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‘Celebration 40’ Marks 40 Years of EPCOT with Legendary Imagineers, Show Producers, and Fun for Disney Parks Fans – Streaming and In-Person Tickets On Sale Now!

Join us for CELEBRATION 40, an event presented by WDWNT celebrating the 40th anniversary of EPCOT Center! Guest speakers will include legendary former Disney Imagineer Tim Delaney and legendary show producer Don Dorsey.

Celebration 40 Logo

Celebration 40, taking place October 1 & 2, 2022 at both The Walt Disney World Resort and WDWNT Celebration, is the only unofficial fan celebration of the 40th anniversary of EPCOT Center. 

The group planning this event began throwing celebrations of Disney theme park anniversaries back in 2007 with Celebration 25. This event was assembled because Disney had announced they had no plans to celebrate the milestone anniversary of EPCOT. On October 1st, 2007, over 1200 guests attended this fan gathering at the park. 15 years later, we are in a very similar situation where Disney has not announced much of a celebration of the park and fans are asking for some way to get together and mark the birthday of their favorite of Walt Disney World’s 4 gates.

The event will consist of free-to-attend meet-ups at some of EPCOT’s classic attractions and shows on October 1st, followed on October 2nd by an intimate in-person gathering (that will also be streamed online) for some presentations at WDWNT Celebration, a private studio space just moments away from Walt Disney World on Celebration Boulevard.

Here is the tentative event schedule:

Friday, September 30, 2022 – Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

6:00 PM – “WIGS Ultra” Exclusive Dinner Party at the Treehouse Villas†

Saturday, October 1, 2022 – EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort‡

11:00 AM – Group Lunch* at Regal Eagle Smokehouse in The American Adventure
12:00 PM – Meet for Voices of Liberty at The American Adventure
Immediately following Voices of Liberty, join us for group rides, shows, and more as we remember the EPCOT Center of our childhood:

  • Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Visit the Manatees
  • Group Photo with the last existing Future World sign

Dinner on your own or enjoy the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
7:00 PM – Gather for a group viewing of Harmonious on the World Showcase Promenade across from Norway.
NOTE: October 1 in-park events are open to everyone visiting EPCOT; no event ticket is required. Follow us on Twitter for live updates of the meeting times and locations.

Sunday, October 2, 2022 – WDWNT Celebration in Celebration, FL

10:00 AM – The Dawn of “The Dawn of a New Disney Era”
Presentation by former Imagineer Tim Delaney on the visual development of EPCOT Center from 1977 through the park’s opening

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12:15 PM – Catered Lunch** along with special video presentation from IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth composer Gavin Greenaway

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1:30 PM – Reflecting on Reflections of Earth
Presentation by Don Dorsey and Mark Nichols, the creative forces behind IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – the longest running nighttime show in EPCOT history. Presentation will also include a Q&A session with attendees.

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3:30 PM – “We Welcome You to Seabase Alpha”: The Making of The Living Seas
Presentation by former Imagineer Tim Delaney on the creation of The Living Seas pavilion in Future World, from wildest concept to incredible reality. Presentation will also include a Q&A session with attendees.

*Meals on October 1 at EPCOT are not included with your event ticket.
**The catered lunch on October 2 is included with your event ticket.
†The WIGS Ultra Exclusive Treehouse Dinner Party is exclusive to WIGS Ultra members who joined the WIGS Ultra level before September 15, 2022.
‡Park admission is not included in your event admission. In order to join us at EPCOT on October 1, you will be required to purchase your own park admission as well as reserve a park pass for EPCOT for that day.

Streaming tickets are available here and are just $10, with half of that amount going to benefit Give Kids the World Village. The ticket gives you access to stream the event live, but also gives you access for 30 days after the event concludes.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Tickets to attend in person are extremely limited to just 100 attendees, but are still available here.

WDWNT Inner Globe Society Members on Patreon do get a discount for both in-person and streaming tickets.

CELEBRATION 40 PRESENTERS:

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Tim Delaney was born in Glendale, California, the same city that is the home of Walt Disney Imagineering.  Being from So. California allowed many annual family trips to Disneyland where a passion for the Park added to the existing passion that was previously started by Walt Disney’s television show DISNEYLAND.   Walt’s TV show inspired a passion for the “future” through his Tomorrowland series that has continued with Mr, Delaney today and throughout his creative, design and artwork career.

Graduating with Honors from Art Center College of Design gave the artistic and design skills needed to represent his ideas and visions of the future and in 1976 he began working for Walt Disney Imagineering.

He quickly became immersed in the Disney parks and culture and was fortunate to have the opportunity to work side by side with Walt’s legendary themepark designers:  Herb Ryman, X Atencio, Sam McKim,  Mark Davis and Ward Kimball.

1977 —  EPCOT CENTER.  Mr. Delaney began work on concepts for the all new park that was to be Walt Disney’s vision of the future.  Working under the leadership of John Hench and Marty Sklar, Tim created hundreds illustrations depicting the look, style and content of the Park.  EPCOT opened in 1982.

1980 – 1985  THE LIVING SEAS PAVILION.  Mr. Delaney became the overall Project Designer and Producer for this futuristic vision of the oceans for EPCOT Center.  The Living Seas Pavilion was the first project for the new Disney management team under the leadership of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells.

Under this new leadership team the Walt Disney Company, in particular the themepark division, exploded with development and growth.

1986 – 1992   DISNEYLAND PARIS.   Lead Designer and Producer for this new version of a Tomorrowland called Discoveryland.  Based on the great European visionaries like Jules Verne, H G Wells and da Vinci, this new land brought a unique European flavor to the Park and from a story point of view created a timeless quality to future themed attractions.

1992 – 1995  SPACE MOUNTAIN PARIS.  Lead Designer and Producer for a Jules Verne themed Space Mountain.  Pulling from Jules Verne’s 1865 story, From the Earth to the Moon, this new thrill ride incorporated the newest technologies in catapult launch systems, onboard audio and ride dynamics, all in the spirit of bringing  Verne’s story to life.

1996 – 2001   DISNEY’S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE.   Lead Designer and Producer for Paradise Pier, the Entrance Complex and the renovation of the Disneyland Hotel.

2001 – 2005  HONG KONG DISNEYLAND.    Lead Designer and Producer for Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.  This eleventh Disney park presented a very challenging design for a Tomorrowland in that the city of Hong Kong was more of a future cityscape than any other in the Disney themepark collection.

2008 – 2009  SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND.    Concept development for this newest of all Disney Parks.

2009 –  2010  DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS.  Concept Development for several Resort Projects including the Aulani Resort on the island of Oahu and the White Mountains.

2010  to the Present.   Mr. Delaney is currently immersed in his own Experience Design Company – TIM J DELANEY DESIGN INC.  Working out of his studio in So. California he has Local and International clients.

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Don Dorsey is the most legendary producer of nighttime entertainment (including Laserphonic FantasyIllumiNations and Sorcery in the Sky) for Disney theme parks. For seventeen years he served as the main audio recording and post-production engineer for the Entertainment Division of the Disneyland® Park, manning console knobs and faders for recording sessions with Mickey and his cohorts, and for musical groups which ran the gamut from bagpipes, steel drums and accordion to marching band, 100-voice choir and symphony orchestra. His electronic arrangements and performances for Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade have been heard by an estimated 100 million Disney park guests around the world. Don continues to develop new entertainment projects and technology for Disney parks around the world, and in 1999 created and directed the new nighttime show for Epcot, Reflections of Earth, to celebrate the new Millennium.

  1. Wow, this is awesome! Leave it to true fans like WDWNT to create offerings where Disney itself simply falls short. Just another example of how they fail or refuse to read their fans and create offerings they want. When will Disney wake up and recognize that nostalgia sells???? Love, an EPCOT Center fan circa 1989 :)

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