I was wondering who else was at EPCOT Center (as it was called then) 25 years ago when it opened, and what was your experience?
I went there with a friend and arriced a few days beforehand, staying at the Contemporary. We had been there a year before (1981) and planned to go back at the opening.
What was great is that Disney allowed resort guests (staying at the hotles) a special preview ticket that allowed you in a couple of days before the opening. Most pavillions were closed, but it was fun to see all the last minute landscaping and painting going on - Everyone was in a rush to get it done. Every evening we road the monorail down to see everything lit up, and again, workers going non-stop!
We got to the gates early on October 1 and waited outside and heard all the opening ceremonies (we could somewhat veiw what was going on by peering through the gates). At last, about 10 am the gates opened to the public.
I think overall what impressed me most was the technology:
The touch-screen koisks to make restaurant reservations or to speak (via camera) to a live host (the forerunner of Apple's iSight?).
The touch-screen computer paint programs over at the Imagination Pavillion. You couldn't do much my today's standards, but man they were neat.
The guide-by wire theartre cars at the Universe of Energy and all the solar panels where you "rode on sunshine".
The ride systems in general - Spaceship Earth's train of cars that wound up and down the sphere. The World of Motion's dozens of AA figures - The list goes on.
The food of the World Showcase: Finally a Disney park had world-class food...And you could drink!
The American Adventure: Overwhelming in American pride. People would cheer when they showed the Space Shuttle taking off!
All in all, EPCOT CENTER did gives us a magnificiant look into the future, unfortunatly technology changes so rapidly now that we are no longer impressed by much. But back then when so few of us owned computers, cable TV was rare, and CGI effects in film was just getting going, we were all amazed at what we saw!
It's hard to believe it has been 25 years, and harder still to know it cost a stagering (at the time) $800 Million to open (how much would that be today?). The world was different. We didn't worry about terrorist, and we still somewhat trusted big corporate America (the EPCOT sponsors). But I can't wait to see what will happen over the next 25 years.
PS: Now I can finally sell all my extra Opening Day stuff!