Monday, October 1, 2018

EPCOT Center Pre-Opening Items: Commemorative Ticket, Booklet & Map

In honor of EPCOT's 36th anniversary today, we're going to take a look at some pre-opening EPCOT souvenirs.

One year before EPCOT Center opened, Disney began selling special commemorative opening day tickets.

The ticket could be used at either of Walt Disney World's two parks, but not until after EPCOT Center opened.

This ad for the commemorative tickets, was featured in the Winter 1981/82 issue of Disney News Magazine.

That price of $30 for three days, seems like it would have been a really good deal, especially for a limited edition commemorative ticket. Here is what the prices were for Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in early 1982, prior to EPCOT's opening.

By the time EPCOT had opened, prices for one-day tickets (for either park) had gone up two dollars for Adults and Juniors, and one dollar for a Child's ticket.

I actually found this EPCOT pre-opening booklet on the floor of the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland, back in 1982. It was originally handed out to cast members only, during special EPCOT Center "previews" that were held in the Opera House's auditorium.

I picked this map up at Disneyland back in 1982, right around the time that EPCOT was opening. The maps were free and were available in the Carefree Corner on Main Street.

Note the building for Horizons is already shown on the map as a coming attraction in 1983. The Living Seas pavilion would go into that open lower right corner of Future World in 1986.

Happy Anniversary, to Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center!


Chuck said...

What an amazing stroke of luck to have found that pre-opening book just lying on the floor! It's as though it was just waiting for a collector like you to find it.

I love the artsy construction photos, and how Ben Franklin seems to be rehearsing while Mark Twain gets a make-up touch-up.

I so badly want to go back to 1982 (or maybe 1986, after the Living Seas opened) for another dose of EPCOT Center back when it was still "high concept" and felt coherent and fresh and incredibly, incredibly relevant.

Thanks for sharing!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I also wish that I could go back to see EPCOT Center in it's early years. I blew it by not going sooner! By the time I made it there for the first time, World of Motion, Horizons, Kitchen Kabaret, Journey Into Imagination and the Sea Cab ride through the Living Seas, were already closed, altered or removed. They ruin everything, don't they?

Major Pepperidge said...

Hey, I missed a new post while I was out of town! I was going to say the same thing as Chuck - amazing that you found that EPCOT book on the floor. I still remember getting a different EPCOT booklet in the mail. To this day I have NO idea why one was sent to me or who sent it - I wasn't on any list anything. I still have it too - my understanding is that there are two versions, one with ads (which is what I have) and another without.

When that park finally opened, I bought the famous hardcover coffee table book, and MAN, that made me wish I could go to Florida to see EPCOT! No such luck, and it does sound like that original park is gone, mostly.

Thanks for the post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I received that book in the mail as well. It was the book with all artist's renderings and no photos, right? I didn't realize there were two versions. I don't remember mine having advertisements in it, but I should get it out and look at it, since I haven't done that for years. I also purchased the EPCOT coffee table book (at DL in the bookshop on Main St.) and it made me want to go to WDW so bad!

I was actually going to go with a group of employees from Knott's in 1985. Disney had offered Knott's employees a really good package deal, but they ended up returning my deposit and cancelling the trip. Knott's Human Resources said in order for it to be profitable to Disney, they needed at least 50 Knott's employees to take them up on the offer and they did not get that many people. I could have still planned my own trip at some point, and I did eventually. I just waited another 17 years and that was long enough for them to start ruining it!