Epcot in July 2003

Our visit to Walt Disney World in July 2003 for our 10th anniversary continues with a visit to Epcot. The “Center” from the original name of EPCOT Center was long gone, and the rest was capitalized normally, so that the park was now known just as Epcot, since that is what everyone called it anyway. And in case you forgot the name, there was a big reminder of it.

Once again, as with our Magic Kingdom visit on this same trip, I took lots and lots of photos with my new digital camera. It was challenging to narrow it down to just a (relative) few for this post.

Come along as we visit Epcot in July 2003!

Monorail Station at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

We did not actually arrive by Monorail, but I have always enjoyed the look of the Epcot Monorail Station. Since we walked right past it from the bus stop, why not take a photo?

Ticket booths at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Every good theme park visit starts with a stop at the Ticket Booth, right? Not anymore, it seems, as most people already have their tickets when they arrive.

Spaceship Earth and Mickey wand at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Where are we again? Oh, right, Epcot - it says so right up there! The large Mickey Mouse hand and wand were originally added for the Millennium Celebration (named for the year 2000, not for the Millennium Falcon), and the wand was waving “2000” over Spaceship Earth. After that celebration ended, “2000” was replaced with “Epcot”. Fortunately, they took the whole thing down some years later.

Spaceship Earth and Leave a Legacy monuments at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

The Leave a Legacy monuments were also added during the Millennium Celebration. For a fee, you could have your picture added to one of the monuments. We did not. And those were removed in more recent years, too.

Spaceship Earth and Palm Trees at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Sometimes I take photos that I like to think of as “artistic”. This is one of those, with the natural palm trees complementing the abstractness of Spaceship Earth. I have taken other versions of this over the years, but I still like this one. Plus, you can’t see the Mickey Wand or the Leave a Legacy monuments, so it looks like the (old) old days!

Innoventions at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Innoventions had been around almost 10 years by this time. All those awnings and wires. And lots of purple paint!

Tom Morrow 2.0 at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Remember Tom Morrow 2.0? Tom was a “minimatronic” host of part of Innoventions. Not the best picture of him, but I think it is the only one that I have. Tom Morrow 2.0 also appeared on segments on the Disney Channel. By the way, Tom Morrow 1.0 was the host of Innoventions at Disneyland in California, and he was a full-sized character, unlike this small 2.0 version. Incidentally, Tom Morrow 1.0 was voiced by Nathan Lane, who was the voice of Timon in The Lion King, and Tom 2.0 was voiced by Max Casella, who originated the role of Timon in the Broadway version of The Lion King.

Ice Station Cool at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

At Ice Station Cool, a Coca-Cola sponsored part of Innoventions, this large ice-crawler thing was parked outside. I always liked that its treads were shaped like Coca-Cola bottles.

MouseGear at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Inside the MouseGear shop in Innoventions, you could find these fun character silhouettes. Looks like Donald Duck lost his temper. Again.

Laura at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

And here is Laura near the Innoventions Plaza Fountain. This photo was apparently taken in between one of the fountain’s choreographed “shows”.

Mission: Space at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Taking a walk around Future World, here is Mission: Space, which had replaced the beloved Horizons and was still in soft-open mode and might not have been available for everyone to ride. We did not ride it on this trip, although it looked like several were headed that way.

Test Track at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

We did, however, ride Test Track, which had become a favorite of mine, even if it did replace one of my other favorites, World of Motion.

The Land at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Inside The Land, these large balloons hung from the ceiling of the main open area, and the balloons would go up and down. Originally, there were three balloons, and two more were added in 1994. These five balloons, which definitely bear the influence of the pavilion’s designer Rolly Crump, were later repainted and slightly reconfigured to represent the earth and the four seasons.

Fountain in The Land at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

In the center of The Land stood this large fountain, surrounded by seats for the food court. Everything was nice and lazy in here before Soarin’ replaced Food Rocks, seen at the lower left, which had previously replaced Kitchen Kabaret (see some earlier EPCOT Center entries for Kitchen Kabaret photos).

Journey Into Imagination at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

The original version of Journey Into Imagination, the one with Dreamfinder and Figment, was another favorite of mine. By 2003, the attraction had gone through the Journey Into Your Imagination version, which was not well received. It was reworked again in 2002, adding Figment but not Dreamfinder. By the way, the newer Figment is voiced by Dave Goelz, the Muppet guy best known for Gonzo.

Mexico at Epcot in Walt Disney World in July 2003

Moving on to World Showcase, we start at Mexico. Partly because that is just the correct way to go, and partly because we always end up at World Showcase at lunchtime, and Mexico is a good place to eat. Not much new here in Mexico from earlier photos, except maybe for that conspicuous security camera.

China in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

There wasn’t much new in China on this visit, either. But I do like the architecture and colors here, so I always take a few photos.

China in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

Here is another photo from my “artistic” side, with the repeating lines and the predominately red color. Just a little abstractness going on in this photo, which I like.

Laura in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

And here is Laura, waiting patiently while I indulge my “artistic” side.

The American Adventure in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

The American Adventure is another favorite of mine, and I am always thankful that they have not made too many changes to the original show. I like these “Spirit” statues watching over us as we take our seats, too.

The American Adventure in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

One of the joys of a digital camera was the ability to experiment with some photos that I would not have wanted to take a chance with wasting film on in the old days. This one of Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir (a scene based on a real photo of the two, by the way) turned out quite well.

Morocco in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

As it begins to get dark, we find ourselves in Morocco, or at least the Epcot version of Morocco. And speaking of things that have changed since our 2003 trip, check out the guy talking on the pay telephone. You do not often see that anymore!

Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

At least that big wand and Epcot sign looked pretty cool at night, as seen here across World Showcase Lagoon.

Illuminations torch in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

Nighttime means it is almost time for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, which was another Millennium Celebration addition. We had seen the show a few times before this trip and greatly enjoyed it. I thought one cool touch was in the beginning when the narrator would blow out these large flames.

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

Here is another of those “experimental” digital camera photos, from near the finale of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. As the years went on, I learned how to take better photos than this one, but you have to start somewhere.

Spaceship Earth and Mickey Wand at night in Epcot at Walt Disney World in July 2003

And since Epcot closes when Illuminations ends, that brings us to the end of this visit to Epcot. Thanks for sticking around all the way to the end! And be sure to see more from our July 2003 Walt Disney World trip!


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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.