Five years ago when Epcot turned 25, I wrote an article how I had grown up with the park. Our arrivals on the earth were separated by 10 months and quite a bit of fanfare (though my family probably celebrated by birth a bit more than the opening of EPCOT Center), but Epcot and I have grown up together and have experienced many of the same milestones and bumps in the road. Today, I still feel that connection to Epcot, but I’ve realized that Epcot is something more, something special. Epcot is something different to each and every one of us.
Epcot can be a model World’s Fair, filled with the hopes and dreams of tomorrow’s industry and the belief that no matter what corner of the world we live in we can all work and live together.
Epcot can be a world of food and cultural glimpses that satisfy the hunger of our bodies and our souls.
Epcot can be the memories of a golden age of theme park design, filled with innovative concepts, plans, and attractions.
Epcot can be a symphony of music that we turn to in order to lift ourselves up even in our deepest despair.
While Epcot can be whatever we need it to be, we each also have our favorite corner of Epcot. Whether it is pretending to people watch from along the street with a pastry in France, being enthralled by the use of technology in agriculture in Living with the Land, the awe of seemingly living and breathing dinosaurs, blasting off to Mars, descending from the top of Spaceship Earth, the tug at the patriotic heartstrings that comes from The American Adventure, the selection of beverages at La Cava del Tequila, spending time with a loveable fellow from our childhood, marveling at the creatures of the deep, or admiring the detail in every nook and cranny of Morocco, we each have a place that feels like our very own when we are visiting Epcot.
30 years ago today, on October 1, 1982, EPCOT Center welcomed the world through its gates and into a world filled with the promise of tomorrow. Some of those tomorrows have come to pass, while others are still waiting for us to reach out and take hold of them, but there is still hope and promise that pours out of Epcot every day. And every day the world of today brings smiles to all those who step into Epcot. May Epcot be here for 30 more years, and many years beyond, as we move through the 21st century and look with anticipation to the 22nd century!