Disney Releases Vintage EPCOT Video From Before the Park Opened in 1982

By Matt Novak on at

I’ve seen a lot of EPCOT concept art in my day. But a new video released by Disney has some behind-the-scenes shots that I’ve never seen before, including scale models of everything from the Horizons attraction (RIP) to the countries of the World Showcase. It’s all pretty cool.

The video, titled “The Dream Called EPCOT,” ran on a loop at the “EPCOT Preview Centre” in the Magic Kingdom during the late 1970s. And since I wasn’t born until 1983, so much of the video’s models and concept art are brand new to me.

The Disney Parks blog posted the 15-minute video in its entirety to YouTube, and it’s pretty fascinating for any EPCOT-nerd to watch all the way through. Not only do you see rare concept art, but you also get a look at some of the preparations necessary for opening rides like World of Motion and Food Rocks at the Land Pavilion.

Take, for instance, this awesome/horrifying shot of an audio-animatronic figure from Food Rocks without its skin. They appear to be wrapping it in some kind of blanket, probably to be moved somewhere else.

From the Disney Parks blog:

The purpose of the film was to introduce a new kind of Disney theme park to guests, showcasing exciting experiences they could have in the park’s Future World and World Showcase areas. The film offered sneak peaks at attraction models, renderings and animation for The Living Seas, Horizons, World of Motion, CommuniCore and Spaceship Earth, as well as early construction footage. It also offered a first-listen to some of the fun music composed for this new park, including songs like “It’s Fun to Be Free,” “Universe of Energy” and “Listen to the Land.”

As we’ve established before, that music from Listen to the Land is one of my favourites.

It’s a fascinating look at the park before it opened in October of 1982. Especially if you long for the days when Future World had some of the coolest dark rides in all of Disney World.

Do you spot anything in the video that you’ve never seen before? Or, at least, never seen in its infancy? [Disney Parks]


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