Epcot marked its 35th anniversary Sunday doing what it does best: looking to the future. Against the backdrop of its iconic Spaceship Earth, Disney’s theme park that celebrates human achievement hosted ceremonies that reflected on 35 years of creativity and innovation. More important, the ceremonies shined a spotlight on an exciting future of new experiences and attractions.
“It’s been an amazing 35 years,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “And as we look toward the future, there is so much more on the horizon.”
Kalogridis was joined onstage by the patriotic Voices of Liberty ensemble and the Mariachi Cobre from the Mexico showcase – two acts that debuted when the theme park originally opened – as guests and cast members looked on. It was 35 years to the day – Oct. 1, 1982 – when Disney’s discovery park opened its doors as the second theme park on Disney property.
“Epcot has always been, and always will be, an optimistic celebration of the real world – brought to life through the magic of Disney,” he said. “I promise you the exciting plans we have on the horizon will honor Epcot’s rich legacy of creativity and innovation while continuing to exceed the expectations of our guests, for decades to come.
“The spirit of the expansion will continue to evolve Epcot to make it more timeless, more relevant, more family and more Disney, while staying true to its original vision.”
Already announced as part of the expansion are a new restaurant for the Mission: SPACE pavilion, inviting guests to travel high above Earth for an unforgettable dining experience; a Ratatouille-inspired attraction bowing in a new space in the France showcase; a new E-ticket Future World attraction based on the rockin’ world of Guardians of the Galaxy; an updated Circle-Vision film for the China showcase showcasing the country’s splendor and majesty.
Epcot remains “a place for family, a place for fun and a place for faith in our vision as a people,” Kalogridis said. “It is little wonder that so many have fallen in love with this park and its story.”