More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Vintage Walt Disney World: Epcot 1982

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

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.


  • 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?

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Welcome to the blog Mr. Nate!

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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? 🙂

  • I love this stuff! Keep it coming please! 🙂

  • 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!

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

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

  • Nate, I want your job!

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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: Just scroll down to Theme Parks. Hope that helps!

  • This is wonderful!! Thanks for such a fantastic walk down memory lane 🙂

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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

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

  • 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!

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

  • 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?

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

  • 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

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

    More of these pics please. 🙂

  • 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.

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

  • More, please! Thanks!

  • 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.

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