY BEGAN
Today Epcot has two entrances. But in 1982 only the entrance convenient to
the park's 162-acre parking area (which holds over 11,300 vehicles) and the
Epcot monorail station existed. The International Gateway entrance opened in
January 1990 near the France pavilion in World Showcase, providing park
access to guests staying in Epcot resort area hotels.
The television special
EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration
before the park's official dedication).
It was hosted by legendary
actor-singer-comic Danny Kaye.
"EPCOT 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 EPCOT
will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise." - Walt Disney
"On the banks of the 40-acre World Showcase Lagoon are Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The
American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Young adults from each
nation represented in World Showcase are among your hosts making this a true international exchange."
-Walt Disney World Monorail
Opening-day Cast Members received a packet with a commemorative coin
displaying Spaceship Earth and the text "The dawn of a new Disney era."
The park's October 1 debut was actually considered a "soft opening" and only
Spaceship Earth was dedicated on that day.
A Grand Opening Week was held from October 15 - 27 for celebrities, key press
and VIPs, and top executives from the corporations that sponsored attractions.
DID YOU KNOW ...
Walt Disney originally envisioned a
dome over the entire Epcot city in
order to have complete control over
DID YOU KNOW ...
There is a marker in Epcot showing the
exact center of the park. It is located
to the west of Innoventions West on the
path that leads to the Land.
THIS SITE MADE IN THE USA
DID YOU KNOW ...
Epcot took three years to build -
at the time the largest construction
project on Earth!
DID YOU KNOW ...
Unlike the Magic Kingdom, Epcot only
contains tunnels underneath the buildings that
contain Innoventions East, the Electric
Umbrella, MouseGear, Innoventions West, and
the building housing Club Cool and Fountain
View Ice Cream.
""We know what our goals are. We know what we
hope to accomplish. And believe me, it’s the most
exciting and challenging assignment we've ever
tackled." -Walt Disney (1966)
"EPCOT is truly a doorway to the 21st Century." -U.S. President Ronald Reagan
"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 EPCOT." -Walt Disney
To open EPCOT in 1982, Disney World revolutionized public relations by providing free satellite uplinks
for local TV stations all over North America to broadcast live from the event. Only the networks used
satellite feeds back then, mostly for sports and political conventions. But local stations were starting to
acquire their own downlinks for syndicated program feeds. So Disney rented uplink dishes, provided
camera crews and invited broadcast stations to send reporters and producers.