On October 1, 2012, Epcot continued to Believe in the Future as Disney put on an amazing show for the parks 30th Anniversary. All the special events were amazing and went off without problems, starting with the Anniversary Moment at the American Adventure, numerous special events at World Showplace, and finally Reflections of Earth, and finally ending with a special anniversary TAG added on to the end of the show!
The day started off early for some, as people started to arrive at Epcot by 6am, however most people (us included) arrived around 730 and we were treated to an early rope drop at 830! Just inside the gates were Cast Members handing out buttons, and special edition maps, and the vast majority of people made a mad dash to Mousegear for the merchandise!
Mousegear had numerous Limited Edition Items for sale to commemorate the 30th Anniversary, and the most expensive of them was a 9″ Vinylmation (only 10 were made) hand painted and signed by Noah, priced at $1800! Other LE merchandise included an “I Was There” pin, Annual Passholder Pins, a Spaceship Earth 3-Pin Set, a stained glass jumbo pin featuring all the original EPCOT Center Pavilion Logos, as well as a Spaceship Earth framed blueprint (etched into the glass) with collectable coins.
Early on in the afternoon, Epcot featured an “Anniversary” moment over at the American Gardens Theater and featured current Epcot vice president Erin Youngs, former Epcot vice president and current senior vice president at Walt Disney World Jim McPhee, as well as president of Disney theme park operations in the United States and Paris Meg Crofton and all gave a short speeches about the 30th Anniversary. There were also performances by the Voices of Libery and the Mariachi Cobre, the two World Showcase performances that have been in Epcot since day 1.
World Showplace (formerly Millennium Village) was host to multiple events for the Anniversary Celebration! There was an all day long D23 event on 9/30 (more on that in a future blog post!), as well as Designing the Future – Past and Present: A panel of Disney Imagineers remembers 30 years of building tomorrow, and Epcot: How it Changed the World with Marty Sklar. The presentation featuring Marty Sklar was simply amazing and a few lines here will NOT do it justice. Marty spoke about the challenges of building EPCOT Center, and some of the various rough drafts of the park that were considered when Walt was still alive, as well as going back through much of the music from the original Future World Pavilions and World Showcase attractions. He also took questions from the audience, and mentioned his new book that will be on sale later this year. We also learned that he hates the current Epcot logo and would love to see the original make a return!!
The day ended with one of the most impressive versions of Reflections of Earth that I’ve ever seen, and I heard many people exclaim that it was on par with New Years Eve fireworks! The special RoE TAG was set to the music Surprise in the Skies from the Fountain of Nations, as well as other classic music from Epcot’s past! Finally after the show ended, we were treated to New Horizons and Tomorrow’s Child, among other music selections from the original pavilions of Epcot Center as we left for the night! All in all, Disney made a celebration that was amazing, and incredible, and didn’t seem to falter from the same problems that they had in Magic Kingdom last year for the 40th anniversary of WDW. We have numerous pictures on our Facebook Page if you’d like to see more, and we will have more in depth articles about Marty Sklar, and merchandise later on in the week!