EPCOT Turns 25!

Today, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Epcot is now having some official activities on October 1st. Special items of note include an exhibit on Epcot’s 25 years and a special IllumiNations finale.

The 25th anniversary of Epcot Center (October 1st) is almost here. For many months, Disney fans wondered if Walt Disney World would pay special attention to the 25th Anniversary of what was once, a dream of Walt’s. Wow, 25th Anniversary.

Some of you may recall that in January I interviewed Epcot’s then Vice President Brad Rex, who informed me, no special celebration would be happening. I remember sighing when he told me that and felt disappointed.

Soon two young local Disney fans, Jenn Waitt and Adam Roth, decided if Walt Disney World was not going to officially celebrate the anniversary, they would! They began conversations on the WDWMagic message boards and realized many others felt the same way they did. From there, Celebration 25 was born. “Join us as we honor Epcot’s past and prepare for its future by kicking off its next twenty five years with a bang! We hope to have you with us as we celebrate this once in a lifetime event.”

The Celebration 25 event now has over 1,000 folks registered and a sold out IllumiNations Dessert Party for the evening of October 1st. Adam has garnered such attention to his celebration that he reports Epcot officials plan to have an official, but low key, ceremony to honor the anniversary.

The Celebration 25 schedule has been announced and includes the rededication ceremony, “history walks” and attraction meets.

The guest list for the Celebration 25 reads like a Who’s Who of independent Walt Disney World notables. Here are just a few of the folks who plan to attend: Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma (AllEars®) Lou Mongello (WDW Trivia), Simon and Susan (Brits Guide), John Frost (The Disney Blog), Jeff Pepper (2719 Hyperion Blog), Bryan Ripper (All about the Mouse), Lou Moulton (Beyond Mainstreet), John Corigliano (Mouse Times), of course founder Adam Roth (Dreamfinder Forever), and many more.

Speaking of Jeff, he has a great series of blogs regarding Epcot memorabilia over the years.

Also during the weekend, another Disney fan group has organized what they call, “That Epcot Thing” with events scheduled to the anniversary. Organized by Nathan Rose and Tim Devine, The Epcot Thing also has its share of notables attending including: Ron Schneider (The Original Dreamfinder), Steve Barrett (Hidden Mickey’s Guide), Kendra Trahan (NFFC President and Author), Jeff Lange (Disney Historian and DVD Author), Jim Hill (MDP Guest Podcaster and Disney Insider), and Mike and Julie Neal (Complete Guide to Walt Disney World).

And for those who want to totally immerse themselves in “Disneyana” for the weekend, the NFFC – an international club for Disney Enthusiasts has the 2nd Annual NFFC Florida Disneyana Convention September 27-30, 2007 at Coronado Springs. Registration required for many events.

Pin Traders will be happy to know that Walt Disney World does plan to release special pins for the 25th Celebration.

Want to see where Celebration 25 began? Just head over to WDWMagic message boards!

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