Location: Orlando, Florida
Years Active: 1982 – Active
EPCOT, is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks, Experiences and Products division.
Inspired by an unrealized concept developed by Walt Disney, the park opened on October 1, 1982, as EPCOT Center, and was the second of four theme parks built at Walt Disney World, after Magic Kingdom Park.
Spanning 305 acres, more than twice the size of Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely technological innovation and international culture, and is often referred to as a “permanent world’s fair”.
Epcot was originally conceived by Walt Disney during the early development of Walt Disney World, as an experimental planned community that would serve as a center for American enterprise and urban living. Known as “EPCOT”, an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, the idea included an urban city center, residential areas, industrial areas, schools, and a series of mass transportation systems that would connect the community.
After Disney’s death in 1966, the “EPCOT” concept was abandoned as the company was uncertain about the feasibility of operating a city. In the 1970s, WED Enterprises began developing a second theme park for the resort to supplement Magic Kingdom, as that park’s popularity grew.
The new park reprised the idea of showcasing modern innovation through avant-garde edutainment attractions, as well as the addition of a world nations exposition. The newly designed park, featuring two sections—Future World and World Showcase—opened as EPCOT Center in 1982.
In 1994, the park was renamed to “Epcot”, dropping the acronym and “Center” from the name. In the late 2010s, the park began a major ongoing multi-year overhaul including several new and replaced attractions as well as the revision of the existing two sections of the park into four: World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature, and World Showcase.
In 2019, Epcot hosted 12.444 million guests, ranking it as the fourth-most-visited theme park in North America and the seventh-most-visited theme park in the world. The park is represented by Spaceship Earth, a geodesic sphere.