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