Epcot's 25th Anniversary Archives

October 6, 2007

Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony - Part 2

Part 1 Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony

Marty continued to reminisce about the early days of speaking with Walt about Epcot.

Marty Sklar

He went on to say: "I'll never forget that opening day of Epcot…”

Marty Sklar

Marty: “…One of the things I remember the most was a water pouring ceremony to start the Comunicore fountain behind us. Don't you think it would be wonderful if we could do something like that today?"

Marty Sklar

Tracy: "Today we have the incredible privilege of having our own cultural representatives right here at Epcot. It's time to meet the representatives of the countries of World Showcase."

World Showcase Cast Members

 World Showcase Cast Members

Tracy: "The cultural representatives are carrying colorful banners representing the countries of World Showcase: Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada, America, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico.

 World Showcase Countries

 World Showcase Countries

Tracy: The cultural representatives are "carrying many different types of water containers, representing famous rivers or bodies of water."

For each country, the name of the container and the body of water was announced as the processional continued.

Cultural Representative




"The Pouring of the Water"

Mickey, Tracy, Marty, Minnie

Music, fireworks and fountains filled the air.

World Showcase Countries

 Music, fireworks and fountains filled the air

 Music, fireworks and fountains filled the air

All too soon, the rededication came to an end….

 Rededication winds down

Marty Sklar and Minnie


Marty and Minnie

Jim MacPhee publicly thanked his team that created Epcot's 25th Anniversary events.

Jim MacPhee and Team

The Celebration 25 fan group then gathered for a photo in front of the fountains and Spaceship Earth.

Celebration 25 Group Photo

Jim MacPhee and Walt Disney World Ambassadors Michael and Lowell joined the photo op!

 Jim MacPhee and Walt Disney World Ambassadors

October 4, 2007

Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony - Part 1

It really was a beautiful morning which was good since we spent a lot of time waiting. Even though Spaceship Earth remained closed for renovations, it made the perfect backdrop for the festivities against the blue sky.

I purchased a limited edition T-shirt and a Figment for myself which took quite a bit of time. So much time that I could not wait in any of the Limited Edition pin lines. (If anyone has any extra of the limited edition 25th Anniversary pins, please let me know.) From the shop I headed over to the rope drop area. My souvenir shopping put me much further back from the rope than I had hoped. Nonetheless, I was there in person and very excited!!!

Rope drop in Epcot on October 1, 2007

We waited at the rededication location for well over an hour. It provided a wonderful opportunity to talk to those around and listen to the stories of what brought people to Epcot on this special day. Many knew the significance, some, "just followed the crowd."

Here is a photo from my spot, about 5 rows from the front, looking back toward World Showcase. It'll give you an idea of how many folks attended the ceremony.

Crowd waiting for Rededication to Begin

AllEars® Senior Editor, Debra Martin Koma, with AllEars® Guest Columnist, Brian Martsolf.

Debra Martin Koma and Brian Martsolf

Adam Roth (co-founder Celebration 25 one of the unofficial fan gatherings) is being interviewed for a podcast. Adam is holding an original Figment from the early 80's which belongs to Celebration 25 co-founder Jenn Waitt.

Adam Roth and Figment

The fanfare began with Ambassador Michael taking the stage. He welcomed everyone to Epcot's 25th Rededication Ceremony...

Ambassador Michael

... and introduced Tracy Wui, Rededication Ceremony Hostess.

Tracy Wui, Rededication Ceremony Hostess

Tracy explained that in the original dedication ceremony, one of the speakers said of Epcot, "This represents a dream come true". The original musical score played 25 years ago, We've Just Begun to Dream, was played again on this special day. And, as Tracy said, "After 25 years we can still say "we've just begun"!

As the music played, Tracy introduced Epcot Cast Members representing Future World. The processional included 2 Cast Members from each attraction, one holding a sign representing that attraction. Spaceship Earth's sign was the original icon for the attraction, followed by Innoventions, Energy, Mission Space, Test Track, Seas with Nemo and Friends, the Land and Imagination. The crowd cheered and applauded as each attraction was announced.

Parade of Future World Attraction Representatives

Next on stage came Erin Wallace, Senior Vice President Operations Walt Disney World Resorts and Jim MacPhee, Vice President Epcot.

Erin Wallace and Jim MacPhee walk on stage.

Jim asked for applause from everyone who was here 25 years ago when Epcot opened. He then recounted his opening day story, of being an Epcot Cast Member and working in the Parking Lot! Standing center stage at the 25th Celebration for a Cast Member who began as a parking lot cast member, certainly had to have been "A Dream Come True" for Jim as well.

Jim MacPhee

Erin spoke of the significance of Epcot's opening in 1982, "When Epcot was built and opened, it really signaled an era of growth on this property."

Erin Wallace

Jim: "We recognize that the heritage and tradition of our founder is woven through the fabric of everything we do here, every moment of every day.

Jim: "You can dream, create, imagine and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it requires people to make that dream a reality." He went on to say, "We have one special person, who was right next to Walt."

Jim MacPhee

Erin continued: "He began his career in 1955 working with Walt on Disneyland. He is the only Disney Cast member to participate in every opening of our 11 theme parks worldwide; named a Disney Legend in 2001, Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador, Marty Sklar." The crowd broke out in a loud applause.

Mickey and Minnie escorted Marty on stage to a huge applause from the audience.

Marty Sklar escorted by Mickey and Minnie

Marty: "Walt's vision for Epcot really set the course for everything that has happened here at Walt Disney World in the 41 years since he announced his vision."

Marty Sklar

"The passion for excellence that Walt Disney inspired, motivated all of us, Disney Cast Members as well as the designers, engineers, architects, and film makers who joined us to dream big dreams, invent new experiences and tell new stories about the lessons of yesterday, the challenges of today, and the promise of tomorrow."

Marty Sklar

Marty then read Card Walker's dedication of Epcot 25 years ago and added his own remarks:
"25 years ago we said, the 21st century began on October 1, 1982. Today, on October 1, 2007 we rededicate Epcot, and ourselves, to a new future that begins now. "

Marty Sklar


September 30, 2007

Epcot - Sunday 9/30/07 Part 2

After our lunch break, the Celebration 25 history walks reconvenied at the Living Seas, or rather, the Seas with Nemo and Friends.




The Land... from Kitchen Kaberet to Food Rocks to Soarin'


Journey into Imagination becomes Journey into Your Imagination.



Spaceship Earth



A surprise guest appearance by Epcot Vice President, Jim MacPhee.




Epcot - Sunday 9/30/07 Part 1

For those of you wondering where the rest of Friday and all of Saturday's reports are, well, I'll have to fill them in later.

Today I want to tell you about the start of Celebration 25.
If you are just tuning in here are the previous blogs:
Part 1 - Epcot Turns 25

Journey into Imagination - a look back.

Epcot Celebrates 25 Years - a Chat with Adam Roth

This morning registration tables opened bright and early near Epcot's Kennel facility. When I arrived it was 9:40am and other folks were also still checking in. It was a very orderly process and everything went smoothly.

Here are the Roth's checking in an attendee.


It was at this time I met Adam Roth and Jenn Waitt, the Celebration 25 co-founders as well as other members of this amazing team. Here is a photo of Adam and myself.


Jenn accepts an Appreciation postcard from attendee Chris.

Matt Pezzula, event videographer, interviews a couple in front of Spaceship Earth. The team is capturing attendee memories of their first visit to Epcot.

Today's events were primarily history walks hosted by John Corigliano (Mouse Times). John did an amazing job of keeping his presentations brief and concise. I think everyone attending probably learned some new things about the Future World attractions. John would talk about the original attraction and then how it has evolved into what you see today.

The first history walk began at 11:30 at Test Track. John spoke about the World of Motion pavilion.


Next we went to Mission Space where John began with a discussion about Horizons.


The final stop in the Future World East tour was at the Universe of Energy.


Adam shares some historical facts as well.


Before breaking for lunch, Jenn, Adam, John and Matt pose for a photo.


Next up.... the Future World West tour and a surprise visitor!

September 26, 2007

Epcot Celebrates 25 Years A Chat with Adam Roth

This is the 3rd in a series of blogs on Epcot's 25th Anniversary.
Epcot Turns 25!
Journey to Imagination Postcards .

Less than a week from now, Epcot will be buzzing with all the excitement! Yes, the Food and Wine Festival begins this weekend, but also Epcot turns 25 on Monday, October 1st and there is a very special 2 day event called Celebration 25.

I had the pleasure recently to chat with Adam Roth, one of the co-founders of Celebration 25, an event designed to celebrate 25 years of Epcot. Adam is a 16 year old high school junior who lives in the Orlando area. Adam wasn't even born when Epcot opened. However, there is an Epcot connection with his family. Adam's father was a reporter who covered Epcot's opening and still has a pre-opening Epcot press kit!

Adam recalled for me one of his early visits to Horizons and also talked about the Journey Into Imagination attraction, especially how much he enjoyed the Image Works. In fact, his website (Dreamfinder Forever) started as a campaign to bring back Figment's buddy the Dreamfinder.

When asked what makes Disney special, Adam explained: "I'm a passholder for many of the local parks. When I look and try to compare...I can't honestly go to Universal or Sea World every weekend, but for some reason, I can go back to Disney every weekend! With Disney, I don't get bored. It's always something new for me - something new to find and to do"

Celebration 25 was actually the idea of Jenn Waitt who started a discussion on the WDWMagic message boards. She wanted to organize something to pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of Epcot. Adam offered space on his website, Dreamfinder Forever, and that was the start.

As more people registered, Jenn and Adam were busy adding more folks to their team. "It's amazing to think that 8 months have passed since we started this and we are over 1,000 people past what we imagined," Adam explained.

The Celebration 25 team is comprised of many folks. "Jenn - came up with the idea; Jason is in charge of the IllumiNations dessert party; John Corigliano is doing several history walks; Lou Mongello is an official sponsor and has provided name tags and lanyards in addition to lots of support; Jeff Pepper another sponsor is providing the printed schedule; and there are many partner websites too."

One would think Adam had lots of experience planning events, but this is the first time he's ever done anything like this. It's amazing especially when you consider that he is also keeping up with his high school AP classes and preparing for a school trip to France at the end of October.

"What about your folks?", I inquired, "What do they think of all this?" "They're amazed!", Adam said excitedly. "I first told them about it 8 months ago, that I was going to miss school on October 1st. After I explained they said 'that's fine'. As it started to grow, they said, 'We're not missing this!"

Initial plans for the event were very small with hopes to get 200 persons signed up. The IllumiNations dessert party was the first thing the group officially organized. That was the foot in the door at Epcot. Scott Powers wrote about Celebration 25 in the Orlando Sentinel and then things really took off.

All along, it's been very important to Adam that Epcot officials be aware of the group's activities. He didn't want any issues during the event. Working closely with Epcot cast members, space has even been provided near Epcot's Kennel Club for the Celebration 25 registration tables. All registered attendees will receive a lanyard/nametag and IllumiNations dessert party attendees will have a separate identifier.

And if this isn't enough, Adam made it clear to me how important having a charity associated with the event was to him and the team. Lou Mongello's Dream Team fundraiser for Make a Wish will be the charity associated with Celebration 25. All proceeds from the Celebration 25 DVD and Scrapbook and any extra from the IllumiNations dessert party will go to the Dream Team fundraiser. "Now we can do something for the community and not just Epcot."

Adam isn't sure if all 50 states are represented in the registered attendees, but he does know that there is a large group coming from the United Kingdom. There is also a couple getting married on October 1st and rather than head off to their honeymoon, they are coming to the Celebration 25 activities and the dessert party.

According to Adam, and most of this has also been reported in the Orlando Sentinel, Epcot will have several special displays/activities to celebrate 25 years!

The Epcot Gallery in Innoventions West opens October 1st for guests and promises to be a step back through the years of Epcot's history. While it is unclear how long the gallery will be open, it sounds like through the end of this year. There will be 2 sessions with Marty Sklar. All Celebration 25 registered IllumiNations dessert party attendees will have a ticket to one of the two sessions. Disney is also planning special 25th Anniversary merchandise including t-shirts and pins.

IllumiNations will have a special "tag" after the regular show which will be a one time only tribute that's 5 minutes long. Adam shared that there will be additional fireworks, lasers, music from Epcot's past (Tapestry of Nations) and possibly Spaceship Earth used as a canvas.

And....when it's all said and done, Adam wants "to remember this as something I had a part in. I think that everyone who has been involved and everyone who has signed up has made this event so strong... I"m proud to be involved. This is one of those times we can say to Disney; this does mean something to us! I know that our presence has reminded them in a friendly way, that we do care."

I, and many others, will be in Epcot Sunday and Monday to be part of all the excitement! See you there!

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About Epcot's 25th Anniversary

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Deb's Digest in the Epcot's 25th Anniversary category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Animal Kingdom's 10th Anniversary is the previous category.

Epcot's 30th Anniversary is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.