Entrance Plaza
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Construcing... World Entertainment


Apparently a slow news day on September 5, but it is interesting to note the countries that were represented as the entertainment line-up giving EPCOT Center a very global presence for its debut. In a world where there are 11 Disney Theme Parks, a 12th on the way and a 13th in feasibility (1), it is hard to put the opening of EPCOT Center into its proper/grandiose perspective.  From a financial standpoint, the park was 50% of Walt Disney Productions assets. And with so much riding on EPCOT’s highly experimental shoulders, pulling together as much world entertainment as possible was crucial and evidently highly effective.  

To spite the multitude of changes in attractions, exhibits, architecture, music (and pretty much everything else), Epcot Entertainment has always maintained a strong presence in the park. In almost 30 years, the park (quite remarkably) has maintained a nearly unchanged level of live entertainment. The first group on this line-up, the Cosaan African Dance Company, evokes the specter of the ambitious Equatorial Africa Pavilion. Introduced by none other Alex Haley himself, on EPCOT Center’s “Opening Celebration” broadcast, the pavilion is also featured prominently in Richard R. Beard’s “…Creating the New World of Tomorrow” as the final chapter of the book describing not one but three immersive attractions within the pavilion. (2) The remainder of the groups were either from established nations of the World Showcase or those that were in serious consideration for inclusion. The Demark group from Tivoli Gardens brings the Disney theme park full circle as Tivoli, with it stately gardens and impeccable maintenance, served as the primary inspiration for Disneyland. 


(1) A Disney theme park in India is seriously being thought of, but by the time the project is approved through that nations government it might be the 14th park and not 13th, but that’s a discussion for another website.

 (2) Until I implement a new column on “The Un-built Epcot” Michael Crawford’s exceptional coverage of Equatorial Africa will have to suffice.    

© Disney All Rights Reserved

Photo Caption:
As was stated in the News Brief, this beautifully composed shot from Opening Day features the Canadian Royal Mounted Police making there way to World Showcase Plaza.     

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