Yay for Epcot merchandise! Thank you Disney for actually planning merchandise for Epcots 30th anniversary! Woooo
There is one book in my Disney collection that I cherish – a soft cover book released prior to the opening of then Epcot Center. Before my first visit in July 1983, I spent hours dreaming of the 21st Century while looking at the beautiful concept paintings in the book. October 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of Epcot and to celebrate, we will be releasing several items on that milestone day. I spoke with Disney Design Group artists Qunyh Kimball and John Henselmeier about their work on the anniversary style guide being used as reference for merchandise (you may recall Quynh and John’s work on the Starspeeder 1000 Vehicle Playset released last year). I was happy to learn that they used that book I love as inspiration.
“We loved the warm colors and illustrations found in [the Epcot Center book],” explained John. “In the past five years, we have designed many vintage Epcot items. For the 30th anniversary, we wanted something different – a retro but contemporary feeling, something we call ‘today’s vintage.’ That soft cover book really helped us achieve that look.”
Work on the style guide began in December 2011 at the request of the Disney Pins team. Pins have been a big part of previous Epcot anniversaries and they will play a part in October. The image above contains a few of my favorites, including a reversible lanyard, a few mystery pins and a pin that looks like it’s from an early 1980s video game (oh, why can’t “Epcot Center – The Game” be real?!). John told me his favorite attraction of all time was Body Wars, so he made sure it was represented in the assortment.
There will also be a jumbo pin that uses the soft cover book image in the packaging. In addition to pins, look for a few softline items including a T-shirt that uses the “21st Century Continues” artwork as seen in the first image.
Writing this article has left me feeling nostalgic. Do you have a story about your favorite thing from Epcot in the past 30 years? I vote either the handwich from The Land Pavilion or Magic Journeys. I hope to see you on October 1!
I love seeing vintage photos from the Disney Parks especially EPCOT (my favorite Walt Disney World theme park). This edition of Vintage Walt Disney World on the Disney Parks Blog is all about IllumiNations (also my favorite Walt DIsney World nighttime spectacular).
While nighttime at Epcot has become synonymous with watching IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth around World Showcase Lagoon, it wasn’t until Jan. 30, 1988, that the original IllumiNations made its debut.
When IllumiNations was first performed, it was described as a nighttime spectacle that captured the glitter of Times Square, the fantasy of Paris at night and the splendor of Piccadilly in an international music and light show.
This first version of IllumiNations used 13 special-effects projectors (as seen above in the Germany Pavilion), 11 searchlights, 12 wire/mesh grids (as seen below in the France Pavilion), 180 nozzles which created the fountains, 783 fireworks pieces, and 550 theatrical lights – that’s enough to stretch across the Golden Gate Bridge more than six times.
Over the last 24 years there have been three different versions of IllumiNations performed, and even today, an Epcot evening isn’t complete without the spectacular ending of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth to close out the night.