Thursday, October 01, 2009

27 Years Ago Today ...


2009 has been a tumultuous year for me, and I'm sorry that the changes (some good, some difficult and unpleasant, all leading to growth) have resulted in the seeming disappearance of EPCOT Central.

But like the spirit of EPCOT itself, EPCOT Central remains a big part of who I am, and when I realized a couple of months ago that far too long had elapsed since updating the site, I thought it would make the most sense until October 1 to "relaunch" it.

Twenty-seven years ago today, EPCOT Center opened its doors. In the ensuing years, there have been high points -- like the additions of pavilions and attractions-- and low. But EPCOT has endured ... and always will.

As I don't call Central Florida home, it was important for me to have at least one more trip to EPCOT, to spend time soaking it all in, observing, thinking, watching guests interact, exploring both myself and through my personal guests and through EPCOT cast members just what keeps EPCOT thriving. So, in the coming weeks and months, there will be more EPCOT Central, and hopefully you will start reading again.

Thank you for your patience, for your concern and empathy (this has been a difficult year for a great many people, it seems), and for your continued devotion to EPCOT, its ideals and its unique place in Disney's repertoire.

Today marks EPCOT Center's 27th anniversary. It's an occasion worth noting! Here's to new horizons on this, our spaceship Earth.

22 comments:

Airamerica said...

Just back from Epcot, having been there 14 times in the past 3 weeks - mostly walking through the park to get to the monorail and back to the Boardwalk...

The lines were mostly short and I enjoyed riding Spaceship Earth, Mexico and Norway on my own several times!!!

Whilst the park has changed and moved away from the original vision, I still had fun and never get bored of spending time there.

The only thing that get to me is the security at the front gate - I have 2 slightly disturbing stories about that. Let me just say it would be easier toi break into a prison in the UK than to get into Epcot sometimes!

Sherry said...

Welcome back. I hope things are slowly coming back to some sort of normalcy in your life .. I wish you all the best.
I enjoy reading your insights and story's on my favorite park at WDW.
As a member of the media I have attended many "media events" at WDW and have a unique perspective on the inner workings of The Disney Organization. The most memorable media event has to be the Millennium Celebration held at EPCOT in 1999. Nothing before or since has topped it. The entire park was open until 3am, (but closed to the public) and everything was operational including all the attractions and entertainment, along with enough food and beverage available at every turn.
A night like that will never be repeated in my lifetime and I am grateful to have been in attendance.
I look forward to your upcoming entries.

Future Guy said...

Good to see you again, Epcot82. Sorry to hear you've had some difficulties, but it's good that you're still around. You were missed.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. Missed the discussions. Just at EPCOT a couple of weeks ago. Still alot that inspires, and others that do not(imagination). All in all it`s still EPCOT and thats a good thing.

ColtsFan said...

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Ditto to all of the above. Great to see you back in action!

rob said...

yeah you're back!!!!

St. Chris said...

Always happy to see you here again, no questions asked.

John Hendershot said...

I think that you will find that lots of us never stopped reading EPCOT Centeral. We just used our time to look back over your earlier posts and hoped that you could find a place in your life to share your thoughts with us once again.

Welcome back and I sincerely hope that you have reached a calmer place in your life.

Epcot82 said...

Thank you, all. Your thoughts are really nice to read. While things may not be "calmer," they have stabilized ... and as I have learned at EPCOT (not to sound schmaltzy), "We go on, to the joy and through the tears, we go on to discover new frontiers."

There's always hope. There's power in that optimistic view of the future and working together that is found so uniquely at EPCOT.

Michael said...

Welcome back! I'm glad to see things gearing back up. I too will be glad to see this year over; it seems like a lot of people I know are echoing this sentiment. I'm about ready to drag it into the back yard and bury it under the shed, three months early.

ANYWAY, good luck with the reboot. Hopefully we'll be talking abut Imagination 4.0 sometime soonish!

St. Chris said...

Sky pavilion!

Donald "DC" Clyde said...

Welcome back, it will be good to read your posts again!

Scott said...

Glad you're back! (It's been 'ears and 'ears...or so it seems...) ;-)

Tuckenie said...

Good to see you back! Missed reading your site.

Andy JS said...

Great to see you back, EPCOT82.

As I've said before, I've visited EPCOT about 10 times between 1988 and 2002. I have a pretty good idea what EPCOT was like during that period - mostly the 1990s of course. I'm fascinating by how the park was before 1988 and since 2002, so keep the posts coming. Thanks again, Andy.

Nino said...

Welcome back, sir! It was great to check in and see new posts. Don't worry about not blogging, it tends to go from fun hobby to PITA obligation anyway. I think most people understand when real life gets in the way.

BTW, I haven't been to EPCOT in a while, how do the new/old colors on U of Energy look?

Epcot82 said...

I like the new/old colors on UoE -- they're a little less "intrusive" and make a lot of sense since they depict the colors of, well, energy. Proves that, if they wanted to, Imagineers and EPCOT management could "go back" to the original EPCOT designs with success ... or, at least, with a "doesn't matter either way" from most guests.

Marilyn said...

YEAH!!! You're back!!!!

Ryan said...

Glad to see you back again! My last visit to EPCOT was in February after not going since 1999. Growing up a couple hours from the parks, I went all the time as a kid so I have very fond memories of all of them, especially EPCOT. My favorite experience was when my family would get to hang out in the VIP area of World of Motion (my grandfather worked for GM). They had a large television screen showing a camera feed from one of the cameras stationed in the park. Afterwards, we would get to go straight onto the ride.

After Horizons closed, I stopped keeping up with the changes to the park - so upon my visit, I was very disappointed in the changes to Imagination, Living Seas, the Spaceship Earth descent, and of course, the deserted Wonders of Life. I thought it was a cruel joke that my once-favorite pavilion was now blocked off by some potted plants.

After that visit, I discovered your blog and it really helped me realize all the things that have changed over the years and gave me an even greater appreciation of the way EPCOT was like back then.

So, thank you for your posts and for sharing all of your insight with us.

Epcot82 said...

Thanks, Ryan. And if you get a chance, give Epcot a try. No, it's not as good as the original, but an "almost EPCOT" beats no EPCOT at all!

Jon said...

Epcot82, I think it speaks volumes as to the quality of your thoughts and insights that even as the months have passed people still found themselves looking to your site waiting patiently for your return. I personally have checked on a regular basis hoping for something and I am pleased that this time I see I have missed plenty. Welcome Back!