Disney’s second theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort offers a diverse canvas of colors and cultures, offering exciting image opportunities. From Future World to World Showcase, my personal visions of EPCOT comprise part three of this favorite theme park photo series.
While I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to shoot professionally for several Central Florida attractions, it’s the trips to theme parks like EPCOT that delight the photographer in me. Events like the Flower and Garden show and the presentation of various holiday celebrations from around the world add to the excitement.
From my very first visit to E.P.C.O.T. Center (high school, park preview field trip) in the early eighties, I was hooked on this hopeful view of our world. From the music to the interactive displays in Future World to the richly diverse and engaging cultural contrast of World Showcase, I was enchanted by the museum-like approach to a theme park. Sadly, today much of that original intent is lost to updates and changes.
Regardless of the transformation from what can almost be compared to a world‘s fair to “just” EPCOT of today, the vivid experiences from those high school days drove my more recent desire to ensure that my digital camera was almost always in hand when visiting. Many enjoy experiencing this, and other theme parks without turning the adventure into a photo safari. For me, that’s part of the fun.
Visions of EPCOT
While Future World sets the stage for discovery at EPCOT, World Showcase offers a fun, but a limited sampling of global cultures. Add in events like the International Flower and Garden Festival, International Food and Wine Festival, and International Festival of the Holidays, and any shutterbug will soon learn the amazing canvas EPCOT offers for capturing interesting images.
Photo fun at Future World
Of course, the giant golf ball, better known as Spaceship Earth, serves as the centerpiece attraction of Future World. Though the storyline and narrators have changed several times, there’s nothing quite like this visual and aromatic journey through history.
Sadly, beloved attractions like Horizons, World of Motion (I really miss that fun traffic jam) and World Energy no longer exist to entertain visitors. Memories of these original attractions live on thanks to sites like YouTube.
Unfortunately, I’m still missing my images of these fun-filled adventures. I wish I had photos of some of the Innovations exhibits, the original Journey into Imagination, and one of my favorite shows, from the Land: The Kitchen Cabaret.
Before Nemo took over, the Living Seas had much more of an educational aquarium feel than it does today. Still, aquatic life and learning continue to entertain here.
Before we transition to the World Showcase, these few images of the Moroccan pavilion contain a familiar shape in the skyline. Yep, that’s the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (located at Disney’s Hollywood Studio park), designed to fit in with the EPCOT horizon, blending into the background of Morocco.
Wonders of World Showcase
Where Future World initially showcased the world of technology and its various elements (Motion, Energy, Communication, the Sea, the Land, and Imagination), the second part of EPCOT features a small sampling of various country highlights from around the globe.
Long gone are the colorful buses that would transport guests to various stops around the World Showcase lagoon. Still, traditional architecture, cuisine, and other assorted cultural elements entice an enjoyable stroll around “the World.” This cultural diversity, of course, offers an exciting canvas of photographic opportunities.
Visions of EPCOT events
Set upon a backdrop of World Showcase’s various pavilions, events at EPCOT give picture seekers even more interesting subjects to capture. From delicious dining samples to terrific topiary, these seasonal special events entice photographic creativity.
Final thoughts on the Visions of EPCOT
Of all the gates at the Walt Disney World Resort, EPCOT is the one park where I wish I had taken up my photographic adventure much earlier. Far too much of the park’s original content (and intent) has transformed into the version we have today.
Much of the playful and entertaining attractions and exhibits of Future World have been reduced to history lessons on theme park evolution. That has me wishing for a box of pictures to help remember those early days of E.P.C.O.T. Center.
Of note, for those who, like me, lament the loss of much of Epcot’s early vision, I’d recommend checking out Joshua Harris’ E82 website. His devotion to this second Florida Disney park is evident by the vast amount of content dedicated to Disney‘s original vision for the park.
More Favorite Theme Park Photos
Source and images: Michael Gavin