Via Napoli Restaurant, Italy Pavilion at Epcot

Vintage Walt Disney World: Epcot 1982

posted on May 5th, 2011 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Hi, everyone. I’m Nate, an archivist in the Marketing Resource Center at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Resource Center is a giant library/archive filled with photography, video and marketing materials created by Disney Destinations.

Construction on the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, April 1982

In the course of my work, I often come across really fun stuff that I think Disney Parks Blog readers would find interesting. And what fun is an archive if you can’t share it with other passionate Disney fans?

For instance, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, take a look at this picture from April of 1982 that shows the Mexico Pavilion under construction in World Showcase at Epcot. While the park was about six months from opening, this picture captures the iconic Spaceship Earth in the background with its exterior already complete. All of this talk about the Mexico Pavilion makes me want a churro from La Cantina. Anyone else?

Watch for my posts in the coming weeks as I bring you more vintage Walt Disney World.

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

37 Comments 1 Reply

1

Kimberly from MA on May 5th, 2011 at 10:23 am

Great Picture!! I’d love to see more “under Construction” Pics of any of the parks. This is the stuff that sparks an interest with me.

2

Michael from NC on May 5th, 2011 at 10:26 am

More, please! Thanks!

3

Tim on May 5th, 2011 at 10:33 am

These early construction photos are fantastic. The more the merrier.

4

Eric from FL on May 5th, 2011 at 10:34 am

Oh man, I would love a churro right about now! Too bad I can’t be in Epcot on Cinco de Mayo, but at least pictures like these keep the dream alive. Thanks for sharing.

5

Dale from MD on May 5th, 2011 at 10:38 am

Wow!! Look at how much the bamboo has grown!!

More of these pics please. :-)

6

Eddie on May 5th, 2011 at 10:40 am

That is so awesome to see the construction of that pavilion. You sure have an interesting and very cool job Nate. Have a great day!

Steamboat Eddie

7

Amy on May 5th, 2011 at 10:46 am

Hi, Nate! Churros are fine, but I’d head to the awesome new tequila bar instead!

8

Katie on May 5th, 2011 at 11:02 am

Ooh, I’d love to dig through that archive of photos (is the archive related to THE VAULT? ;) ) Any chance we can get a series of posts about Disney-That-Was?

9

matt from AL on May 5th, 2011 at 11:14 am

I love vintage photos. I would like to see more of these in the future. I was in EPCOT center in 1984…..great memories.

10

Jennifer Fickley-Baker on May 5th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Hey everyone. Just popping on to Nate’s post to say that Nate will be a regular contributor to the blog. He’s going to aim to post a different vintage WDW photo each Thursday. Please keep checking back!

11

ryan from FL on May 5th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I love seeing pictures on the construction of Disney Parks.
I wasn’t even born yet when this picture had been taken. :P
That’s why I’ve been glued to updates on the Fantasyland Expansion, so I can watch as Disney Magic is built. ^_^

12

Phillip from MA on May 5th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Just left there 2 weeks ago the weather was great and the attractions were awesome. My 30 some odd years later for total happiness. Keep it up

13

Priscilla on May 5th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I love photos like these that show parts of the “World” stil under construction. Mexico is one of my favorite pavilions in World Showcase! I would love to see more images of the parks ways back when. Will definitely be checking back.

14

Karl from QC on May 5th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Such a great theme park. I’ve visited Epcot four times, and it’s still great. The Captain Eo exhibit needs to be updated, though…

15

Tammie on May 5th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

This is wonderful!! Thanks for such a fantastic walk down memory lane :)

16

Neill from Berkshire on May 5th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I’ve always been interested in Disney Park history, and specifically the parks themselves, and especially Walt Disney World…is there such things as books which go into the creation and imagineering of WDW?

I’ve found books which are close to what I’m after, but they are mostly pictures and images from the Imagineers. Can anyone help me?

Thank you!

 

Nate Rasmussen on May 5th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Hey Neill! The Walt Disney Archives has compiled a great list of books that should help you find the information you need. You can view their list here: http://bit.ly/mm8Xtb. Just scroll down to Theme Parks. Hope that helps!

17

Camille from TX on May 5th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

You can’t post enough trivia/history of Walt, the parks and anything else you cant think of! Thank you for doing such a great job! Blessings.

18

Barbara on May 5th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I just love everything Disney, especially about the parks. This sure does bring back memories of waiting to see what EPCOT was going to look like. Now I am passing my love onto my nephew who is 6 and cannot wait for his next trip to Disney. P.S. This summer but he does not know yet, it will be a BIG birthday surprise.

19

Bart on May 5th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Very cool! Post all the vintage Epcot (Center) pics you want Nate! Love ‘em!!!
And churro-schmurro, I’d like to be inside La Cava del Tequila for Cinco de Mayo!

20

Nicole on May 5th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

So cool! I would love to hear more about your job as a Disney archivist- I’m a librarian, so I’m fascinated!! Great picture, can’t wait to see what else you have in store!

21

Christine on May 5th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I want to be friends with Nate with his whit, humor and dashing good looks…I can hardly wait to see what will be next!

22

Jennifer on May 5th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

I love this! I love looking a pictures of any type of Disney history. Please keep the pictures coming! Great photo.

23

Faye on May 5th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Nate, I want your job!

24

Cathryn on May 5th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

EPCOT is my favorite park, I have been so many times I have lost count. Thanks Nate for dedicating time to vintage Disney!

25

Christi from AL on May 5th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Love it… now if only you could bring back Horizons!!

26

Valerie from NJ on May 5th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Great picture! We were just there last week and enjoyed a yummy meal at La Hacienda as well as snacks from La Cantina. Really enjoy these photos from the archives – please keep them coming!

27

Sunni on May 5th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I love this stuff! Keep it coming please! :)

28

Antonella from NJ on May 5th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I love seeing pics of WDW like this. I actually have photos of the construction phase of Expedtion Everest at Animal Kingdom. It always great to look back and say remember when? :-)

29

Neil on May 5th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

What I’d like to see are pictures of the ‘lost’ pavilion at Epcot. I forget what country in Africa it was, but it had to close due to a regime change or something.

30

Carhy on May 5th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Wow! What a great picture! I was visiting the Magic Kingdom in the spring of 1982 with my three young sons and we could only image what EPCOT would look like when it opened that fall. I love to see the pictures of how my/our favorite vacation location came together. Please keep posting these types of pictures!

31

Ken from VA on May 5th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

wow this soo cool to see a blast from the past as it all started and to see it coming together is wonderful… kepp it up disney

32

Skip from FL on May 5th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Welcome to the blog Mr. Nate!

33

Mitchell from IL on May 5th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I love these old photos of WDW, especially of the construction of the different parks. I made my first visit to WDW the year it opened, and to EPCOT the year it opened. This photo sure brings back some memories. Can’t wait to check back next week for another vintage photo!

34

Timothy from FL on May 9th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I’ve been a fan of Epcot since it opened. I received a copy of the pre-opening Epcot preview book in the mail in 1982 and every few years I look through it to compare today from the attractions under developement when it was under construction. Oh, of course we still like to visit it regularly…. Sunday was a beautiful day to enjoy the topiarys of the Flower and Garden festival, soaring, Captain EO,Imagination, and the shops in the different country pavillions.

35

Jerry on May 10th, 2011 at 9:21 am

I read once that there is a room at the top of the Mexico building that is used to help coordinate Illuminations. Is there any truth to that?

36

jack on May 10th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I’d like to see something about the short-lived Astuter Computer Revue.

37

Angel from FL on May 12th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I love the park pictures and blogs you have been posting. The picture I would love to see and find out more was a special one that hung in the Animation Studios at MGM. It was a picture of Walt in a chair and behind him were all the animated characters looking down at him. I saw it back in the 80′s and it is no longer hanging there. I have tried to find a picture/copy of it not to mention more information because it was so amazing but I cannot not find anything! Could you please help?

37 Comments