Happy 30th Birthday, Epcot!
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of Epcot – then EPCOT Center – at Walt Disney World. If you grew up going to the park like I did, then you probably remember that, back then, EPCOT stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Whatever name you give it, it is still my favorite Disney park.
I realize that this dates me, but I remember getting to do a special “sneak preview” while Epcot was still under construction. Mom and I got to ride the new monorail line that went to Epcot and looped through Future World.
A lot has changed at Epcot over the years. While I still love the park (and rejoice at the resurrection of Captain EO – 54 viewings and counting), I miss a lot of the attractions of yesteryear. Most of all, I miss the original Journey Into Imagination and the oh-so-steampunk Dreamfinder. I also miss the Walter Cronkite version of Spaceship Earth: “Glorious Rome falls victim to the flames of excess.” That narration was magic. Of course, I’d love “just one more ride” on Horizons and World of Motion.
And yes, I admit it, I’d like to hang out with Bonnie Appetit or even The Fud Wrapper again. Have you eaten your Veggie, Veggie, Fruit, Fruit today?
Still, there is plenty to enjoy in today’s incarnation of Epcot. Mission: Space is an amazing feat of engineering, and I still love sitting down for The American Adventure. The park will always change: Walt Disney never intended for his parks to grow old and stale. As Epcot keeps moving forward, I look forward to seeing what’s next for my favorite park.