Continuing in our June 1996 visit, this time around we visit Epcot. Epcot had lost its original name of EPCOT Center a few years earlier, and more changes were going on during our visit. We did not spend all that much time in Epcot during this visit, and because of that there are not that many photos in this post. But some photos are better than none, so here we go!
How can you start a post about Epcot with anything other than Spaceship Earth? The large geosphere, as they call it, is the symbol of Epcot, and it is difficult to miss due to its size. During this time, actor Jeremy Irons, the voice of Scar in The Lion King, was the narrator of the ride inside the sphere. And the fountain that you can see in front of us, but technically behind Spaceship Earth as you come in from the entrance, is the Fountain of Nations. The original fountain had been redone in 1993 to include more fountains that could synchronize to a musical soundtrack, and “shows” were performed every 15 minutes. Also, the buildings that you can see on either side of this photo were known as Innoventions, although us old-timers still refer to them by their original name of Communicore. The fountain and much of Communicore/Innoventions have been removed in recent years as part of the continuing re-invention of the park. So that officially makes this a photo of the good old days.
And here is a photo of my traveling companion of the past 30+ years, my wife Laura, with Spaceship Earth in the background behind the Monorail track. That pool of water behind Laura still remains, believe it or not.
And with that, we move on to World Showcase, because those are all of the Future World photos that I have for this trip. However, this could partly be considered a Future World photo as well, because it is a photo of Future World from World Showcase. This photo illustrates what I said above about it being difficult to miss Spaceship Earth, because you can see how it towers over everything. And there is lots to see in this one photo. Keep reading!
The long building to the right of Spaceship Earth was the Universe of Energy. Universe of Energy had been closed for some time, but during this trip it was open again. They were working to install the new Ellen’s Energy Adventure version, which would open later that fall, but they were still running the original version with the new elements covered up. And now all of that has been removed and the building is home to the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster.
Continuing to the right, you can see the top of World of Motion, which had closed earlier that year to begin its conversion to Test Track, although that new attraction would not open for another three years. And sticking up beyond World of Motion, you can barely see the top of Horizions. Horizons was still open at this time after being closed for a year when it had lost General Electric as its sponsor. It still did not have a sponsor, but it was reopened because of the closures of Universe of Energy and World of Motion for their new attractions.
And moving on to the right you can see Mexico. Not the actual country, but the Mexico pavilion in World Showcase, which has always been one of my favorites. This was still in the El Rio Del Tiempo days, long before the Three Caballeros and their Gran Fiesta Tour had arrived. As is typical for me, I prefer the original version. But you probably knew that already.
Moving on through World Showcase…
For whatever reason, moving clockwise around World Showcase as we always do, I did not take any photos until we got to Japan. This part of the Japanese pavilion is meant to be a Japanese castle, complete with a moat and drawbridge, although you cannot see those in the photo. I always liked going in the gallery inside here and seeing the exhibits which were on display.
Up next is of Morocco in World Showcase. I have always enjoyed the architecture of Morocco, as seen here in this tower. The wandering streets and detailed tile work make Morocco an interesting World Showcase pavilion. In my younger years, I would breeze right through it since it did not have an attraction, which is to say a ride. But as an adult I realize that the whole place is an attraction, and I have spent a little more time there on those later trips.
And our last photo from Epcot for this trip is from the United Kingdom in World Showcase. The streets in the UK can almost make you feel like you are in another place, with their cobblestones, lamp posts, and buildings that surround you. And a couple of costumed cast members add to the charm. Like Morocco, I have come to appreciate the United Kingdom pavilion more as I have aged.
And that is all there is from Epcot in June of 1996. Check back soon for more Looking Back posts!