Mind Blowing Secrets and Facts about EPCOT
Every time you visit EPCOT, you’re entering a world invented by Walt Disney’s imagination.
Back in the 1960s, just before his death, Uncle Walt dreamt of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
After the founder’s death, his Imagineers refused to let go of this vision for a better tomorrow. They constructed a magnificent theme park brimming with hope.
EPCOT features so many details that you couldn’t possibly notice them all. Here are some of the hidden secrets you’ve taken for granted when visiting.
A Matter of Perspective
As we’ll discuss, landmarks are extremely important at EPCOT.
Disney officials agonize over the views that guests will have while traversing the park. One of the most famous examples occurred during the construction of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Yes, I realize that this attraction resides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That’s the remarkable part!
During the planning phase, someone recognized that the World Showcase would have a problem with the Tower of Terror. You see, when you’re staring toward the Morocco pavilion, your line of sight continues to the part of Hollywood Studios where the thrill ride is.
Park strategists had planned for a spooky gothic appearance for Tower of Terror, and that’s what they created. Halfway.
The front of the attraction displays an elegant old Hollywood style merged with gothic horror.
However, the back of the Hollywood Tower Hotel features a much different aesthetic.
Disney painted and structured Tower of Terror to blend in with the appearance of the Morocco pavilion.
Today, when you stare straight at this part of EPCOT, you’re actually looking at the Hollywood Tower Hotel’s backside! Doesn’t that blow your mind?
More Fun with Forced Perspective
One of my best running jokes with Disney newbies involves scale.
A lot of stuff at Walt Disney World provides misleading appearances.
I mean, Shaquille O’Neal could stand at the base of Beast Kingdom and almost reach the top of the building.
Disney has mastered the art of forced perspective, the way that your mind fills in the blanks about the size of something.
To wit, a couple of landmarks at EPCOT have switched sizes.
At The American Adventure pavilion, you’ll swear that you’re looking at a three-story building. Disney wants that to hide the fact that the structure is actually five stories tall. The added height is necessary to block some views beyond the park.
Conversely, the Hotel du Canada portion of the Canada pavilion looks five stories tall but is only three stories.
Park officials wanted something imposing, a hotel of stature. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have seemed as impressive to guests.
Due to the spatial limitations in this area, Disney built a smaller hotel but utilized forced perspective to make it seem more significant. Of course, the granddaddy of them all at the World Showcase is The Eiffel Tower.
The structure may look imposing, but it’s only 103 feet tall. The real Eiffel Tower is more than nine times as large!
I’m dubious that anything would mess with your mind more at Disney than knowing the actual sizes of these structures.
Forced perspective is seemingly everywhere at EPCOT.
The Giant Golf Ball
Some landmarks are every bit as massive as you think, though.
For example, EPCOT’s signature structure is Spaceship Earth, the giant golf ball in the sky.
Disney officials broke out their protractors on this one. You will never know it by looking at the building, but it’s a celebration of Geometry.
Spaceship Earth is technically a geodesic polyhedron, a fancy way of saying that it’s made of triangles!
The building includes 11,520 different triangles that come to 3,840 points.
The next time that you stare at the building take note of the triangles. Each visual “piece” consists of two triangles with an open face.
Together, they look like that children’s origami fortune teller game.
However, their geometric beauty belies their sturdy, intelligent design.
Spaceship Earth can withstand a hurricane due to its foundation. Imagineers built pylons that go 160 feet into the ground to stabilize the structure.
Also, the nature of the triangular design specifically ensures that rain won’t ever fall on a person’s head. The water runs away from where guests stand.
To a larger point, the concept of Spaceship Earth is very Disney. It’s thousands of triangles built together to form the shape of a circle.
The Seasonal Restaurant
When we discuss secrets hidden in plain sight, an EPCOT restaurant takes the cake.
If you’ve spent any time inside the park, I’m confident that you’ve visited The Land pavilion.
Somehow, its most popular restaurant isn’t the spinning Table Service establishment that overlooks the Living with the Land attraction.
Audiences love that place, The Garden Grill, but its first-floor neighbor serves many more daily customers.
Sunshine Seasons serves dishes comprised of fresh ingredients, and it also includes ample seating.
Many EPCOT fans build a buffer in their days to cool off and unwind at Sunshine Seasons.
What few of them notice are the design of the restaurant and its surrounding décor.
Each section of Sunshine Seasons reflects a season on the annual calendar. Yes, you can dine in winter, spring, summer, or fall. Doesn’t that blow your mind?
Speaking of Dining at The Land
One of my favorite Disney trivia tidbits involves The Land and Sunshine Seasons.
Since 1982, The Land pavilion has presented an optimistic perspective of tomorrow. This section has hinted at a better agriculture future for society.
To you and me, this means a reduction in world hunger and an overall improvement in food quality.
Cast members at The Land aren’t apathetic about this concept. They work daily to improve the efficiency of food production.
You’ll watch some of the output when you ride Living with the Land, as the second half of this attraction shows actual ingredients.
Disney has hired agriculturists to perfect the food production process, and the results are remarkable.
The Land pavilion produces so much food that Sunshine Seasons and The Garden Grill use ingredients from here!
In fact, during EPCOT festivals, attentive guests will notice that some foods from Living with the Land include displays.
On these displays, Disney officials reveal which festival foods utilize the particular ingredient in their recipes!
So, you can eat components from Living with the Land at several different places in EPCOT!
Feature Image Rights: Disney
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