A former Disney Imagineer’s guide to Epcot’s World Showcase – Orange County Register

One of Walt Disney’s dreams for Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) was to promote worldwide understanding and communications between the world’s countries.

When Disney’s Imagineers began developing concepts for the park, originally named EPCOT Center at the Walt Disney World Resort when it opened in 1982, they devoted a major section to a place where countries could have a showplace.

It would have two areas: Future World, where companies would be able to sponsor pavilions with broad themes and present their technology to solve the world’s issues. The second area would be the World Showcase.

It was here that each country would have a pavilion to showcase their lands, culture, technology and food.

The Imagineers also adopted a way to staff each country through the World Fellowship program, where citizens of each country would come over to work there and develop a fellowship with the people of the other countries.

There was a struggle to get countries to participate, but Disney went ahead and on opening day, October 1, 1982, nine countries were placed around the World Showcase Lagoon.

Since then, two additional countries were…

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