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D23 Celebrates Three Decades of Epcot

Jeffrey Epstein

by , Director, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

It was the “Dawn of a New Disney Era” back on October 1, 1982, when EPCOT Center opened to the world amidst great fanfare. Now, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is honoring that landmark occasion — and the many that have occurred since – at D23’s Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration, being held at the Walt Disney World Resort on September 30, 2012.

The one-day event will be full of fascinating panels and presentations, including “We Can Do It!” looking at the immense challenges that loomed before Disney’s creative team in constructing the resort’s second theme park; “Looking Back at Tomorrow,” unveiling recently discovered materials from the Walt Disney Archives highlighting many of the park’s original attractions including Horizons, Kitchen Kabaret and World of Motion; and “The EPCOT Center that Never Was” which will use rare concept artwork to give guests a glimpse at some of the pavilions and attractions that never made it off the drawing board.

Along with historians from the Walt Disney Archives, Imagineers and Disney Legends such as Tony Baxter, Marty Sklar, Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, Alex Wright, Ron Logan, and Bob Garner are also slated to participate in this landmark event, which will take place inside Epcot’s World ShowPlace.

Tickets, available exclusively to members of D23, go on sale Thursday, June 21.

Read more news about Epcot in the posts below:


  • Jeffrey, you look familiar – were you on the Disney Magic’s westbound transatlantic voyage this past September?

  • Notice that the Seas was also near completion…it did not open until early 1986…but not sure when construction actually began.

  • I hope D23 covers the anniversary really well for those of us who can’t be there.

  • I would LOVE to see the cement monoliths disappear and the epcot prism come back!

  • I think you are correct, Mark from LA. That pic is from 1983 or later.

    Oh how I wish I could have been there in the golden era!

  • Excellent! I’m a D23 member and just happen to have already scheduled a visit to WDW for that weekend, so I’ll plan to grab tickets to this event! Epcot is my favorite of all of the parks, and has been since it opened. I’m a tech geek and I used to love the touch screen kiosks around the park and the educational aspect of the early days. I kind of miss that – like all artifacts in The Living Seas before the Nemo conversion.

  • Jeffrey, you were fabulous at the D23 Fanniversary event. Let’s have some more D23 events like that in NYC in the future.

    Man, I really wish I could go to the EPCOT Center event. I live for old Epcot and would travel for this, but the timing ain’t right for me. I know there usually isn’t a webcast or video release from these events, but maybe D23 members could get video link access?

  • I think this photo is after opening cause you can see Horizons is pic to left which wasnt there when opened. Might be mistaken but pretty sure of that. Still good to see old picture of EPCOT CENTER!

  • I love Epcot – it left a bigger impression on me as a child than even the Magic Kingdom. I too remember Horizons and World of Motion – they were fabulous attractions. Both educational, but presented with that unmistakable humorous twist that is pure Disney. It is kind of tragic to believe that kids today would no longer be interested in long, dark attractions like Horizons. That type of experience is what captures young imaginations and leaves a lasting impression. Fast, spinning, dropping and whirling attractions can be experienced anywhere – including a supermarket fair – but there is only one cast of Imagineers to fuel those magical Disney experiences that are impossible to duplicate. Also, please show Epcot some love in the form of refinishing the World Showcase skyline to block out unsightly hotels that break the illusion. Maybe a few more Disneyodendron eximus to block out that giant swan!

  • Wish I could be there for this event. Horizons was my very favorite ride. I wish they’d bring that one – and World of Motion – back.

  • Jeffrey!! My wife and I miss your persona on the D23 youtube show.
    Could you please make a little cameo and say hi too Juan and Teresa from Chicago?
    We love you!!!
    Juan and Teresa

  • Miss you muchly on your Videos Jeffrey!

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