Flash Back to 1982 With “EPCOT Center: A Pictorial Souvenir” – Part Three
With Disney Parks around the world closed for the foreseeable future, WDWNT is dipping into our archives of vintage parks materials for a look back into parks history! Today, we’re looking at the third and final part of “EPCOT Center: A Pictorial Souvenir,” featuring World Showcase and some unbuilt pavilions!
Note: This article will detail the book page by page, but WIGS Members will have access to download a full-resolution PDF of the entire thing. Head on over to Patreon.com/wdwnt to join WIGS, the WDWNT Inner Globe Society, for as little as $2 a month and unlock access to great content like this, and much more!
We begin our look around World Showcase with an introduction featuring the nine nations that comprised it in 1982. Here’s the very beginning:
“It would take a lifetime of vacations to explore the diverse countries of the world, discovering within each its own special ambiance, charm and mystique. For most people, such adventure lives only in a dream. For travelers to Epcot Center’s World Showcase, however, it is a dream come true.
Here, amidst nations standing in friendship beside a broad lagoon, visitors will live in a day what only weeks of world travel could surpass. They’ll cross the vast expanse of Canada and the Great Wall of China. Dine in gourmet splendor under a moonlit Eiffel Tower. Join the gala festivities of Oktoberfest in a Bavarian Biergarten. Enjoy the spontaneous good cheer of an English pub. Follow the roads leading to Rome. Watch more than 350 years of American history come to life. And more.”
We start with the host nation and The American Adventure.
The attraction’s hosts, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, are featured in a lovely piece of art evoking the finale.
We also see some of the paintings shown on film in the attraction.
Up next is America’s neighbor to the north, (or in EPCOT Center’s case, the west), Canada.
The charming shops and eateries of the United Kingdom Pavilion take up the next spread.
Moving slowly to the east along World Showcase Lagoon, the grand structures (and tantalizing restaurants) of the France Pavilion take the spotlight.
By the Torii you’ll find the Japan Pavilion, festooned with kites and dolls to mark Boys and Girls Day.
Moving further east, the Italy Pavilion offers neat concept art of its inviting space.
After that, we say “Guten Tag” to the Germany Pavilion and its Bavarian architecture, with Biergarten in the back!
A less detailed, but no less beautiful, piece of concept art greets us to the China Pavilion. Interestingly, this is the only World Showcase pavilion without any participating organizations listed at the bottom.
The last stop in our tour around World Showcase Lagoon is the Mexico Pavilion, home to festive excitement and beauty.
I love this piece of concept art. It really does feel like they brought the world to EPCOT Center.
Next is a preview of coming… er, not coming attractions, with descriptions of the unbuilt Israel, Equatorial Africa and Spain pavilions.
The final part of the book is a tribute to the Imagineers who brought this ambitious park to life, and the ingenious techniques they developed to do it. I didn’t know the smellitzer was developed for EPCOT Center!
I think paying tribute to the creators of EPCOT Center’s magic is a perfect way to close out this tour.
And with the other half of that optimistic cover art, our visit to EPCOT Center is at an end.