As I continue to dig through boxes of old Disney stuff to scan for our Gallery, I love finding things I’ve forgotten about. These sweet photos were taken from a small plane or helicopter during the construction of EPCOT Center, given to me by a friend years ago. (No, I was not in that plane but man I wish I had been!) I’d like to know when they were taken and I’m trying to figure that out. If any of you can decipher, let me know.
The first photo in the above side-by-side comparison was taken in an earlier flight. Notice that a lot of Future World is well underway but Communicore East has barely been started? And Communicore West is mostly dirt. Notice the lagoon is quite underdeveloped compared to the following photos.
It’s interesting that the front entrance has plenty of grass and trees, as do the United Kingdom Pavilion and the lagoon islands yet there is very little pavement anywhere. I like seeing the space for The Living Seas cleared away even though that pavilion wouldn’t open until years later. Something is going on in the space that would later house Horizons. The front of the World of Motion building looks uncluttered (and would stay that way until 1998 when that hideous awning and the stupid test dummy stuff would ruin the view). Of course the America Gardens Theater covered stage was non-existent. No International Gateway. Check out the U.K. and that path next to it. I’d like to know more about that.
Dreamfinder and Figment are looking forward to moving in. Both are oblivious that the company would murder Dreamfinder and attempt to murder Figment the following decade. Singing fish are not even considered at this point, however singing food products are about to make their debut at The Land. Communicore is about to show the world how cool the future would be. Innoventions has not yet bullied Commuicore right out of the building in order to show the world how lame the present can be.
If you look really close to some of these photos you can see John Hench and Marty Sklar trying to convince themselves that the real EPCOT would never have worked. Michael Eisner at this point has no clue what an “EPCOT” is or that he’d soon be granted power over such a thing. He has no idea just how “boring” this park would be (his words, not mine).
It must have been great to walk around Disney’s first non-Magic Kingdom theme park while it was coming to life. I love stories of everyone trying to acquire the little buttons, one for each pavilion with it's respective logo, in order to be granted access to that pavilion (photo to come). Talking with people who spent considerable time constructions site, I get a sense of wonder and amazement and an optimism that must have been amazing to witness first-hand.