Friday, September 30, 2011
Happy Birthday, Walt Disney World!
As I am writing this blog article, we are officially on our way to WDW's 40th anniversary, and make that the Magic Kingdom's birthday celebration. Surely, the Magic Kingdom has seen many shifts in histories - with certain attractions being dropped off (Alien Encounter, 20,000 Leagues, Toontown anyone?) and with a few more being added onto the list (the Fantasyland expansion, opening to the public in little modules from January to May 2012), but it's no surprise that October is by far the most influential month in regards to Disney's history.
For a few reasons: October 1st is the birthdate shared by two of WDW's most famous parks - Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center, respectively in the years 1971 and 1982. Largely these parks put Orlando, Florida on the map as the theme park county in all of Florida (well, give or take a few), and these were the lasting legacies of Walt Disney since his loss in 1966.
Also, October, in regards to specific attractions, marked the birthmonth of some of EPCOT's icons, and even a twist and turn in its history that changed EPCOT Center forever. October 1st 1983 marked Horizon's opening to the public, and it became an integral part of EPCOT's Future World - it literally tied what Future World back than offered to the park's guests and gave us the known tagline If we can dream it, we can do it. Also, on October 31st 1989 (although a preview test opening happened on October 19th or somewhereafter), the Wonders of Life officially opened to the public, and in success, it changed EPCOT's history forever.
There were successes back then, but as time progressed, we were facing failures and facepaws. EPCOT saw the loss of its prized attractions, thanks to the many changes in science and technology, and not to mention public demand of what the public wanted (you, Body Wars rider, this means you back there!!!), led to a few wrong turns (according to some people attached to the old side of EPCOT) and even some perceived cases of near-neglect for the poor Wonders of Life pavilion. From here, we mourn the loss of these attractions, and especially the Wonders of Life pavilion, for what some of us perceive them as: the most successfuly milestones of EPCOT (and Wonders of Life) history.
So to celebrate, I have opened a Tumblr blog showcasing some good photos of the Wonders of Life pavilion, and it's at WOL4EVA in Pictures. Also, it's your turn for you to mention your most fond memory of the Wonders of Life pavilion at the site. Best wishes for this wonderful month!