Disney Wiki
Disney Wiki

This article is about the theme park located at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. For the canceled theme park, see WestCOT.

The 21st century begins October 1, 1982.
―EPCOT Center's first promotional slogan, 1982

On a Brink of a new age October 1, 2019.
―EPCOT's second promotional slogan, 2019

EPCOT, formerly EPCOT Center (1982-1994) as well as Epcot '94 in 1994 and Epcot '95 for a brief time in 1995, is the second theme park to open at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It is based on Walt Disney's EPCOT concept, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a futuristic city envisioned to be built south of the Magic Kingdom as part of Walt's original plans for Walt Disney World in the mid-1960s.

EPCOT has four themed lands, also known as "neighborhoods": World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature and World Showcase. World Showcase features different countries from around the world represented by pavilions with shops, shows, restaurants, and attractions relating to those countries, while the rest, replacing the former Future World, houses attractions focusing mainly on the future, education, celebration, animals, nature, space, science and technology.

Consequently, the Future World name was permanently retired and divided into three sections, since the beginning of the park's massive overhaul in 2019.[1]


To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship—welcome. EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney's creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. 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.
E. Cardon Walker, March 1, 1982


The Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (EPCOT) was a concept developed by Walt Disney near the end of his lifetime that went as far as elaborate visions and plans and the purchase of property near Orlando, Florida that eventually became the Magic Kingdom, including Epcot (formerly known as EPCOT Center), a related concept. It was a "community of the future" that was designed to stimulate American corporations to come up with new ideas for urban living. Of EPCOT, Walt Disney is quoted as saying, "EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are emerging from the forefront of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed. It will always be showcasing and testing and demonstrating new materials and new systems."

The original concept was deemed too expensive and elaborate, but eventually evolved into the Epcot theme park, which opened in 1982 at the Walt Disney World Resort. The original architectural model of the concept can be viewed on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in the Magic Kingdom.

The first phase of EPCOT took exactly three years (October 1, 1979 – October 1, 1982) to build. In total, the phase required 22 construction companies, almost 3,000 designers and 4,000 construction workers, whose duties included excavating 54 million cubic feet of dirt. Epcot's total area covers 305 acres, more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom.


In the early 1960s, Walt Disney was a huge success in the entertainment industry, as well as having a family with many grandchildren. In watching his grandchildren grow up, Walt began to worry about the world of the future they, their children, and their children's children would inhabit. He began to notice that the modern cities were hectic, disorganized, dirty, and riddled with crime. This was a far cry from Disney's then-clean and controlled Disneyland Park in California.

Walt began to realize that all that he and his Imagineers had learned about buildings and space in relation to people in the development of Disneyland could be put to use in planning communities, even whole cities. This got Walt thinking, and he began to engross himself in books about city planning and all that was needed to pull something of that magnitude off.

At the same time, Walt Disney had given the East Coast a glimpse of his style of entertainment with the four pavilions Disney developed for the 1964 New York World's Fair. Walt determined, based on how well-received the fair exhibitions were, that the public was ready for an "East-Coast Disneyland". (See Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Carousel of Progress, It's a Small World)


Disney determined that Florida would provide the ideal place to set up his new East Coast venue. However, Walt did not want to repeat himself by building another Disneyland. He wanted to create something entirely different: a community where people not just played in, but lived in as well. This was the beginning of EPCOT.

Through various dummy corporations, Walt Disney purchased 27,800 acres of Florida swampland (twice the size of Manhattan Island) located between the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee (see Reedy Creek Improvement District). This land would eventually become the Walt Disney World Resort. "Here in Florida we've enjoyed something we've never enjoyed at Disneyland: the blessing of size. There's enough land here to hold all the ideas and plans we could possibly imagine", Walt Disney said, referring to the fact that he had little control over the surrounding area of Disneyland.

Disney also petitioned with the State of Florida Legislature to give Walt Disney Productions municipal jurisdiction over the land they had acquired. This was to make sure that Walt Disney could have full control over every part of the property, even how the buildings were constructed. Walt was planning new ideas in urban living and did not want the government to interfere. This was the beginning of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The EPCOT film[]

In October 1966, two months before his death, Walt Disney made a 30-minute film about his plans for the Florida Project, then dubbed "Disney World". In the film, Walt himself explains briefly how the Florida property will be utilized and how his EPCOT concept will work with the other aspects of Disney World.

Disney made this film primarily to persuade and encourage American industry and various corporations to opt in and help Walt Disney Productions in the creation and running of EPCOT. Disney also encouraged the industrial companies to come up with their best ideas in technology, so that those ideas could be continuously demonstrated in the city.

With the help of concept art and limited animation, Disney showed what the city would look like and how it would work. However, he reminded the viewing audience that the sketches and paintings are only a starting point in the conceptualization of EPCOT, stating: "Everything in this room will change time and time again as we move ahead. But the basic philosophy of what we're planning for Disney World is going to remain very much as it is right now". The film itself can be found here in its entirety.

Master plan[]

Walt devised a way to make full use out of the Florida property, with EPCOT as its central attraction. All guests would enter and leave Disney World the same way.

Arriving at the Disney World Airport, in the southern part of the property, guests would be shuttled by monorail to the Disney World Welcome Center. There, guests would be welcomed by Disney hosts and hostesses able to speak in the guests' own languages. After every aspect of their stay had been planned, guests would then reboard the monorail to EPCOT.

Before arriving at EPCOT guests would have the opportunity to visit EPCOT's Industrial Park. This is where Disney World's core concept would come to fruition. The Park's offices and laboratories would be occupied by major American corporations who would use the facilities to develop new technology for use in the EPCOT city. Guests of Disney World would be allowed to go on tours of the facility to see how it all worked. Walt Disney hoped that this would stimulate people to return to their own communities and encourage technological growth where they live.

The Magic Kingdom[]

Walt never wanted to make a "sequel" to Disneyland, always stating that there could only ever be one Disneyland. When Walt presented his ideas to the Board of Directors, they were skeptical. They wanted assurance that people would come to visit this "Disney World". What they wanted was a surefire hit: a Disneyland-style park.

Walt initially objected, but eventually relented, and he used the park to his advantage. He put the theme park in the northernmost corner of the Florida property. Disney wanted everyone to experience the rest of Disney World before getting to the theme park area.

The City[]

The EPCOT city itself, according to the concepts presented in the EPCOT film, was based on a fairly simple but innovative design: the radial concept. Based on a concept similar to the layout of Disneyland Park, the city radiates outward like a wheel from a central core. The urban density of the area would dwindle as the city fanned out.


The city would be connected to the other points in Disney World with a main line of transportation—the monorail. Walt Disney introduced the monorail at Disneyland in 1959. The monorail would cut through the center of the city, connecting EPCOT with the northern and southern points on the Disney World property.

Internal transportation would be provided by a whole new Disney transportation concept: the WEDway PeopleMover. The PeopleMover is a transportation system that never stops, relying on motors embedded in the track rather than in the vehicles. PeopleMover cars would transport residents from the metropolitan center to the outer residential areas. The PeopleMover concept was first demonstrated at Disneyland's Tomorrowland in 1967. The PeopleMover was also installed at the Magic Kingdom; it is now called the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

Because of these two modes of transportation, residents of EPCOT would only need a car "for weekend pleasure trips." The streets for cars would be kept separate from the main pedestrian areas. The main roads for both cars and supply trucks would travel underneath the city core, eliminating the risk of pedestrian accidents. This was also based on the concept that Walt Disney devised for Disneyland. He did not want his guests to see behind-the-scenes activity, such as supply trucks delivering goods to the city. Like the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, all supplies are discreetly delivered via underground tunnels.

The two systems, monorail and PeopleMover, would come together at the EPCOT Transportation Lobby. The Transportation Lobby would be located at ground level, above the busy automobile/truck roads. From the Lobby, a passenger riding the monorail from the Magic Kingdom Park to their home would disembark the monorail and transfer to the appropriate PeopleMover station.

City center[]

EPCOT's downtown and commercial areas would have been located in the central core of the city, away from the residential areas. The entire area would have been completely enclosed, unaffected by the outside elements. "The pedestrian will be king" in this area, free from the danger of cars and other vehicles.

At the center of the area would be a 30-story Cosmopolitan Hotel and Convention Center. This building was to have been the tallest building in EPCOT and could have been seen for miles, like the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland. The parking lot for hotel guests would have been located underneath the city core, right off of the vehicle throughway.

On the "roof" of the enclosed area would be the recreational area for hotel guests. The pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, shuffleboard, and other activities would have been located here. According to Imagineer Bob Gurr, Walt Disney pointed to one of the benches on the scale model of the area and declared, "This is where Lilly [his wife] and I will sit when this thing is finished, taking everything in".

Surrounding the hotel, inside the enclosure, would have been "shops and restaurants that reflect the culture and flavor of locations 'round the world". According to the concept art, these areas would be themed to each country, having the look and feel of each of the exotic locales. This concept eventually evolved into the World Showcase area of the Epcot theme park. The PeopleMover track would travel above these downtown shops and streets in a similar fashion as the system did in Disneyland. Preliminary plan indicated that the people who would have worked in these shops would have also lived in the city.

High-density residential area[]

On the rim of the city core would have been high-density apartment housing. This is where most of EPCOT's 20,000 citizens would have lived. Not much is discussed about the apartments themselves, although Walt Disney stated that no one in EPCOT would own their land. There would be no difference between an apartment and a home.

All renting rates would be modest and competitive with the surrounding market. Also, the housing would be constructed in such a way to ensure ease of change, so that new ideas/products can be used. A person returning from a hard day's work could very well come home to a kitchen with brand-new appliances in it.

Green belt[]

Separating the city core from the low-density residential area would be an expanse of grass areas, known to the planners as the "green belt". This is where the city services would be located. Establishments such as parks with playgrounds, schools, community centers, and churches would be located here.

Low-density residential areas[]

Beyond the Green Belt was the low-density, single-family house neighborhoods. These areas would have resembled the petals on a flower, with the houses located on the rim of each "petal". Inside the "petal" was a vast green area. The area would have had paths for electric carts, light recreation areas for adults and play areas for children.

The PeopleMover station for each area would have also been located in the green area. The resident could simply walk to the station from their home and on to work. As stated before, residents would not really need a car to get around. Like the apartments, the houses would be built to be easily changed.

Living and employment[]

As stated above, no one living in EPCOT would own their own land or home, thereby having no municipal voting rights (bond issues, etc.). Walt Disney wanted to exercise this control only to be able to change technology in the homes easily.

According to the film, everybody living in EPCOT would be employed, thereby preventing the formation of slums and ghettos. There would be no retirees, everyone would have had a job. Residents would have been employed at either the Magic Kingdom theme park, the city central core shopping areas, the hotel/convention center, the airport, the Welcome Center, or the industrial park. And, as the film states, "everyone living in EPCOT will have the responsibility to maintain this living blueprint of the future".


After Walt[]

Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966. Even when he was dying from lung cancer, his brother, Roy Disney, stated that Walt was still planning his city in the hospital. Walt was using the ceiling to imagine his city, planning excitedly.

After Walt's passing, the company directors decided that it was too risky to venture into city planning now that its biggest advocate was gone. But Roy persisted and took the reins on the project, stepping out of retirement to do it. However, Roy could not convince the board to build EPCOT. But, he did pull ahead with the Magic Kingdom project.

The Walt Disney World Resort opened in October 1971 with only the Magic Kingdom and two hotels. Roy insisted it be called Walt Disney World as a tribute to the man who dreamed it up.

Practical ideas[]

Even though the city was never built, the Resort represents some of the forward-thinking planning that embodied Walt's idea of EPCOT. Because of the formation of the RCID, Disney could find innovative solutions to the problems of transportation, building construction, waste disposal, and supplying electrical power.

Imagineers, including Disney Legends John Hench and Richard Irvine, devised ingenious means of waste disposal and sewer transport. The monorail, while mainly an attraction at Disneyland, was utilized as an actual transportation system, taking guests some thirteen miles around the Resort area.


Original EPCOT Center Logo

The original EPCOT Center logo

In the late 1970s, Disney CEO Card Walker wanted to revisit the EPCOT idea. But the board was still wary and all agreed that Walt's EPCOT still could not work in its initial incarnation; they thought that no one would want to live under a microscope and be watched constantly. The result of the compromise was the EPCOT Center theme park, which opened in 1982.

While still emulating Walt Disney's ideas, it was not a city, but rather closer to that of a World's Fair. But it did, and still does, revolve around technology and the future in the Future World area. The World Showcase is an embellished version of the downtown shopping area, albeit without the enclosure.


In the early 1990s, the Walt Disney Company built an actual community on the Florida property called Celebration. It is a planned community that employs some of the ideas that Walt Disney envisioned, but on a slightly smaller scale. Unlike EPCOT, which was based on modernism and futurism, there is no radial design for Celebration. Celebration is designed based on new urbanism, and resembles a small American town, but has all the modern conveniences, without the revolutionary transportation ideas contained in the plans for EPCOT.

Special Events[]

Seasonal events[]

Epcot is notably home to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, taking place in the spring, as well as the International Food & Wine Festival, taking place in the fall and International Festival of the Holidays, taking place in the winter.

Monstrous Summer[]

On April 25, 2013, Mike Wazowski appeared on Spaceship Earth to announce the first Disney three-park all-nighter. The three parks that hosted the event were Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, and Disney's California Adventure.

EPCOT Center (1982–1994)[]

780w 463h 103017 fanniversary-epcot-logo-concept-to-now-5

Pavilion Icons 1982, except for Odyssey Events Pavilion and World Showcase


Spaceship Earth




World Showcase[]

Night entertainment[]

  • Carnival de Lumiere (1982-1983)
  • A New World Fantasy (1983-1984)
  • Laserphonic Fantasy (1984-1988)
  • IllumiNations (1988–1996)

Epcot (1995–2019)[]


  • Spaceship Earth (1982–2020, 2020-present), Presented by AT&T (1986–2003)/Siemens AG (2005–2017)
    • Global Neighborhood (1994-1999)
    • New Global Neighborhood (1999–2004)
    • Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future (2007–2020, 2021-present)
      • Jeremy Irons Narration; third renovation (1995–2007)
      • Judi Dench Narration; fourth renovation (2007–present)
  • Innoventions (1994–2019)
Mission Space Pavilion Epcot Center

Mission: SPACE



World Showcase[]

Night Entertainment[]

Park Map[]


EPCOT (2020–present)[]

EPCOT logos 2020

Pavilion Icons 2020

Currently, Epcot is undergoing its biggest overhaul since 1982.

EPCOT Historical Transformation

The Historical Transformation of EPCOT

World Celebration[]

World Discovery[]

World Nature[]

World Showcase[]

Night Entertainment[]

Park Map[]





  • Millennium Celebration (1999–2000), this included:
  • 100 Years of Magic (2001), part of the Walt Disney World Resort celebration.
  • 25th Anniversary (October 1, 2007) included a re-dedication of the park, presentations by Marty Sklar, an exhibit showing the history of EPCOT, fan gatherings, and was concluded by a special IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth which added an extra few minutes of fireworks. Classic Epcot songs ranging from We've Just Begun to Dream from opening day to Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand from the Millennium Celebration were played around the entrance and around the park all day.
  • 25th Annual 2020 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
  • The World's Most Magical Celebration (October 1, 2021 - March 31, 2023), part of Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration.


  • Minnie Van Service
  • Buses
  • Parking Lot
  • Space Zone
  • WALL-E
  • Gamora
  • Rocket
  • EVE
  • Earth Zone
  • Moana
  • Heihei
  • Crush
  • Dory (currently)
    • Discover Lot
    • Create Lot
    • Explore Lot
    • Wonder Lot
    • Journey Lot
    • Amaze Lot
    • Imagine Lot (all formerly)
  • Friendship One
  • Disney Skyliner

Kingdom Keepers[]

Epcot is mentioned in the first two books and is a location in the third and fourth books in the Kingdom Keepers saga.

Kingdom Keepers II: Disney At Dawn[]

In Disney At Dawn, it is mentioned that Finn visited Epcot to look for clues at the Seas with Nemo and Friends when they are looking for sea-related places.

Kingdom Keepers III: Disney In Shadow[]

Epcot is the main setting in the third book of the series, Disney in Shadow. The Keepers search for Wayne, who is being held somewhere in Epcot. The attractions Living with the Land, the Wonders of Life pavilion, Maelstrom, Soarin', Mission: SPACE, and Test Track are featured. The book's finale takes place in the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth floats.

Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play[]

In the fourth book, Power Play, Epcot is also an important location. The Norway Pavilion, the Kim Possible: World Showcase Adventure, Pavilion, Crash Test, and Maelstrom are featured.


Guide Map Book[]

Park Map History[]

Posters and Press[]

Former Logos[]

Concept Art[]

Former Pavilion Icons[]

When EPCOT Center first debuted, each pavilion was represented by a circular logo representing the themes behind it. The original batch of logos through the debut of The Living Seas were designed by graphic designer Norm Inouye, with the practice largely being retired after Wonders of Life opened. As part of the park's 2019 overhaul, the tradition of Pavilion Icons were brought back, with the park's new attractions as well as attractions that never received them gaining their own.

See also[]

v - e - d
Walt Disney World
Theme Parks
Magic KingdomEpcotDisney's Hollywood StudiosDisney's Animal Kingdom
Water Parks
Disney's Typhoon LagoonDisney's Blizzard Beach
Other Attractions
Disney SpringsESPN Wide World of Sports ComplexWalt Disney World Monorail SystemDisney SkylinerClub 33
Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeDisney's Beach Club ResortDisney's Beach Club VillasDisney's BoardWalk ResortDisney's Contemporary ResortDisney's Grand Floridian Resort & SpaDisney's Polynesian Village ResortDisney's Wilderness LodgeDisney's Caribbean Beach ResortDisney's Coronado Springs ResortDisney's All-Star Movies ResortDisney's All-Star Music ResortDisney's All-Star Sports ResortDisney's Pop Century ResortDisney's Art of Animation ResortDisney's Old Key West ResortDisney's BoardWalk VillasBay Lake TowerDisney's Fort Wilderness Resort & CampgroundDisney's Port Orleans ResortDisney's Yacht Club ResortDisney's Animal Kingdom VillasDisney's Saratoga Springs Resort & SpaDisney's Riviera ResortStar Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Former Areas
Disney's River CountryDiscovery IslandPleasure IslandWalt Disney World SpeedwayWalt Disney World Airport
See Also
The Walt Disney World ExplorerAs Told by EmojiDisney TransportTransportation and Ticket Center

v - e - d
New epcot logo
World Celebration
Spaceship EarthImagination! (Journey into Imagination with FigmentImageWorks: The What-If Labs) • !Celebración Encanto! (Opening on June 10, 2024) • Dreamers Point
World Nature
The Land (Awesome Planet Soarin' Around the WorldLiving with the Land) • The Seas (The Seas with Nemo & FriendsSeaBaseTurtle Talk with CrushMr. Ray's Pop QuizBruce's Shark ChallengeFinding Dory's Friends) • Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Seasonal: Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nights

World Discovery
Mission: SPACETest TrackWonders of Xandar (Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind) • PLAY! (Animation Academy (Opening in 2024))
World Showcase
Mexico Pavilion (Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros) • Norway Pavilion (Frozen Ever After) • China Pavilion (Reflections of ChinaWondrous China (Opening in 2024)) • Germany PavilionItaly PavilionThe American AdventureJapan PavilionMorocco PavilionFrance Pavilion (Impressions de FranceBeauty and the Beast Sing-AlongRemy's Ratatouille Adventure) • International GatewayUnited Kingdom Pavilion (Mary Poppins (Opening in 2024)) • Canada Pavilion (Canada: Far and Wide) • DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
Disney's Yacht Club ResortDisney's Beach Club ResortDisney's BoardWalk ResortDisney's BoardWalk VillasDisney's Caribbean Beach ResortDisney's Riviera Resort
Current Entertainment
Luminous: The Symphony of Us
Former Attractions and Entertainment
Future World
Universe of EnergyJourney Into Imagination (Journey Into ImaginationUpstairs Image WorksMagic JourneysCaptain EO) • Imagination! (Honey, I Shrunk the AudienceCaptain EO TributeJourney Into Your Imagination) • Ellen's Energy AdventureHorizonsWorld of MotionWonders of Life (Body WarsCranium CommandGoofy About HealthThe Making of Me) • CommuniCoreThe Land (SymbiosisKitchen KabaretFood RocksCircle of Life: An Environmental Fable) • SplashtacularThe Living SeasInnoventions

World Celebration
Odyssey (The EPCOT Experience Center)
World Showcase
China Pavilion (Wonders of China) • Norway Pavilion (Maelstrom) • Mexico Pavilion (El Rio del Tiempo) • Canada Pavilion (O Canada!) • Epcot ForeverHarmoniousIllumiNationsIllumiNations 25IllumiNations: Reflections of EarthThe Soul of JazzAgent P's World Showcase AdventureKim Possible World Showcase Adventure
Seasonal: Millennium VillageTapestry of Nations

v - e - d
Kingdom keepers - logo
Kingdom KeepersKingdom Keepers I: Disney After DarkKingdom Keepers II: Disney at DawnKingdom Keepers III: Disney in ShadowKingdom Keepers IV: Power PlayKingdom Keepers V: Shell GameKingdom Keepers VI: Dark PassageKingdom Keepers VII: The Insider
Original Characters: Finn WhitmanCharlene TurnerTerrence MaybeckDell PhilbyIsabella AngeloWayne KreskyAmanda LockhartJessica LockhartMrs. WhithamGreg LuowskiDillard Cole

Disney Characters: Mickey MouseMinnie MouseGoofyDonald DuckDaisy DuckPlutoChip and DaleArielViolet ParrMulanKing TritonMegaraStitchRemyDjangoRajahPrince PhillipElsaRapunzelTimonPumbaaTiggerLiloWinnie the PoohPiglet
Overtakers: MaleficentChernabogThe Evil QueenCruella De VilClaude FrolloUrsulaJafarShan YuJack SparrowTia DalmaGastonPrince JohnHorned KingBig Bad WolfJ. Worthington FoulfellowGideonShenzi, Banzai, and EdDiabloMagic BroomsGreen Army MenBlackbeardShere KhanSi and AmHopperFlotsam and JetsamJudge DoomMadame LeotaSaborThe Headless HorsemanStormtroopersScarZira

Magic KingdomEpcotDisney's Hollywood StudiosDisney's Animal KingdomDisney's Typhoon LagoonDisneyQuestCinderella CastleIt's a Small WorldSplash MountainThe New Adventures of Winnie the PoohBig Thunder Mountain RailroadCamp Minnie-MickeyExpedition EverestFantasmic!Voyage of the Little MermaidDisney DreamWalt Disney: One Man's DreamDisney's Animal Kingdom LodgeSoarin'Mission: SPACETest TrackWonders of LifeMorocco PavilionChina PavilionFrance PavilionNorway PavilionMexico PavilionDisneylandJungle CruiseThe Sorcerer's HatIndiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden EyeBuzz Lightyear Astro BlastersThe Haunted MansionCasey Jr. Circus TrainMickey's ToontownMatterhornThe Disney Gallery
  1. Schoolfield, Jeremy (August 25, 2019). "New Details Revealed for the Historic Transformation of Epcot Underway at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Disney Parks Blog.