Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

The Epcot That Never Was

by on May 28, 2015

(c) Walt Disney Company

Model of EPCOT, (c) Walt Disney Company

Epcot is one of my favorite parks at Walt Disney World. I never get tired of seeing Spaceship Earth, or watching the dancing Fountain of Nations in Future World, or doing a little shopping in World Showcase; but what I’ve recently discovered is that the Epcot that I know isn’t exactly what Walt Disney had in mind when planning Disney World. You see, back in the 1960s when Disney World was being planned, the Magic Kingdom wasn’t what Walt was most excited about. In fact, when Walt introduced television viewers to his plans for Florida, he said that EPCOT would be the “heart of everything we will be doing at Disney World.” Walt also said that it wouldn’t be a park at all, but rather a community of the future where you could live! So what was the Epcot supposed to be like? What happened along the way? Well, keep reading because for today, I’m here to tell you all about The Epcot That Never Was.

Walt’s Original Vision for EPCOT

One of Walt’s many interests was city planning and finding solutions to the everyday problems of the cities of the day, such as traffic, slums, pollution, and crowded conditions. He had learned a lot about planning, building, and construction when creating Disneyland, and he now felt that he could provide some solutions to the problems he saw in the real world in the form of a working community called EPCOT.

EPCOT stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and it would be an example to the country and the world for how to build and run better cities. It would also serve as a sort of testing ground for new technology, products, materials, and ideas from America’s industries and corporations that would serve to improve our lives.

EPCOT wasn’t just some idea or possible plan for the distant future of Disney World. Walt fully intended to build it, had many plans and diagrams, and intended it to be the focus of his Disney World on the East Coast where 20,000 residents would live and work. Pretty cool, huh?

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The Amazing Race Around Disney World

by on May 26, 2015

Amazing Race

Three things that my family loves are Disney World, reality TV, and competition. So once a year during our summer Disney World vacation, we combine all of these together into what we affectionately call “The Amazing Race Around Disney World”. In case you aren’t familiar with the popular reality TV series “The Amazing Race“, the basic premise is that teams of two compete in challenges while racing around the world for a million dollars. We follow this same format (minus the million) and create new challenges each year.

Please read on for a complete copy of one of our races and to learn more about how to create your very own “Amazing Race Around Disney World” for your next vacation!

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Daisy Lauren’s Last Best Week Ever

by on May 21, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. And sadly, yes, the title is true. This will be my last Best Week Ever article! :( Remember that day job that keeps me from posting photos of myself? Well, I’ve been given an incredible promotion that will involve much more travel. While I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity, it will make it impossible to keep up with my weekly updates.

I’m so thankful to all of you that have read over the last year. I’ll still be helping out on the Touring Plans instagram account, so if you miss me you can find me there. (I know I’ll miss you!) And they’ve told me I can still stop by and post when I have time. So it isn’t really goodbye. :) But that’s enough sad stuff, let’s get going with all the theme park goodness from last week!

As you can tell from the photo above, I started this week at Universal Orlando. We don’t make it out that way nearly enough, but we love the parks. Arriving just after opening meant there were no crowds! It was great! I think we enjoyed the quiet morning walk as much as the park itself.

2

So where did we head to next? Why don’t you click to find out? :)

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Where to Find Walt at Disney World

by on May 17, 2015

Walt and Mickey

Walt and Mickey

When comparing the Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World, one of the biggest differences that always comes up is that Disneyland was Walt’s park while Walt never lived to see Disney World completed. While this is true, that doesn’t mean you still can’t find Walt’s attractions and touches on the East Coast. So keep reading to discover just a few of many places where to find Walt at Disney World!

The Hub: One of the most popular places to take a photo at the Magic Kingdom is in front of the statue of Walt and Mickey with Cinderella Castle in the background. Known as the Partners Statue, it’s appropriately positioned at the center of the park known as the Hub, where paths branch off towards the different lands of the Magic Kingdom. Just seeing the statue at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and at the park center brings it all back to Walt and his most famous creation, Mickey Mouse.  The Hub has undergone some changes lately, but you can still find statuettes of other characters that contributed to Walt’s success, such as Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and more.

101_3519Main Street, USA: Did you know that you can find Walt even before you enter the Magic Kingdom? When approaching the park entrance, you will probably hear a train whistle and the clang of a bell from up above as a train pulls into Main Street Station. This is because Walt loved trains! The Main Street Train Station, along with Main Street, U.S.A, provides guests not just a look at what Walt’s creations, but what was in his heart. Trains were one of Walt’s hobbies and he spend his free time planning and constructing a miniature train that he and his guests could ride on in his backyard. He called it the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Once you enter the park, you have to pass under the Main Street Train Station; but I encourage anyone who’s interested in learning about Walt to check it out. It’s filled with nods to railroad history and Walt’s passion for this vintage form of transportation. Main Street, USA was inspired after Walt’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Walt loved growing up in Marceline and wanted to recreate his memories of the town in his park. He even included a few odes to his family and Imagineers in the names found on the windows above the street. Fun Fact: Walt has two windows of his own. One of them is on the Main Street Train Station and faces out at the entrance while the other is above the Plaza Restaurant and faces Cinderella Castle!

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New Live Entertainment for the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot

by on May 1, 2015

American Music Machine

©Disney

Those who enjoy the live entertainment at Epcot now have one more option to experience!

American Music Machine, (I keep thinking of Miami Sound Machine every time I hear their name…haha), a five member, contemporary a Capella group, will bring performances of current and classic American pop tunes to the America Gardens Theatre stage. If this sounds a bit familiar (kind of like Glee), it should; the show’s vocal arranger, Tim Davis helped with creating it.

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Inside Out Preview Headed to Epcot

by on May 1, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

After the Tomorrowland preview ends at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot (which is showing through May 24), a new preview will take up residence in the Magic Eye Theater. This new preview will showcase the upcoming Pixar flick, Inside Out. The special preview will offer Guests an exclusive intro from filmmakers, an advanced look at a sequence from the film, and in-theater effects.

The inclusion of Inside Out‘s preview in the Magic Eye Theater following the Tomorrowland preview does give more credence to the notion that Captain EO really is dead. (Despite insistence that it isn’t. Time will tell.)

This preview of Inside Out will begin on May 30 and will last about 12 minutes. There is currently no end date scheduled.

The movie, Inside Out will premiere in theaters on June 19 and it looks like it will be spectacular. (But something tells me I may need Kleenex…just a hunch.)

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Tomorrowland Preview Now Open at Epcot

by on April 18, 2015

Tomorrowland preview epcot

The Tomorrowland preview has evicted Captain EO from Epcot’s Imagination pavilion. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Do you want to go back to the future? Well, we’re already in 2015, so Doc Brown’s time machine is off the table, but Disney is now giving guests a glimpse of the world (or at least the moview) of tomorrow. As Rikki Niblett reported, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland preview officially opened on April 18 inside Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater, formerly home to Captain EO.

The new temporary attraction is essentially an advertisement for the upcoming Brad Bird-directed sci-fi flick, which will be released to American theaters on May 22.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 4/17/15

by on April 17, 2015

Happy Friday! Do you have big plans that involve Disney this weekend? If you’ll be traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend (or any time soon), here are some of the news notes you should know!

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is now offering the pre-order option for breakfast. Guests with a breakfast reservation will receive information via their dining confirmation email and will be able to pre-order meals through My Disney Experience anywhere from 30 days to 5 minutes prior to their reservation. Guests can also still choose to order breakfast at the time of arrival at the restaurant. Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant is currently only being tested through June 18.
  • Epcot will be holding some special events Earth Day, which is April 22. Beginning today until April 22, there will be nature activities for kids and families and a sand-sculpture creation to showcase Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom at the World Showcase Outpost. Then, over at The Seas with Nemo & Friends on April 22, guests can learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks, and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans.

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Tomorrowland Preview Begins Tomorrow at Epcot

by on April 17, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

I feel a sense of irony writing this title for this article. 😉

For those of you excited about the Tomrrowland sneak peek that will be taking place in Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater in the Imagination Pavilion (you know, where Captain EO has been playing), it will begin tomorrow, April 18. In addition, to being able to catch the preview guests will also be able to get a close-up look at one of the jet packs used in the film, along with a display of concept art and photos straight from the set.

For those visiting Disneyland, the preview kicked off today at the Tomorrowland Theater. After catching the preview, guests are invited to visit the Starcade to see original props and production artwork.

The preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes and is expected to run until May 24. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.

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Get Ready to Rock Out with the 2015 Sounds Like Summer Concert Series

by on April 15, 2015

Sounds Like Summer Concert SeriesEpcot brings the music every summer courtesy of its Sounds Like Summer Concert Series. What makes this event unique is that it features tribute bands performing hits of your favorite artists. These bands are about as real as a cover band can be.

This year’s concerts will take place from June 7 through July 25 and the seven different acts will perform for a week at a time.

Many favorites will be returning this year, including Hotel California and 2U. The full lineup includes:

  • June 7-13: DSB – A Tribute to Journey
  • June 14-20: 2U – A Tribute to U2
  • June 21-26: Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – A Tribute Billy Joel Show
  • June 27 – July 4: Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston
  • July 5-11: Fire & Ice – A Tribute to Pat Benatar
  • July 12-18: Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
  • July 19-25: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles

Do keep in mind that entertainment is subject to change.

These fun concerts take place at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre, which is found at the American Adventure Pavilion. Showtimes are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily and shows are included with your Epcot admission.

So get ready to shake your groove thing and make sure you stop to enjoy the Sounds Like Summer concert series during your summer vacations this year!

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