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Vintage Walt Disney World: Tapestry of Nations Steps Off

posted on September 26th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Beating drums, igniting torches and dancing puppets – in September 1999, World Showcase at Epcot ushered in the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration when Tapestry of Nations began its soft opening.
Tapestry of Nations at Epcot in 1999

Led by The Sage of Time, this parade showcased drummers riding aboard rolling percussion units and performers bringing puppets, designed by artist Michael Curry, to life from the Mexico pavilion to the Canada pavilion.
Tapestry of Nations at Epcot in 1999

Tapestry of Nations was performed twice nightly and showcased eight different puppets – Angel, Aztec, Birdman, Discman, Hammerman, Reverse Marionette, Sprite and Wiggle Girl.
Tapestry of Nations at Epcot in 1999

Take a close look at the puppeteer above. Sure, it’s from thirteen years ago, but that smile is still recognizable.


Read on for more posts about Epcot in the “Vintage Walt Disney World” series:

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

29 Comments 7 Replies

1

Jeffrey on September 26th, 2013 at 9:38 am

Still one of my all time favorite parades. I was so happy I got to see it!

2

Dale from MD on September 26th, 2013 at 9:42 am

This was my FAVORITE parade at DisneyWorld, well it was tied with SpectroMagic. How I miss them both!

3

Rich on September 26th, 2013 at 9:44 am

I LOVED this celebration and parade. I was there the first night they ran the parade for the public, it blew me away! I so miss this parade, I think is was/is the best parade Disney ever created. Miss it sooo much.

4

Jim from WI on September 26th, 2013 at 9:46 am

Only saw the parade once, but loved it. Still listen to the music regularly.

5

Sarah on September 26th, 2013 at 9:47 am

This remains my favorite parade ever. I wish it was still going.

6

Debra from FL on September 26th, 2013 at 9:49 am

It was THE BEST parade WDW has ever done. Puppetry was amazing! Soundtrack was amazing! I still listen to the soundtrack often. Brings back the fantastic memories of Tapestry of Dreams/Nations parade.

7

Jim from NY on September 26th, 2013 at 9:50 am

Love the music from ToN.

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 10:36 am

I listen to it all the time still. Always brings a smile to my face.

8

Amy on September 26th, 2013 at 9:54 am

Looking good, Hammered Man! Tapestry forever!!!

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 10:36 am

:)

9

Amanda on September 26th, 2013 at 10:02 am

LOVED Tapestry of Nations. I was only 9 or 10 when I saw it, but it left an impact! EPCOT should bring this (or something like this) back!

10

Ruth on September 26th, 2013 at 10:17 am

I miss Tapestry SOOOO much – one of the best and most unusual parades ever. The music, the larger than life puppets – I wish my kids could experience it today!!

11

Julia on September 26th, 2013 at 10:30 am

My favorite parade of all time!

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 10:37 am

It IS the best parade of all time. (I might be biased though.)

12

Paul on September 26th, 2013 at 10:32 am

I think I must have become inadvertantly involved in that parade at least a dozen times. We used to joke it was like the Monty Python sketch “Spanish Inquisition,” because it would show up out of nowhere. “Nobody expects the Tapestry of Nations!” It’s a Disney World classic…and I can still hear the drums.

13

Ricardo from TX on September 26th, 2013 at 10:36 am

Tapestry was great! I got to see it once in 2001 right before it closed! Great pictures! Also, how heavy was your costume & puppet?

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I don’t really remember it being heavy. I just remember wanting there to be no wind while I performed!

14

Hilary on September 26th, 2013 at 11:08 am

I remember this parade from a trip in 2000, it was so beautiful.

15

Colleen on September 26th, 2013 at 11:13 am

Performing in that parade was the best time of my life. Original Hammer! :)

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Awesome! :)

16

Teresa from PA on September 26th, 2013 at 11:16 am

Love that parade! And how cool is that, you were a part of it. I love that smile!

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Thanks. :)

17

Maria from NJ on September 26th, 2013 at 11:35 am

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, this parade. Wish my son can see it. I have wonderful memories of my daughter watching this parade.

18

Jud on September 26th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

That is the one thing I ever saw that I think would have blown Walt himself away! I “walked out” the final performance…

19

Craig from MA on September 26th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Bring this back! Best parade of all!

20

Darcy on September 26th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Nate, you were part of Epcot history! I’m going to The World Showcase tonight with friends and will fondly remember this parade as we walk the promenade. (We may even try to recreate pieces of it ourselves, for old times’ sake!)

 

Nate Rasmussen on September 26th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I wish I was going to be there to see your dance moves! Think of me as you smell sauerkraut near the Germany Pavilion. I still associate the aroma with the parade to this day.

21

Judy from MA on September 26th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Best parade ever! We used to watch it at the beginning of the route, then walk over to catch it a second time at the end of the route.

It would be awesome to bring this parade back.

22

Michael on September 26th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I was in Tapestry of Nations while I was in the WDW College Program in Fall 2000.

It was the greatest experience ever! I, too, listen to the music of ToN often. I brings back great memories.

Hi Nate!

23

valeria on September 26th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Still one of my favorites. I do not know what they took it off. It is like Spectromagic Parede…those are my favorites of all times. Love the CD and when you can still listen the music at Epcot after Illuminations

24

Michael on September 26th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I sure wish I could have seen the Tapestry of Nations Parade. Love the Tapestry of Nation music (much better than Tapestry of Dreams counterpart).

Some of my best memories of Walt Disney World were ending my vacation, watching Illuminations, an walking around and out of EPCOT with the Tapestry of Nations song playing in the background, so sad that my vacation ended.

25

Carole from NJ on September 27th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I was at WDW when 9-11 happened, and was evacuated from Animal Kingdom. Everyone went back to their rooms and watched the horror on tv. When the parks reopened we went to Epcot and watched the Tapestry of Nations, or I don’t know if it had changed to Tapestry of Dreams by then. Because of the theme of the parade or the music, I don’t know which, (maybe both) everyone I saw had tears running down their face. Whenever I hear the music, it brings me back to that time. Very sad but uplifting memory.

26

Linda from NJ on September 28th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Please say this will return someday! The absolute best parade and music ever!!!!!

27

Mary from TX on September 28th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I have the CD of the parade in my car. My children, thankfully, were old enough to remember seeing it, and still love to listen to the music. After the parade went away, I even bought a back-up copy of the CD, in case something ever happened to our one copy. I also accidentally bought a CD of the Tapestry of Dreams, but it’s not nearly as good. We all loved that parade. I wish Disney would bring it back. It was one of the most inventive, and fun parades ever. The drums and puppets were all spectacular. I think the drums may be one of the reasons my daughter became a percussionist.

28

Dyan from IL on October 1st, 2013 at 6:16 pm

This is HANDS DOWN the best parade with the best music (love the live drumming) that Disney has ever presented. I can still visualize it after all of these years.

This might be something to revisit in the future!

29

meri on October 24th, 2013 at 11:59 am

As a Staging Specialist (teacher) on Tapestry of Nations/Dreams, it makes me so happy to see how many people remember and really enjoyed it. We always wondered if guests were ‘getting it’ and apparently you all did. I will always be proud of our work in Tapestry of Nations. Proud to work for a company that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of the world. Proud of the way the Cast made magic every evening. Good Times!

29 Comments