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Ovation: Happy 30th Birthday, Epcot!

10/01/2012

I’ve been to Walt Disney World many times.  I think the first few times I was there the only attraction was the Magic Kingdom.  And that was enough.  We stayed at the campground on the Disney property, Fort Wilderness, and we got to ride boats and monorails and it seemed that they made it really easy for my family to see everything that they had to offer.

On subsequent vacations, we visited the second park built at the resort, the EPCOT Center.  EPCOT, an acronym of Experimental prototype Community of Tomorrow opened thirty years ago today.  The name of the park was eventually changed to “Epcot” and by 2011 hosted almost eleven million guests, ranking it the third most visited theme park in the country.

The late Walt Disney dreamed up building a perfect city of the future and the original vision of EPCOT was for a model community, home to twenty thousand residents, which would be a test for city planning and organization.  Funding and other permissions at the Florida property would not be granted until Disney agreed to first build the Magic Kingdom.  Then, after his death, the Walt Disney Company determined that it did not want to be in the business of running a city.

Several events will commemorate the park’s 30th birthday including several sessions on the history of Epcot, various concerts and an extended version of the famous nightly fireworks display.

The Magic Kingdom of my youth has grown to include multiple theme parks that can take days and days to visit in their entirety.  I’ve been back many times, with children and without, and I hope to return someday to relive the memories of my childhood.

Have you ever been to Epcot?

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  1. EPCOT (which it will always be in caps to me) is by far my favorite Disney property. I remember going to the property before the park grand opened to assist my father with a plant delivery. And when it opened, I loved the science feel of the front half of the park. Over time, they’ve had to make it more “Disney” to attract parents and children, which ruined it for me for the most part.

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