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Epcot....a history ,part two. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Epcot

Epcot was completed in 1982 and was a completely fresh look at how a Theme park should look. It was Walt' s favourite project but unfortunately he did not live to see it come to fruition and indeed it takes a different form to his vision of an idealised city.

The park was built round a lagoon with the iconic silver ball at the front of the park and the countries forming an exotic ring round it.

The original countries that made up The World Showcase were Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, France, Canada and of course England.

Later on there was the addition of Morocco and Norway. These countries all have a mixture of attractions, shows and restaurants that reflect the culture of their own country.

The lake that peers so magnificently over the countries is in fact man made lagoon and this is where the closing show takes place. The circumferance of the lake is something over a mile. A fact we are wont to forget as we zig zag back and forth to the attractions.

The show is worth the entrance fee alone. It is a glittering array of lasers, fireworks and leaping fountains. In busy times you have to queue at the lakes edge for an hour or two to get a good viewing spot.

The L. E. D. globe is the centre piece and at the end of the display this globe opens to reveal the 20th torch. This represents the 20th century; the other 19 torches have been burning all the while around the lake.

If you went in the early years (as we did) you will recall that the park was very much an educational experience; the strap line was ' The technology of yesterday, today and tomorrow'

When Michael Eisner took over the reins of Disney there were many changes made to Epcot to broaden its appeal (dumbing down some might say) Cartoon characters were introduced and the emphasis on knowledge was reduced.

Nowadays, Epcot is a wonderful place to visit and along with the old favourites there is ' Space' , Test Track and my favourite, ' Soarin' ' It attracts 11 million visitors a year and is the 6th most visited attraction in the world.

This park has a wonderful feeling of space and is a joy to walk round; particularly if you have a handicapped person with you.

Would Walt have approved? we will never know. However, he would have been pleased to see the throngs of happy visitors crowding this second Orlando park.

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