EPCOT Center – as it was known – opened in October 1982. Spanning over 300 acres is more than twice the size of Magic Kingdom. For eleven years, Walt Disney World had the one theme park, Magic Kingdom. Now it had two. This park was conceived to be more educational as well as entertaining with two worlds within it: Future World and World Showcase.

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT)┬áIn Walt Disney’s words: “EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed but will always be introducing and testing, and demonstrating new materials and new systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world of the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.” (wikipedia)

My boyfriend then (husband now) and I visited EPCOT in August of 1992. I remember being so eager to see the new park and wondering exactly what it would be like. This was something entirely new in the way of theme park entertainment. No roller coasters. No carnival atmosphere. EPCOT Center, as I still think of it, was to be a showcase of several countries. You could imagine yourself touring 11 countries in one day. I was totally fascinated by this idea since actual world travel was beyond my reality having this opportunity was fantastic.

I can still recall walking inside the Mexico pavilion. It was simply enchanting inside with the feeling of a romantic Mexican evening. And I remember eating sushi ( for the first time ever ) in the Japan pavilion. We walked from country to country in that August heat but I did not mind it for a moment. This park was amazing. There was nothing like it all. Here I am standing in the courtyard of the Italian pavilion.

I’ve got my Goofy grin. For someone who loves to travel and experience new places and try new foods, this was paradise. I did not have the means to really see the world. EPCOT was able to give me that chance of world travel, of learning about different cultures and tasting new foods.

Soon you will be able to purchase EPCOT 35 merchandise through the Shop Disney Parks App. The merchandise will be available in late September. I’m hoping my local Disney Store Factory Outlet will have the merchandise very soon. I plan on loading up my tshirts for the fall.

What were your first memories of EPCOT? Share them with us!

Epcot 35 merchandise

photo from Disney Parks Blog

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