National Security Threat Reported at EPCOT

in Walt Disney World

A FBI agent with binoculars looking at Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.

EPCOT Center is the technological and cultural headquarters of Walt Disney World Resort. Race through time and space with Marvel heroes on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in World Discovery, travel back in time on Spaceship Earth in World Celebration, Live with the Land in World Nature, or become a globetrotter on a journey around the World Showcase Lagoon.

MIckey and Minnie at EPCOT for Disney100
Credit: Disney

Related: Future World Overhaul: Three New Lands Revealed at EPCOT

Newly leaked FBI documents reveal that the beloved Disney Park was once the headquarters of a major FBI operation. As early as 1979, government officials were concerned about a significant national security threat at EPCOT, which opened on October 1, 1982. The Walt Disney Company was collaborating with the Soviet Pavilion for a potential pavilion in the World Showcase, which the FBI feared could lead to conflict.

After Disney refused to include political discussions in the pavilion, the USSR became “lukewarm” about the idea. The FBI then shifted focus to the planned China pavilion. Allegedly, agents tracked where the Chinese citizens working in EPCOT lived – Snow White Village on Seven Dwarfs Lane, a housing complex once owned by Walt Disney World Resort. It is unknown what, if anything, they did with this information.

The FBI discusses where Chinese representatives working at EPCOT will live.
Credit: FBI/MuckRock

The FBI’s Tampa Branch expressed concern that any terrorist organizations operating out of “Canada, France, China, Italy, Japan, UK, West Germany, Africa, and Mexico” could converge on EPCOT. They were mainly concerned about foreign nationals working in the World Showcase pavilions.

The Tampa office was so overwhelmed with its concerns about foreign citizens working at EPCOT that it contacted the FBI’s Knoxville branch, which had worked on securing national delegates attending the 1982 World’s Fair in Tennessee.

The bureau ultimately released over 200 heavily-redacted documents regarding its operations at EPCOT. Read the FBI documents concerning Walt Disney World Resort here.

Have you ever noticed an undercover law enforcement officer at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney Springs? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments! 

in Walt Disney World

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