EPCOT, which is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, was the second park built at the Walt Disney World Resort. It opened on October 1, 1982 by the name of EPCOT Center. The parks name was shortened to EPCOT '94 in 1994 and EPCOT '95 in 1995. As of 1996 the park has been known as simply EPCOT.
EPCOT was the brain child of Walt Disney himself. His original vision of the park was a model community, which could be home to twenty thousand residents, that could be a test for city planning and organization. The community would be built in a circular shape with businesses and commercial areas at its center, community buildings, schools and recreational complexes around it, and residential neighborhoods along the perimeter. Transportation would be provided by monorails and peoplemovers. All automobile traffic would be kept underground so that the pedestrians would be safe from vehicles above-ground.
In Walt Disney's words: "EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never by completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise."
After Walt Disney's death The Walt Disney Company decided that it didn't want to be in the business of running a town (this was prior to the community of Celebration, Florida which is based on concepts of new urbanism which is radically different from the original EPCOT vision).
EPCOT is divided into two different sections: Future World and World Showcase:
Future World is at the entrance to Epcot. No one can miss the spectacular sight of Spaceship Earth, which for the year 2000 was decorated with the giant hand of Sorcerer Mickey holding a 116-foot magic wand and a huge 2000 but now spells out EPCOT. There is a lot to do in Future World from learning about the sea to learning about your imagination.
The other section is World Showcase where you can see cultural diversity and achievements from 12 different countries: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, The American Adventure, Italy, Germany, Outpost, China, Norway, and Mexico.
Park Dedication (E. Cardon Walker - October 1, 1982)
To all who come to this place of Joy, Hope and Friendship-Welcome.
EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney's creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.
May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere in the world.