Welcome back to 30 Days to 30 Years. My co-host, Beth (Pursuing the Magic and The Magical Blogorail) and I would like to thank today’s guest, Heidi, from Heidi’s Head, who is visiting Epcot as you read this! (Research, research…)
Last year, I was honored to take part in the 40 Days to 40 Years event, counting down the days ‘til the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. This year, exactly 364 days later, I’m back – this time participating in the 30 Days to 30 Years event, counting down to the 30th Anniversary of Epcot!
I first visited the Walt Disney World resort in 1988;. At the time, there were only 2 parks – the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center. As an older teen, I was much more interested in and fascinated by Epcot. Sure, the Magic Kingdom was magical; but there was something intriguing about the Future World exhibits and the World Showcase pavilions at Epcot.
I went digging through my mom’s old photo album in search of a few pictures (there really aren’t many).
I was excited to find that someone had posted this EPCOT Center commercial from 1988 on YouTube:
Some of the things that were new to EPCOT in 1988 were Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (which debuted on January 30th) and the Maelstrom in Norway (which opened on July 5th). I still remember my first viewing of Illuminations and the total awe that I felt over it – I still feel that way, all these many years later. It doesn’t get old, does it?
And some of the attractions that I enjoyed on that first visit, which are no longer present today, are:
- Horizons; – this attraction was closed in 1999 and later the building was demolished. That location is now home to Mission: SPACE.
- Journey Into Imagination (with Figment) – this attraction closed in 1998. My mom and I fell in love with Figment on that first visit, and still look for him in the park to this day. I usually try to pick up some sort of Figment-related souvenir for her. The new attraction just isn’t the same.
- The Living Seas – while I very much enjoy the new attraction with Nemo, I miss the seriousness of The Living Seas. This version of the attraction closed in 2006.
- World of Motion – I have vague recollections of this attraction that followed transportation through the centuries. It closed in 1996 and the building now houses another favorite of mine – Test Track.
- Universe of Energy – this is another one that I don’t remember very much, probably because I really do like the silliness of the new version, starring Ellen and Bill Nye.
In my search for all things Epcot in 1988, I came across this blog post, entitled Looking Back: EPCOT Center in 1988. I really appreciated the pictures and the flashback!
EPCOT Center might be referred to as just plain old Epcot nowadays, and many things have certainly changed about this park; but, it’s still the same old Epcot that I fell in love with in 1988 and love to this day. When asked which park at Walt Disney World is my favorite, most days I answer with “Epcot”. Someday, I hope to have several days in a row just to leisurely stroll through this park and visit every single corner of it. Fascinating!
Heidi Strawser is a stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling mom of 3. She and her family live in Amish Country (PA), but head south to Walt Disney World whenever they can. One of Heidi’s favorite pastimes is planning trips to Walt Disney World. In fact, she’d like to live there one day! (Yep, right in the park!) Heidi blogs at Heidi’s Head and is currently visiting Walt Disney World with her kids, as part of The Ultimate Field Trip for homeschoolers!
Thank you Heidi for, in addition to packing and other preparations, finding the time to research and write this wonderful 1988 story for us. We’re so thankful you did!
Thanks for joining Beth and me today. We hope you’ll return tomorrow for a glimpse of 1989 with Ami from Disney Goddess.