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ImagiNERDing

The EPCOT Center 25th Anniversary Gallery and Museum, Part One

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by , 06-03-2012 at 09:05 PM
2007 saw the first major Walt Disney World anniversary based in the era when bloggers and podcasters ruled the planet!

Since Disney discovered that creating 18-month long celebrations tended to drive in the guests at Walt Disney World, they embarked on a series of celebrations (Year of a Million Dreams, 100 Years of Magic, Remember the Magic, Where Magic Lives, etc.) that seemed to follow each other relentlessly. In 2007, a group of fans decided to create their own celebration for Epcot's 25th Anniversary when it was learned that Disney was not going to officially celebrate it. After seeing the momentum that Celebration 25 was gaining, Disney stepped in with some official activities for October 1, 2007 and an EPCOT Center25th Anniversary Gallery.



Photo courtesy of Werner Weiss of Yesterland.com. Check out his post on the October 1, 2007 event.

The gallery was located in Innoventions West and did not get a lot of publicity, unfortunately. Being good Disney nerds, my brother and I were able to document a lot of the exhibit during MouseFest 2007. This article will take a look at the more general part of the exhibit.



An oft-seen image of the model for the theme park.



One of the first items you saw was a display featuring Ray Bradbury, Marty Sklar, John Hench and another Imagineer. Bradbury talked about his involvement with the planning for EPCOT Center.

I've added the speech that Ray Bradbury gave to the Imagineers throughout this article.



John and Marty told me I was supposed to come up here and explain you to yourselves…and to tell you what you are and what I am and what I am doing here. I’m here because I want to be here. There are a lot of places in the world I could be, but I’ve been coming through WED and going to Disneyland for many years now and I like what I see.


The exhibit was surprisingly small, but there was something for every EPCOT Center fan.

A wonderful thing happened to me in 1954…I went to Italy for the first time ever. I traveled through Rome and Florence and Venice. I saw the works of Fra Angelico and I came home inundated with the Renaissance. By a wonderful coincidence, a few months later I came out to the Disney Studio and wandered through and saw the sketches and the drawings and the paintings for “Sleeping Beauty.” I said, “My God…this is fantastic, that I’m seeing work here commensurate with many of the things that I saw in Renaissance Italy when I visited there for the first time..."


I really wanted to take some of the banners home with me. (Also, don't pay any attention to the good looking blond guy in the lower, left-hand corner.)

And so, really, what you are is Renaissance People. If there ever was a Renaissance organization, this is it. You haven’t peaked yet, but you’re peaking, and sometime in the next twenty years when you peak completely, the whole world’s going to be looking at you…


The first part of the display highlighting the origins of EPCOT Center.

Buckminster Fuller lectures us on how to change the World and yet the only people I see who are successful at changing the World are right here—people with very special dreams. We’re acting out what Schweitzer often spoke of in his philosophies years ago. He said, “…set a good example for the World. If you are excellent, if you are of high quality, the World will imitate you.”


Another high-interest item was the reproduction of the original fold-out map.



What we’re doing here is inventing a “Schweitzer Centrifuge” … That’s the way I look at the EPCOT Project. If we build all of this correctly, if we build it beautifully, if we set an example for the World, we can change the whole damn country. That’s how important you are. That’s how important I feel, working with you. People will come from all over the World; they’re already doing it at Disneyland and Disney World—when you get people like Hirohito, or you see Kruschev pounding at the door and not able to get in—and being irritated by it—you know you’ve got something. And so, what we’re going to do in the next year and the next five years and the next thirty years is change our own country, only for the better. And after that—the world.


Just a few pieces of ephemera from the early days of EPCOT Center.



It’s a big project. But of all of the groups in the world, while everyone else is busy talking, you’re doing the stuff that’s really going to count.


A very hard to photograph reproduction of Card Walker's dedication speech.



The wall of awesome displays about the making of each of the Future World Pavilions (look for it next week).



Keychains and patches galore! Who wouldn't want their own SMRT-1?



A little known fact (that I just made up): EPCOT Center offered its own currency before the advent of Disney dollars!



The model for Spaceship Earth. It would look fantastic in my family room.



The realistic paint pattern for the Spaceship Earth model was so difficult it took Imagineering Legend John Hench to create it.

A detailed structural model was created to help engineers understand how a state of the art ride system would function inside a giant sphere, then how to cover that sphere with triangular-shaped Alucobond panels.


I love construction photos of Spaceship Earth. Seeing how the ride is arranged in the sphere is fascinating.

Next week: A look at the Future World Pavilions.

I asked a few friends if they had a photo of the exhibit entrance from 2007, but nobody had taken one. Leonard Kinsey (Our Kingdom of Dust) from Bamboo Forest Publishing shared some screen caps of the area from a video he took.


The doorways to the former exhibit are on the right of this image. Currently, it is used for Segway storage.



The doors are to the left of this shot. As you head down the hallway, you will end up at Club Cool.



One of the last remnants of the exhibit is a timeline covering the history of Epcot. I wonder what the average guests thinks about this while they are stumbling towards a bathroom after drinking too much Beverly.

Did you have the opportunity to visit the exhibit?

What are your thoughts on Disney showcasing its history in the parks?




ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor

George is a Mice Chat Travel Consultant powered by Fairy Godmother Travel. Call him at 336-287-8114 or email him at [email protected] for a free, no-obligation quote for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures By Disney or Aulani.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Be sure to visit Imaginerding.com for Disney book reviews and more! (I just celebrated five years!)

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I also write at Everything Walt Disney World.

I am one half of the incredibly talented, handsome, charming, sanguine, lucent, refulgent, beguiling, hilarious, perturbable, welcoming, sentient and intelligent duo behind Communicore Weekly. You can find them on the Mice Chat Youtube Channel.




Tickets are now on sale for the

COMMUNICORE WEEKLY 38TH WEEKAVERSARY
&
EPCOT 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!




Come celebrate EPCOT's 30th Anniversary in style with a live taping of MiceChat's Communicore Weekly! Join co-hosts Jeff Heimbuch & George Taylor, along with MiceChat's Dusty Sage, Kevin Yee, and the Communicore Weekly Orchestra, for a fun-filled night of fandom and frivolity as they tape a special hour long episode of the hit show, Communicore Weekly.

Join us on the evening of Saturday, September 29th 2912 in the Norway Pavilion Special Events Lounge in EPCOT's World Showcase for this one of a kind event!

Your ticket includes:


  • Admission into the live taping of CW in the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT (note: admission into the park is NOT included)!
  • Meet special guest, Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder!
  • Decadent dessert reception!
  • Short scavenger hunt hosted by Kevin Yee before the show will be available to those who would like to participate (prizes will be awarded)!
  • Prizes, giveaways and more!
  • The chance to be a part of EPCOT and Communicore Weekly history!
  • Endless Five Legged Goats and perhaps even a real life Bathroom Break!
  • Exclusive late night ride after park closing on a selected EPCOT attraction to cap off the evening!



For more tickets and more information, be sure to visit MiceChat.com/store!


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Comments

  1. mratigan's Avatar
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    Thanks George! I love history and Disney and Epcot so this is plain cool.
    they should have the treasures of the Walt Disney archives exhibit travel around to the parks��
    Updated 06-04-2012 at 10:18 AM by Dustysage
  2. ImagiNERDing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mratigan
    Thanks George! I love history and Disney and Epcot so this is plain cool.
    they should have the treasures of the Walt Disney archives exhibit travel around to the parks
    Thanks! It was a great exhibit and I still wonder what kind of traffic it would have had if it had been in a better area.
    Updated 06-04-2012 at 10:19 AM by Dustysage
  3. KENfromOC's Avatar
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    I have just about every piece of merchandise shown! I was ther a year before EPCOT opened, so I have a lot a pre-opening stuff including those license plates ("The 21st Century Begins October 1, 1982!"), I was there opening day - so I have a lot of that stuff, and I was ther a year later, so I have year 1st. annv. stuff! Brings back memories for sure!
  4. dfan07's Avatar
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    I looked at the timeline in 2009, and found it pretty interesting.

    No, I did not drink too much Beverly.
  5. ImagiNERDing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KENfromOC
    I have just about every piece of merchandise shown! I was ther a year before EPCOT opened, so I have a lot a pre-opening stuff including those license plates ("The 21st Century Begins October 1, 1982!"), I was there opening day - so I have a lot of that stuff, and I was there a year later, so I have year 1st. annv. stuff! Brings back memories for sure!
    Ken, I would love to see your EPCOT Center collection!

    What is your absolute favorite piece?
  6. tofubeast's Avatar
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    Thanks for this post! I was fortunate to visit this display a couple week after the 25th anniversary. I was hoping this exhibit would still be there, especially since the 30th is around the corner at this point.

    There is one thing from the exhibit that I remember the most and do not see mentioned. It was a video of the building/planning of EPCOT and featured a song that still gets stuck in my head, "We're getting ready for you!"

    Here's a video of it that I found on youtube. Now you all can have the nifty song stuck in your head as well. Enjoy!
  7. ImagiNERDing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfan07
    I looked at the timeline in 2009, and found it pretty interesting.

    No, I did not drink too much Beverly.
    I am glad the timeline is still there, but it it just in the oddest place since the exhibit is gone.

    Is it torture if I let my youngest son drink Beverly because he sort of likes it?
  8. cakvalasc's Avatar
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    They should have kept this exhibit, it looked very interesting and would have been great thing to walk though!
  9. ImagiNERDing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tofubeast
    Thanks for this post! I was fortunate to visit this display a couple week after the 25th anniversary. I was hoping this exhibit would still be there, especially since the 30th is around the corner at this point.

    There is one thing from the exhibit that I remember the most and do not see mentioned. It was a video of the building/planning of EPCOT and featured a song that still gets stuck in my head, "We're getting ready for you!"

    Here's a video of it that I found on youtube. Now you all can have the nifty song stuck in your head as well. Enjoy!
    Are you talking about this video screen?

  10. tofubeast's Avatar
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    Yep, that's screen with "We're getting ready for YOU!!!"


    Here's a much better version than the one I posted
  11. KENfromOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImagiNERDing
    Ken, I would love to see your EPCOT Center collection!

    What is your absolute favorite piece?
    I would have to say a couple of posters that where issued in 1981 at the EPCOT Preview Center (on Town Square in MK). Very dynamic with a stylized monorail wrapping around Spaceship Earth with the caption "The 21st Century Begins Oct. 1, 1982. I also have a media pack. I wasn't not with any media back then, but a walked into one of the convention rooms at Cont. Resort and just picked up the materials that were left. Pretty neat. I like the pre-opening license palt as well. I have many other things that have been packed away including a lot of grand opening items, including the commemorative ticket that costs all of $30 for 3 days use! I'll have to dig everything out. I wish that MiceChat had an "eBay" type area because there are many things I'd like to sell. I use to buy multiples of items so I could sell off the extras.
  12. ImagiNERDing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cakvalasc
    They should have kept this exhibit, it looked very interesting and would have been great thing to walk though!
    Agreed!

    And it wouldn't take much to update it for the 30th, right?
  13. bigbrian-nc.com's Avatar
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    Hi George It looks like you have a pretty good set of photos but if you need any more feel free to pull from my flickr set of this exhibit.
    Epcot 25th Anniversary Exhibit - a set on Flickr
  14. yoyoflamingo's Avatar
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    I loved this exhibit and wish it was still there. It could really be used as a rotating piece, as well as a Blue Sky. Like a hybrid of the Disney Gallery and Blue Sky Cellar. When we went I think we were the only 2 in there, but it just seems like, since there were no CMs that it would be a simple thing just to keep open with minimal cost. An extra perk that required no real commitment or heavy costs. Better than storage now.
  15. Timchat2's Avatar
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    Is the plaque in the photo the original EPCOT Center dedication plaque? That appears to be the newer logo at the top with "Epcot" instead of "EPCOT Center" in the classic style logo font from the park guides. Was the plaque redone at some point?
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I wish I got to see the exhibit in person.


    Timekeeper