Happy 30th Anniversary, EPCOT Center! Right now fans at the park are celebrating the occasion with lots of anniversary-related activities. 30 years ago this month guest participated in a number of ceremonies and dedications. Even Walt Disney's widow, Lillian Disney, attended some of the festivities. We present some extremely rare (possibly never-before-shared) event photos and more never-before-posted guest photos from our Photo Hunt.
Opening Day Ceremonies, October 1, 1982
Card Walker conducted the ceremony. EPCOT Center's "First Family" was recognized. The Winter Park, FL residents got up that morning at 4 a.m. and dodged park security until the parking lot was finally open at 7 a.m. As soon as they drove in Dick and Paula Cason told their kids to run to the gate so they'd be the first family to enter. Card Walker presented lifetime Walt Disney World passes to the family.
Watch it here.
Later that month on October 24 Card Walker welcomed Lillian Disney to a stage on the other side of Spaceship Earth in front of the fountain.
Did any of you out there happen to be in either of these crowds??
The day before a ceremony took place that officially dedicated World Showcase. The large "People of the World" dolls paraded around. Disney characters weren't a part of EPCOT Center until later on. These costumed people met with guests in World Showcase instead.
The "People of the World" or "EPCOT Pageant Dolls" were eventually retired. Here we see a rare group shot on their very last day of appearance.
Michael Eisner and others made way for more recognizable characters to appear.
And finally, a real treat for you seekers of the super rare, super obscure, and perhaps super mundane. There are only five or so photos of this known to exist online. "The Lost Potties of Denmark"! I borrow this term from our friend Michael Crawford of Progress City, U.S.A. who has extensively researched to topic. The full Denmark Pavilion never happened but restrooms with Danish architecture were built. Here we see them behind the construction wall as the Norway Pavilion is being built. You can see construction of the Stave Church.
EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 1]
EPCOT 30TH: A Photo Tour of the Past [Part 2]
Rhine River Cruise Mysteries
EPCOT Construction from the Air
THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: Epcot World Showcase [Part 2]
World Showcase Lagoon- 1983