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The Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Epcot is Underway

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Happy 30th anniversary, Epcot!


The second theme park built at the Walt Disney World Resort officially marks its 30th anniversary today. Guests began celebrating at the park over the weekend, with D23 members attending a special Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration at World Showplace that featured special presentations by Disney Legends and Imagineers.


Guests visiting the park today will receive a commemorative button and a 30th anniversary theme park map, the latter of which our partners at the park were kind enough to give to us to share with all of you! The document looks back at how the Epcot guide map has changed as the park evolved over the years.

The fun will continue this afternoon with Epcot history presentations in World Showplace courtesy of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. These presentations are included in park admission and are limited in seating.

  • 1-2 p.m. – Designing the Future – Past and Present: A panel of Disney Imagineers remembers 30 years of building tomorrow!
  • 4:30–6 p.m. – Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar
  • 6:30–8 p.m. – Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar

Today there will also be an anniversary moment at the America Gardens Theatre at 3 p.m., which will feature Disney leaders and performances by Mariachi Cobre and Voices of Liberty. (Seating is limited). Tonight’s presentation of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will also feature a special 30th anniversary tag.

If you’re at home celebrating in spirit today, be sure to check out this video, in which D23’s Steven Clark and Disney Legends Bill “Sully” Sullivan, Bob Matheison and Charlie Ridgway take a look back at the history of the park.


  • I was there for the D23 event and for the Oct 1st celebration and I have to say… It was beyond anything I could have expected, absolutely amazing and wonderful! Thanks for the memories!! =D

  • I was there Monday and had a great time. Happy birthday Epcot!

  • How long will the 30th celebration be going on? I’ll be there in early December, and I don’t want to miss it! Especially the World Showcase T-Shirts!

  • I’m soon to be 67 years young and have enjoyed seeing Disney World every year since 1993. Epcot is so beautiful with all
    the flowers, etc., but Spaceship Earth is an exciting ride.
    When the cars go backwards and then turn around to face the
    Earth and twinkling stars….takes my breath away everytime…..what a magical and moving experience. Happy Birthday Epcot….I will see you in December 2012.

  • How long will the celebration continue? I will be there in January, and hope to enjoy some of the celebration.

  • I would also like to wish that I couldv’e been at EPCOT for the 30th anniversary because I’m a big disney fan.good luck for another 30 or longer years.Thank you and happy b-day again!Richard

  • I was there yesterday as well. I was lucky enough to be seated right next to Meg Crofton. We had a very nice conversation while waiting for the 3pm ceremony to begin. The 4:30 event, “Epcot: How it Changed the World,” was the most amazing event I’ve been to so far. It was a beautiful day, despite the rain & steam.

  • I was there yesterday and would not have missed it for anything!! The 3pm ceremony was extremely moving and I admit that it did make me cry, especially when the representatives from the Future World and world Showcase pavilions joined Meg on stage. Love the map as well, definitely something I will treasure!

    • It’s great to hear you had a good experience. 🙂

  • I remember when Epcot opened. And I’ll never forget my marvelous visit there seeing, among all other things, Israeli tomatoes growing, not in soil but in awe. That, like everything else about Epcot, is amazing to me. I can’t wait to get back. And I hope my next visit is sooner rather than later. Happy Birthday Epcot…and many, many more! Amy

  • The music played during the “tag” portion of Illuminations was amazing. My friends and I feel as though it is something from the past — but we can’t figure out what it is. What was the name of the music? Was it a new composition written for the event? Hate having to have to ask — ask we heard from the composers of Epcot’s soundtrack at the D23 event. The physical impact we all felt from the end of the “tag” was also amazing. Never “felt” the explosion of a firework before! Loved it!

  • So neat! Could you do a blog post with a gallery of all of the Epcot headers that change at the top when you reload the page? I especially like the artwork of the World Showcase countries!

  • Of all the maps shown, I actually like the 1991 map the best. It is clear and concise. It may not be artistic, but it certainly is simpler to follow. Thanks for giving us this glimpse into the past.

    • You’re welcome.

  • The extra fireworks tonight were spectacular!! A Magic Kingdom anniversary is always nice, as it’s the first park, but I think an Epcot anniversary is richer in history. It’s evolved more. From Centorium to Innoventions, World of Motion to Test Track, Horizons to Mission Space, and even the entertainment has evolved…who remembers “Surprise in the Skies” and the Cirikli birds? It also has timeless music. I still miss the original music to Spaceship Earth, Universe of Energy. It’s definitely my favorite park and full of so many memories. Happy anniversary, Epcot!!! 🙂

  • Speaking of videos…I’m sure that the whole panel show for the D23 event was filmed. Any plans to make it available in its entirety? Even if it is just to D23 members? That would be great 🙂

  • Can we get a PDF download of the map please? 😀

  • For the 40th anniversary celebration of the Magic Kingdom, the Disney Parks Blog posted a downloadable, high-quality pdf of the map that was handed out that day. I am sure I am not the only one that would very much appreciate the Disney Parks Blog doing the same thing with this wonderful EPCOT 30th anniversary map. Thank you!

  • Happy Birthday Epcot !!!!!!!

    When Test Track will be open?!!!!!
    When Test Track will be open?!!!!!
    When Test Track will be open?!!!!!

    Thank you! 🙂

    • As soon as we have a date to share, we’ll let you know!

  • I was there early summer 1983, wish I could have been there today!

  • Wish the video was longer. Actually brought happy tears to my eyes.
    I can’t wait till my next trip!

    Wish you all would show more videos from the past.

    • 🙂

  • Any chance of more videos from today?

  • Really wish I could be there! Of all the days I would love to go, this is one.

    Like above comments, any chance to get a large/detailed download of the map?

    Thanks for all the updates. Happy birthday EPCOT!

  • I love that photo of SSE, is that a High Dynamic Range image?

  • Beautiful picture!! Wish I could be there, Happy Birthday Epcot!!

    • I agree – it’s lovely.

  • Could you put up a bigger image of the map please? I can’t read that teeny tiny writing! 😀

  • I can’t be there – boo 🙁 I would really like to have one of the guide maps. I hope you consider selling them at Disney online.

  • How can I get one of the guide maps?

    • They are giving them out today (only) at the park.

  • Looks like a day full of fun! Wish I could be there to celebrate. I’ve got my 2012 Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD on right now. A virtual trip isn’t quite the same though. Still hoping I can talk one of my friends who are in Walt Disney World today to pick me up a button and map. 🙂

  • Wish I was there.

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