Ten Things You May Not Know About Epcot
1. Epcot’s origins go all the way back to Walt Disney’s dream of building a city of the future. He wanted to create an environment where people could work, live and play, utilizing the newest technological advances of the day. When the Florida Project was being developed, this new city was always a vital component of the conceptual plans. The city project was named the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, or EPCOT for short.
2. The city may have given way to the theme park we all know and love today, but you can still find remnants of Walt’s original vision. At the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in the Magic Kingdom, keep an eye out for the model of the original city concept. Constructed in 1967, the model was first installed as part of a fifth scene for Disneyland’s Carousel of Progress, located on the second floor of the attraction building.
3. Walt even had a short film produced in 1966 in which he unveiled his plans for the new city. The film was rarely seen until recently; you can view part of it in the Walt Disney Presents exhibit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. After Walt passed away, Epcot was eventually reconceptualized as an ongoing showcase of the latest technology and the various cultures of the world’s nations—basically a permanent World’s Fair.
4. The original design of Epcot (the park) was vastly different from the final version. For one thing, Future World and World Showcase were reversed, with World Showcase serving as the entrance to the park. Additionally, Epcot was at one time intended to be built across from the Magic Kingdom on Seven Seas Lagoon.
5. When the park was still in its design phase, a 1/8th inch scale model of EPCOT was built. How big is that? The model actually covered an area of 1,428 square feet, about the size of an average home!
6. That may seem big, but the park itself ended up being over 300 acres in size, nearly three times as large as the Magic Kingdom. Even allowing for the 41 acres taken up by World Showcase Lagoon, that still makes the touring section of Epcot more than double that of the Magic Kingdom. Hope you brought your walking shoes!
7. The name of the park has gone through several subtle changes. When it opened, the park was known as EPCOT Center (EPCOT was always printed in capital letters signifying its use as an acronym for the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow). By 1994, it was thought that the name EPCOT was sufficiently recognized as a word unto itself (rather than just an acronym), so the name of the park was changed to simply Epcot.
8. Additionally, in keeping with the World’s Fair concept, it was decided that the park would be reexamined and updated every year to keep it current and vital. Thus, EPCOT Center became Epcot ‘94, with Epcot ‘95 and Epcot ‘96 following in subsequent years. After 1996 that idea was abandoned, and the park has been known simply as Epcot ever since.
9. Walt Disney originally envisioned a dome over the entire Epcot city in order to have complete control over the weather. That would sure come in handy during your typical Florida thunderstorm!
10. You may notice that the walkways throughout Epcot have a pinkish hue. This was purposely done to create visual contrast between the pavement and the grass, making the grass appear much more vibrant (Red/pink and green are complimentary colors).