On October 1, 1982, EPCOT Center opened to the public. In the three decades since, Epcot has been visited by millions upon millions of guests, and it has been heralded by some as the greatest theme park on the planet. This October, Epcot turns 30. While most would wonder if turning 30 means they're getting too old or if it's finally time to settle down, Epcot is celebrating the arrival of its fourth decade of existence with a unique day geared for Disney's biggest fan club. On September 30th, 2012, D23 is hosting the "Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration" which include a full day of presentations from Disney Imagineers, Legends, and Luminaries. If you love Epcot, you might want to plan a trip to Orlando for this event. Continue reading for full details and how to get tickets.
This event is exclusive to D23 Members in good standing, who can purchase tickets for themselves and three guests. The Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration ticket does not include admission to Epcot, so you will also need a ticket for the park that day to be able to attend. D23 Members have two ticket options: The general experience World Passport for $65, which includes access to all presentations, a commemorative gift, and access to exclusive D23 Merchandise. For $185, members can purchase the enhanced experience World Key, which includes reserved seating for all presentations, a special dessert reception at an exclusive Future World lounge featuring screenings of rare film footage of Epcot’s early days, an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity with Disney Legends and Epcot Luminaries, and all of the features of the World Passport.
The event takes place from 9 am and continues through 5:30 pm on Sunday, September 30th at the World ShowPlace Pavilion. The World Key dessert reception will be at 8 pm that day. Tickets will go on sale June 21st at 10 a.m. PST at the event page on D23’s website. If you’re not a D23 member but are interested in going, you can sign up here.
Here are the presentations taking place at D23’s Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration Event. For complete details, check out D23’s website.
- Hooray for the 21st Century - “Disney Legend and former Walt Disney Imagineering Principal Creative Executive Marty Sklar joins D23 guests via a virtual presentation, where we see and hear what it was like to work with Walt Disney on his original vision for an Experiemental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Along the way, learn about Marty’s favorite memories working on the EPCOT Center project with a team of passionate Imagineers.”
- The Music of EPCOT Center - “Some of Epcot’s most passionate fans agree that the park’s soundtrack has created one of its most lasting legacies that continue to help “makin’ memories” around the world. Join Disney historians and songwriters as we explore the incredible world of Epcot music, celebrating the talents of such Epcot songwriters and composers as Bob Moline, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, George Wilkins, Buddy Baker, X. Atencio, Peter Stougaard, Russell Brower, Edo Guidotti and others who have left a permanent musical mark on the park’s creative legacy. Along the way, hear stories about the recording sessions, learn about some fascinating alternate versions of some of your favorite melodies, and sing along to your favorite Epcot tunes!”
- We Can Do It! - “Disney Legends and EPCOT Center creators review the immense challenge that loomed ahead of them when bringing Epcot to reality in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guests will hear stories of trips to foreign countries to secure participants in the World Showcase concept, what life was like inside the largest private construction project in the world, and how they readied its highly anticipated opening day.”
- We’ve Just Begun to Dream - “Join Disney Legend Ron Logan and other key Disney entertainment veterans as they reminisce about the official EPCOT Center opening festivities that remain among the most elaborate Disney has ever staged. This presentation will include rare footage from the grand openings of various Future World and World Showcase pavilions, which were held throughout October 1982.”
- The EPCOT Center That Never Was - “Using rare concept artwork, guests will glimpse what it was like to design Epcot with Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Tony Baxter, designer and producer for several beloved Epcot pavilions, and explore early versions of Epcot attractions that never made it off the drawing board.”
- Imagineering Epcot: An Extra Perceptive Close-up Of Things - “Fans of wall-to-wall carpeting and leapfrog fountains unite! Disney Imagineers Jason Surrell, Jason Grandt, and Alex Wright return with a humorous exploration of the details that make Epcot so unique. From miniature gardens to massive buildings (and every international food and beverage offering in between), they’ll show what makes Future World and World Showcase like no place else on earth.”
- Looking Back at Tomorrow- “Few Epcot visitors, even its most avid fans, realize The Land pavilion was almost called “Harvest Tomorrow” or that Figment was slated to co-host an “Images & Imagination” pavilion with “Professor Marvel.” With recently discovered materials from the Walt Disney Archives, join Disney archivists as they examine how the “dreamers and doers” developed favorite Epcot attractions of the past including Horizons, Journey into Imagination, Kitchen Kabaret, World of Motion, the Astuter Computer Revue, and the original Universe of Energy.”
- Makin’ Memories on Film - “Join former Disney Imagineer Bob Garner and Disney author and historian Tim O’Day as they cast a “Magic Eye” on the marvelous world of Epcot on film. Bob was closely involved in the creation of film documentation and production at Epcot, including special video elements of Future World and World Showcase pavilions and such promotional films as EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration.”