Visions of the Past: A Comprehensive Epcot Timeline

Published date on March 31, 2015

This content was first published 60 days ago or more

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“. . . EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination
of American free enterprise.” – Walt Disney

Epcot, which originally stood for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” opened on October 1, 1982, as Walt Disney World Resort’s second theme park. Learn all about the fascinating history of Epcot by reading the Epcot Timeline below:

EPCOT TIMELINE [1982-2013]


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  • Epcot Center opens on October 1 as Disney World’s second theme park and features four Future World pavilions (The Land, Spaceship Earth, Universe of Energy and World of Motion), as well as nine World Showcase pavilions (USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Germany, Italy, China and Japan.
  • Carnival de Lumiere debuts as Epcot’s first nightly fireworks show.
  • Epcot is officially dedicated on October 24 by Disney Chairman E. Cardon Walker: “May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere in the world.”
  • Disney World completes a four-mile stretch of the Walt Disney World Monorail System from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot.  



  • The Morocco Pavilion, which features the Restaurant Marrakesh, opens in the World Showcase at Epcot between the Japan and France pavilions. 
  • The France Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase opens its signature restaurant, Bistro de Paris.
  • Laserphonic Fantasy debuts as the Epcot’s new nightly fireworks show.


  • Both the Nine Dragons Restaurant and Lotus Blossom Cafe open in the China Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.  


  • Sponsored by United Technologies, the Living Seas Pavilion opens in Future World at Epcot.
  • The Captain EO 3-D film premieres at the Magic Eye Theater in Epcot’s Future World.   


  • The Norway Pavilion opens in the World Showcase at Epcot with specialty shops, restaurants, live shows and the Maelstrom thrill ride.
  • IllumiNations premieres as Epcot’s new nightly fireworks show.   


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  • Wonders of Life opens at Epcot.


  • Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, a lively interactive 3-D adventure, opens in Epcot’s Future World, replacing Captain EO.
  • Innoventions East and West pavilions open in the former Communicore buildings at Epcot.
  • The first annual International Flower & Garden Festival takes place at Epcot.
  • Holiday IllumiNations premieres at Epcot.
  • The Kitchen Kabaret closes at Epcot’s Land Pavilion.  


  • The first annual International Food & Wine Festival makes its debut at Epcot. 


  • Epcot hosts the first annual ABC Super Soap Weekend.
  • The Circle of Life and Ellen’s Energy Adventure attractions both open at Epcot’s Future World.
  • World of Motion closes at Epcot. 


  • Sponsored by General Motors, Test Track makes its debut at the former site of World of Motion in Future World at Epcot.  


  • Journey into Your Imagination opens at Epcot.


  • Journey into Imagination with Figment opens at Epcot.  


  • Mission: SPACE, a state-of-the-art thrill ride, opens at the site of the former Horizons attraction at Epcot.


  • Turtle Talk with Crush! opens in The Living Seas at Epcot.
  • Food Rocks closes at Epcot’s Land Pavilion. 


  • Soarin’, a “high-flying adventure,” opens in The Land Pavilion at Epcot. 


  • The Living Seas Pavilion becomes The Seas With Nemo and Friends Pavilion.


  • El Rio Del Tiempo at the Mexico Pavilion reopens as Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.
  • The Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future exhibit opens at Spaceship Earth.
  • Disney World celebrates Epcot’s 25th anniversary on October 1.


  • Spaceship Earth relaunches at Epcot.


  • Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure opens at Epcot.


  • Captain EO returns to Future World at Epcot.

EPCOT VIDEOS [1982-2012]

Epcot 25th Anniversary Video

Epcot Preview Video

Epcot Tour Video

Walt Disney’s “Vision for Epcot” Video