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First Look at Merchandise for the 30th Anniversary of Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

Epcot Celebrates its 30th Anniversary with New Merchandise

There is one book in my Disney collection that I cherish – a soft cover book released prior to the opening of then Epcot Center. Before my first visit in July 1983, I spent hours dreaming of the 21st Century while looking at the beautiful concept paintings in the book. October 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of Epcot and to celebrate, we will be releasing several items on that milestone day. I spoke with Disney Design Group artists Qunyh Kimball and John Henselmeier about their work on the anniversary style guide being used as reference for merchandise (you may recall Quynh and John’s work on the Starspeeder 1000 Vehicle Playset released last year). I was happy to learn that they used that book I love as inspiration.

Epcot Celebrates its 30th Anniversary with New Backgrounds

“We loved the warm colors and illustrations found in [the Epcot Center book],” explained John. “In the past five years, we have designed many vintage Epcot items. For the 30th anniversary, we wanted something different – a retro but contemporary feeling, something we call ‘today’s vintage.’ That soft cover book really helped us achieve that look.”

Epcot Celebrates its 30th Anniversary with New Pins

Work on the style guide began in December 2011 at the request of the Disney Pins team. Pins have been a big part of previous Epcot anniversaries and they will play a part in October. The image above contains a few of my favorites, including a reversible lanyard, a few mystery pins and a pin that looks like it’s from an early 1980s video game (oh, why can’t “Epcot Center – The Game” be real?!). John told me his favorite attraction of all time was Body Wars, so he made sure it was represented in the assortment.

Epcot Celebrates its 30th Anniversary with New Jumbo Pins

There will also be a jumbo pin that uses the soft cover book image in the packaging. In addition to pins, look for a few softline items including a T-shirt that uses the “21st Century Continues” artwork as seen in the first image.

Writing this article has left me feeling nostalgic. Do you have a story about your favorite thing from Epcot in the past 30 years? I vote either the handwich from The Land Pavilion or Magic Journeys. I hope to see you on October 1!


  • We need a special edition 30th anniversary CD – which includes all the original attraction themes and bonus tracks – such as the infamous “We’re Getting Ready” song from the pre-opening promo video. Would also be nice to have never-released tracks like the Captain EO entrance music, and the Kodak EO pre-show that showed, in slides, pictures from baby to adult (“Smile kid!”… “NO WAY!”)

    If this CD were released i’d be so happy i’d buy two!

  • We will be there for the anniversary, which incidentally is our wedding anniversary 😉 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you can let someone know that Figment should be present! I would like my son to meet him for real, as he loves his plush we got him last year so much, and my husband would just break down in tears, he was there the year it opened and the Dreamfinder and Figment are very special to him. My son will be the same age my husband was when he first met him.

  • Thanks Steve for showing me and the rest of the EPOCT faithful a taste of what is coming for the 30 Year Celebration. I am very excited. I remember being there with my parents on opening day back 1982. I was only 7 at the time. To this day it is still one of the best memories I have as a kid. We used to go to Disney World and EPOCT every year for vacation. Now, the best part is, I love sharing that experience with my kids, and of course, seeing them do the same things I did years ago with their Grandparents (My Mom and Dad). I do miss the original Journey into the Imagination, Kitchen Karbaret and the Wonders of Life. Are there any plans to bring any of those things and maybe other past attractions in a “limited showing” for the 30 Year Celebration?

  • I love the image with all the pavilions of Future World inside the EPCOT Logo – that is really pretty!! I like that Figment is being used more in a manner that doesn’t make hime look crazy – he’s my favorite character… Growing up a few of my favorite EPCOT attractions were Journey into the Imagination and the Kitchen Karbaret – after which we always stopped for a stuffed baked potato. “Veggie, Fruit, Fruit”

  • I’m 25, turning 26 in September. I was born only four years after its opening. And the only thing that I can say: Thank You Walt Disney, and EPCOT, for existing.
    There isn’t something I love more than the other in the park. This park is particular to both my younger brother and myself. If it weren’t for it, well we wouldn’t exist.
    And here’s why: my father was part of the World Showcase Fellowship Program back in 83/84. He was a waiter at the German pavilion, and that is where he met my mother. And since then, Disney has always been part of our lives in some way or another.
    Yes EPCOT certainly has, or had, a lot to offer, but it never takes away from the true reason why I love the place so much. It reminds me of my father, and how much he loved the place. He, above all others, was the most Disneyized person I know. And living close to the place allows me to keep him close and his memory alive 🙂

  • Looking forward to the celebration! I’m sure this is just the beginning of the merchandise, much like the WDW 40th last years. Pins and vinylmation are so un-Epcot, seems to me. Mostly, looking forward to the next 30 years!

  • Hi Steve, thanks for sharing the images of this cool new merchandise! Do you have any idea if there are special events planned for October 1st at EPCOT? As luck would have it, my family and I will be at Walt Disney World (visiting from Canada) for the first week of October. Can’t wait!!

  • Figment! Figment! Figment! Figment! Figment! Figment! Figment!

  • Can you Please have a nice Men’s Polo style shirt with that wonderful EPCOT Center montage logo above. Very nice to have EPCOT Center’s logo with all the old pavilion logos inside it.

    Really would like a nice polo shirt design again. T-shirts are nice but would love a polo shirt. Thanks

  • I was in EPCOT the summer after it opened. I remember being fascinated by all of the future exhibits. I’ve been lucky enough to take my family down to WDW several times since then, and can’t wait to get back this fall.

  • Thank you for sharing with us! After reading your posting, I brought out my soft books (pre and post opening) and “spinning” park maps from the 80’s. What wonderful memories!

  • LOVE IT!!! This is spectacular! Any chance we can go back to the EPCOT Center moniker? I miss it.

    Definitely want to get my hands on some of merchandise. Do all of us larger folks a favor, please, and make those shirts available beyond 3X.

  • What I miss most (not including Horizons, thats too easy)…

    1) Veggie, Veggie, Fruit, Fruit.
    2) Cranium Command.
    3) Hot Tub Scene in old Mexico ride.
    4) “Let’s listen to the land we all love, nature’s plan will shine above…”

  • No Vinylmation for this event??

  • This post definitely makes me feel nostalgic too. When I was about 7 we went to Epcot during its “soft opening” before everything was finished. I remember only a few of the countries were open in World Showcase. Future World was mostly done. I too have the promo Epcot book with all of the beautiful illustrations. I remember my parents showing me the book and telling me we were going to get to see all of that. It didn’t make too much sense to me, but after visiting Epcot, I marveled at the book for years. I still remember the feeling of awe and inspiration during my first visit!

    • @Marilaine – What a great story! I completely understand that feeling of awe … I still get that way when I look at that book.

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