This commemorative ticket (No. 050131), with accompanying silver envelope, was issued to mark the grand opening of Walt Disney World’s second theme park, EPCOT Center.
Printed in 1981, the tickets were made available for pre-purchase in the lead-up to the park’s debut.
EPCOT Center, the idea for which had originally been Walt Disney’s ambitious pet project—the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow—finally came into being nearly sixteen years after Walt’s death. The living, breathing, technologically-driven Progress City that Walt had dreamed of creating would never be realized without the studio head at the helm, and instead, over time, devolved into a World’s-Fair-style theme park, comprised of the technology-based Future World and the culturally-immersive World Showcase. The park’s opening-day festivities, which took place eleven years to the day after the Magic Kingdom first welcomed guests, included performances of varying nature from groups all over the world. The Sherman Brothers penned a song for the occasion, entitled “World Showcase March.” Water from rivers around the globe was gathered and emptied into the Fountain of Nations, as a symbol of unity and goodwill. The park would be dedicated a few weeks later with the following remarks by Disney Chairman and CEO E. Cardon Walker:
To all who come to this Place of Joy, Hope and Friendship
Epcot is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.
May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.