Always a fan of early EPCOT. Back in 1984 a video brochure was the high water mark in “digital” tourism and I would watch them over and over again. Oddly enough the modern DVD brochures do not inspire the same loyalty in me, even though I have ordered many of them
When I was a kid we went to EPCOT Center during its first year of operation and I was filmed by a camera crew who were demonstrating how easy the Worldkey Information Systems (the touchscreens around the park) were to use. I guess they wanted to show that is was easy enough for a kid. I have no idea what that footage was for and we lost our copy of the release forms my Mom signed. I have always wondered since and have become a bit geeky about collecting info about Worldkey Information Systems as a side effect.
This video about Worldkey is by far the one I enjoy most online. Sadly I am not in it…
As far as Disney goes, I am a an EPCOT Center fan. That is a capital EPCOT with a center on the end. I still prefer visiting the park nowadays, but I am often looking for hints of the older park when I visit (getting harder to find now). I even have a small collection of EPCOT memorabilia, but that is on a crowded shelf and hard to enjoy. So I am thinking of adding some art to my walls that celebrate the spirit of the original park. Which led me so Stephen Christ, who is selling these wonderful prints that riff on the original iconography and images of the park. He is selling 14 in all and I have a hard time picking just one, but this one looks like a good way to start.
Vintage EPCOT Center Prints by Stephen Christ [@] imagekind
No sound on this video, so prepare yourself. Still even without sound it is an interesting record of the early years of a great theme park. This video and many more like it are being posted as part of the Elmer Gerlock Film Project.
This Mickey and Goofy Explore the Universe of Energy Comic Book was a giveaway at the Universe of Energy Pavilion in Old EPCOT. I got my copy in 1985 and remember being very excited whenever I got anything free that had an actual Disney character on it. Like many Disney fans, I didn’t just fold it up and throw it in a bag. No, instead I treated it like a fine treasure. Much like most postcards that I bought to send to people, but kept for myself.
My family went to the nearest kiosk and ask for a bag. Then I placed the comic book inside of it and coddled it throughout the day. It probably impeded some of my fun that day, but when I brought it home, I had a keepsake that I would revisit for years to come.
In the comic, Mickey and Goofy learn all about energy. It is delightful and for years, I would hope that if and when they redid the attraction, they would make it themed around these two characters. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. They did change the attraction though.
They added Ellen DeGeneres to it. She travels through time and with the help of Bill Nye the Science Guy learns all about the universe of energy. Eventually she puts that knowledge to good use when she takes on her nemesis, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, and Albert Einstein in a Jeopardy match for the ages.
Nowadays they don’t give away comics at the Universe of Energy, but it is still a fun ride and gives an increasingly rare taste of what it was like to visit the original EPCOT Center.