Behind the Camera: In 1982 EPCOT Prepares for Its Grand Opening

Disney photographers are some of the most talented photographers across the globe. Disney is now introducing a new series where Disney photographers share the stories behind some of their favorite pictures. This series kicks off with this stunning photo from 1982 as EPCOT prepared for its grand opening. See the details below from DisneyParksBlog:


I started my career as a Disney photographer in April of 1982, six months before the grand opening of EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort. The park was still a massive construction site at that time, and my main assignment as a new Disney cast member was to “make EPCOT look finished.” Our marketing department needed beautiful photos for travel agents, guidebooks, etc., to get people excited about visiting the new park … all well in advance of opening day on Oct. 1, 1982. Easier said than done!

That was one long, hot summer, as I would start at sunrise and go until dark, searching for unique angles that would obscure any equipment and unfinished work throughout the park. One afternoon, I made my way up onto the roof of the France pavilion in World Showcase, a day or two before the Eiffel Tower was being installed. I looked off to the north and … there it was! The photo I had been searching for, with the Canada pavilion in the foreground with Spaceship Earth framed majestically in the background – a perfect composition to illustrate the scope of EPCOT.


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The image you see here was captured from that spot, nearly 40 years ago now. I’ve always loved how beautifully the late-afternoon light reflects off the surfaces of each structure – the earthy vibe of the Canada pavilion contrasting against the futuristic metal of Spaceship Earth. But if I went back out to this same spot today, the image would look completely different – the trees have grown in so thick you wouldn’t even see the Canada pavilion anymore.

Now as EPCOT continues its historic transformation, I imagine I’ll be out there again looking for some more unique angles that tell the next chapter in this park’s amazing story!  

Source: DisneyParksBlog

About Mike and Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and RunDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 15 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.