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10 fascinating facts about Walt Disney World's Epcot

Image: AP Photo

October 1 marks the 35th anniversary of Epcot, arguably Walt Disney World’s most interesting park. Though Epcot’s original plans for an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” were shelved early in the process, it’s become known as a “permanent world’s fair,” highlighting culture from around the world and innovations in technology. 

Read on for 10 fun facts about one of the most popular theme parks in North America.

1

It’s the best park to visit on a rainy day

Is there a bigger bummer than rain on your vacation? If you’re going to Disney World and there’s rain in the forecast, visit Epcot that day. The Spaceship Earth has a drainage system that makes it the perfect barrier from the rain. The ridges keep people standing under it from getting wet while the structure collects rainwater and dumps it into the park’s lagoon.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

2

It was an extensive building process

Though the Magic Kingdom was far more intensive, seeing as how it was built upon a network of tunnels so cast members could get around the park quickly without ruining the magic, Epcot was no walk in the park to build. 54 million cubic feet of dirt was excavated!

Image: AP Photo

3

You’re eating fresh produce

Over 30 tons of fruits and vegetables are grown in the Land pavilion each year, including over a thousand pounds from just one tomato tree, according to Theme Park Tourist. However, all that food isn’t going to waste! Most of it is served park-to-table at restaurants all across the park.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

4

The Land Mosaic is the work of two people

Hanns Scharff was a German Luftwaffe interrogator during World War II. He came to the United States to testify in a treason trial give lectures about interrogation techniques. He ended up immigrating to the country and getting into the mosaic business along with his daughter-in-law. Together, they designed the Land Mosaic and the 15-foot wall mosaic in the Cinderella Castle. The Land Mosaic is 3,000 square feet and took three months to install.

Image: Flickr

5

Future World and World Showcase were two different ideas

According to Mental Floss, after Disney’s death, the plans for Epcot changed drastically. Part of the team wanted to create a World’s Fair theme, while the other part were in favor of a futuristic park. So, they combined ideas and made two distinct parks to become Epcot.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

6

Thank Ray Bradbury

Renowned sci-fi writer wrote the original script and storyline for the ride at Spaceship Earth. He and Disney were good friends and Disney consulted Bradbury when new Disney attractions were in the works.

Image: Vimeo

7

And Leonard Nimoy

You know that Body Wars movie you check out whenever you’re at the Wonders of Life? Well, it turns out Mr. Spock was the director. Before this movie, though, the Wonders of Life used to play movie that consisted of Martin Short explaining where babies came from. Imagine watching that in your middle school sex ed class.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

8

You’re drinking authentic Guinness

If you stop by the Rose and Crown pub in the England part of the World Showcase, get a Guinness. It’s served at exactly 55 degrees, just like Guinness suggests.

Image: Flickr

9

Morocco doesn’t light up

Disney Lists states that many of the buildings depicted on the Morocco pavilion hold religious significance, so for that reason, it stays dark during the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth firework show. Islamic belief regarding art is also why there are no representations of people in the mosaics that decorate the pavilion — all of which were designed by Moroccan artists.

Image: Flickr


10

The Japanese pagoda has special meaning

The pagoda on the Japanese pavilion has five stories, each representing an element. This is because Buddhists believe that earth, water, fire, wind and sky are the basis of everything in the universe.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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