Full Details on D23’s Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration

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October 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club invites its members and their guests to fete one of Disney’s crowning achievements on this special occasion. The event on Sunday, September 30, will whisk D23 Members back to a time touted as when “the 21st century begins”—those early Epcot years when guests first marveled at “Astuter Computers,” “Smellitzers,” the novelty of “riding on sunshine,” and were awed by a massive geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth. The celebration will feature rare and never-before-seen artwork; film and video footage and photos; along with a number of pioneers of Epcot, including such Disney Imagineers, Legends and Epcot luminaries as Marty Sklar (exclusive pre-taped presentation), Tony Baxter, Ron Schneider, Charlie Ridgway, Ron Logan, Bill Sullivan, Bob Garner, Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, Alex Wright, Duncan Dickson and Steve Taylor.

World Passport ($65) general admission includes:
• Access to all presentations
• A commemorative gift
• Access to exclusive D23 merchandise

World Key ($185) level admission includes:
• All features of the World Passport admission
• Reserved seating for all presentations
• A special dessert reception at 8 p.m. inside an exclusive Future World lounge
• Exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity with Disney Legends and Epcot luminaries
• Reception will also include screenings of rare film footage of Epcot’s early days

Check out some of the presentations D23 is has in store for this extraordinary tribute to Epcot:

Hooray for the 21st Century

Disney Legend and former Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Creative Executive Marty Sklar joins D23 guests via a virtual presentation, where we see and hear what it was like to work with Walt Disney on his original vision for an Experiemental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Along the way, learn about Marty’s favorite memories working on the EPCOT Center project with a team of passionate Imagineers.

The Music of EPCOT Center

Some of Epcot’s most passionate fans agree that the park’s soundtrack has created one of its most lasting legacies that continue to help “makin’ memories” around the world. Join Disney historians and songwriters as we explore the incredible world of Epcot music, celebrating the talents of such Epcot songwriters and composers as Bob Moline, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, George Wilkins, Buddy Baker, X. Atencio, Peter Stougaard, Russell Brower, Edo Guidotti and others who have left a permanent musical mark on the park’s creative legacy. Along the way, hear stories about the recording sessions, learn about some fascinating alternate versions of some of your favorite melodies, and sing along to your favorite Epcot tunes!

We Can Do It!

Disney Legends and EPCOT Center creators review the immense challenge that loomed ahead of them when bringing Epcot to reality in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guests will hear stories of trips to foreign countries to secure participants in the World Showcase concept, what life was like inside the largest private construction project in the world, and how they readied its highly anticipated opening day.

We’ve Just Begun to Dream

Join Disney Legend Ron Logan and other key Disney entertainment veterans as they reminisce about the official EPCOT Center opening festivities that remain among the most elaborate Disney has ever staged. This presentation will include rare footage from the grand openings of various Future World and World Showcase pavilions, which were held throughout October 1982.

Makin’ Memories: Epcot on Film

Join former Disney Imagineer Bob Garner and Disney author and historian Tim O’Day as they cast a “Magic Eye” on the marvelous world of Epcot on film. Bob was closely involved in the creation of film documentation and production at Epcot, including special video elements of Future World and World Showcase pavilions and such promotional films as EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration.

Looking Back at Tomorrow

Few Epcot visitors, even its most avid fans, realize The Land pavilion was almost called “Harvest Tomorrow” or that Figment was slated to co-host an “Images & Imagination” pavilion with “Professor Marvel.” With recently discovered materials from the Walt Disney Archives, join Disney archivists as they examine how the “dreamers and doers” developed favorite Epcot attractions of the past including Horizons, Journey into Imagination, Kitchen Kabaret, World of Motion, theAstuter Computer Revue, and the original Universe of Energy.

The EPCOT Center That Never Was

Using rare concept artwork, guests will glimpse what it was like to design Epcot with Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Tony Baxter, designer and producer for several beloved Epcot pavilions, and explore early versions of Epcot attractions that never made it off the drawing board.

Imagineering Epcot: An Extra Perceptive Close-up Of Things


Fans of wall-to-wall carpeting and leapfrog fountains unite! Disney Imagineers Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, and Alex Wright return with a humorous exploration of the details that make Epcot so unique. From miniature gardens to massive buildings (and every international food and beverage offering in between), they’ll show what makes Future World and World Showcase like no place else on earth.

Tickets go on sale on June 21st at 10 A.M. PST.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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