The Dawn Of A New Disney Era - an entertainment adventure
This 1982 EPCOT Center advertisement is probably one of the best examples of classic Disney marketing. There’s no gimmicks here, just an explanation of what EPCOT Center is and why exactly Disney’s new venture is so groundbreaking and special. The image itself is particularly striking. Spaceship Earth is viewed as a monument, rising over the park, commanding the awe and attention of guests. The focus is on the scope of the park, not on the emotions of the guests.
1975 concept art for EPCOT’s Mexico, one of the earliest pavilions planned, and one that actually came to fruition. This version of the pavilion would have boasted an entryway with a grand fountain with carvings speaking to the mystical heritage of the indigenous peoples of Central America, while a boat excursion to Lake Xochimilco was planned for the interior, not unlike the final version of El Rio Del Tiempo. It should be noted that this version of World Showcase was housed in a massive building and ‘wedge’ shaped spaces inside the structure would make up the pavilion.
Guests taking the mirrored speed ramp up to the Skydome Spectacular at Progressland, from the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
EPCOT Center, 1981: The Universe of Energy’s dinosaurs are making their way from Asian Way to be installed in their pavilion, and the Journey into Imagination is merely a flat warehouse. Imagination’s iconic glass pyramids will be installed much later, using a unconventional space frame construction method. Meanwhile, the warehouse containing the ride was been water sealed and instillation of the ride began. Fatefully, though, Journey into Imagination proved to be problematic and would not open until March of 1983, 5 months into EPCOT Center’s operations. Also pictured is the “laser ballet” scene, part of the “Arts and Literature” scene. Although this picture shows off the lasers formulating an image of Figment out of thin air, this effect didn’t make the cut, and instead the lasers projected more simple images in the final version of the ride. Most notable were music notes and the theatrical masks of comedy and tragedy.
Above is Bob Gurr’s fantastic concept rendering of the Disneyland Viewliner, the precursor to the Monorail.
From 1957 to 1958, this miniature gauge train ran from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland, alongside the main Disneyland Railroad’s tracks. Ultimately only running for a year before the Monorail was constructed in 1959 this has the distinction of being one of Disneyland’s shortest lived attractions.
Saddened to hear of Diane Disney Miller’s death. Her work to preserve Walt’s history and legacy will always be cherished and remembered.
Seeing Diane Disney Miller take such an active role in founding the Walt Disney Family Museum was fantastic. I hope that that spirit is lives on and inspires others to take up the torch.
November 18th, 1928.
It was all started by a mouse, 85 years ago, today.
Happy Anniversary, Mickey Mouse and Steamboat Willie!