12 September 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Innovations for Tomorrow and Nations of Today

Growing up, as is still the case, I was much more intrigued by the photographs I could obtain with my 110 than I was with the assortment of postcards available in the Walt Disney World gift shops. It wasn’t that I could take better photographs, I couldn’t, and it wasn’t the fact that I lived right around the corner from the Vacation Kingdom, which I did, and could see these vistas just about any time I wanted to. Postcards just never produced the ‘must have’ response in me that I felt for other items, such as telescoping cups, pennants, and plastic figures. In more recent years, I have wished I collected more of the postcards back then. The postcards I love the most, are those that feature multiple scenes or concept pieces that I was never privy to. EPCOT Center produced several sets of cards that fit this description perfectly.

As part of the prelude to EPCOT Center’s opening, Walt Disney World put on quite a show. In addition to a preview center, guests were also able to take a trip aboard the monorail to view the project in the final stages of its construction, and there was even a way to excite friends and family back home. A postcard booklet featuring preview images of concept art and scale models was the perfect preview for those who couldn’t wait to explore Future World and World Showcase.

The second set included the pavilions of EPCOT Center, with compilations of shots that highlighted the various elements found within each pavilion.

The booklet wasn’t a collection of postcards to send out to various destinations, it was an accordion style pamphlet that folded up and was sent to one person in one neat package. The thirteen images within covered the pavilions of Future World and World Showcase, as well as EPCOT Center as a whole.

30 years ago, as Walt Disney World was on the verge of unveiling EPCOT Center to the world, this would have been the perfect way to pass the coming weeks until the park opened. So, let’s venture back to 1981 and early 1982 and see what the future would look like on October 1, 1982.

EPCOT CENTER opens Oct. 1, 1982, showcasing innovations for tomorrow and nations of today.

Reaching nearly 17 stories high, Spaceship Earth will be the first “geosphere” ever.

Guests will set sail for “Tomorrow’s Harvest” aboard the “Listen to the Land” boat cruise in The Land.

In Horizons, guests will actually visit three-dimensional future habitats.

Guests will ride through World of Motion, a humorous look at the evolution of our “Freedom of Mobility.”

Colorful realms of creativity will be explored when guests ride through a Journey into Imagination.

Audio-Animatronics figures of Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain will host The American Adventure.

In the “Rose & Crown” pub of the United Kingdom pavilion, guests may feats of traditional British fare.

Within the majestic Mayan pyramid of the Mexico pavilion, guests will sail along “Rivers of Time.”

The towers of an ancient feudal fortress will be the dramatic backdrop for the Japan pavilion.

A new “Eiffel Tower” will rise above the boulevard shops filled with French products in the France pavilion.

CircleVision 360 surrounds guests with imagery of China in the People’s Republic of China pavilion.

Oktoberfest revelry will be enjoyed year-round at an authentic biergarten in the Germany pavilion.

Changing communications in Spaceship Earth, a “time machine” traces the path of civilization. The spoken word becomes printed, then is transmitted, as many constantly improves his communications. Presented by AT&T.


Bridge to the future The creation of fossil fuels is part of Universe of Energy in Future World. The story of the search for new energy sources even extends into the reaches of outer space. Presented by Exxon.

Welcome to the future Designed to reflect all aspects of Future World, Horizons combines the many facets of tomorrow – energy, communications, transportation in a fascinating portrait of the family of the future.


It’s fun the be free It’s also exciting! As man’s mobility grew, so did the complications. The World of Motion in Future World shows the advances in transportation throughout the ages. Presented by General Motors.


Technology and innovation The latest information systems provide “hands-on” displays in CommuniCore, the hub of Future World. Advances for today and tomorrow allow better understanding of our changing world.


Listen to the land in the country-fair setting of The Land, review age-old agriculture techniques. Then sail through the environments of the world and glimpse Tomorrow’s Harvest. Presented by Kraft.


Seasoned performers Enjoy some spicy numbers on good nutrition at the Kitchen Kabaret, in The Land. Acts include Fiesta Fruit, Dairy Goods, and the hit of the Breakfast Circuit, Ham & Eggz. Presented by Kraft.


One Little Spark in Journey Into Imagination, Dreamfinder and Figment introduce the Dream Machine, 3-D Magic Journeys and the Image Works, where light and sound spur creativity. Presented by Kodak.

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