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Tag Archives: Epcot

August 9

August 9, 1989 – The Tower of Life Debuts in Epcot

On August 9, 1989, the Tower of Life, the landmark of the newest Wonders of Life Pavilion, was put into place in Epcot. Constructed to resemble a strand of DNA, the tower was representative of the area’s focus on health and wellness. It stood at 76-feet tall, and was made of colored steel and carbon. The tower stood until 2007, when it was quickly and quietly taken down as the Wonders of Life Pavilion was closed.

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August 2

August 2, 2010 – The Restaurant Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria Opens in Epcot

“Discover authentic Italian cooking, including hearty pastas, fresh salads and pizzas perfected in wood-burning ovens.”

On August 2, 2010, the restaurant Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria opened in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion in the World Showcase. Showcasing the cuisine of Southern Italy, the restaurant features authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked in three wood-burning ovens named after the three volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna, Mont Vesuvius, and Stromboli. The pizzas keep their authenticity with ingredients flown in from Italy, and water for the pizza being taken from a source within the United States that matches the alkaline found in Naples. The menu was created by famed restaurateur Nick Valenti, who spent a significant amount of time in Naples perfecting the art of making pizza. Dishes at the restaurant features Italian specialties such as Arancini, Lasagne Napoletana, and Agnello Scottadito. A grand opening ceremony and media event was held for the restaurant on August 5th.

July 20

July 20, 1997 – Le Cellier Becomes a Steakhouse

“Descend into the cozy cellar of a Canadian château for exquisite steaks and seafood specialties.”

On July 20, 1997, the restaurant Le Cellier, located in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion in the World Showcase, underwent a massive change to become a full-fledged steakhouse. Le Cellier was opened on October 1, 1982, and was a buffet and cafeteria-style restaurant; it underwent its first overhaul in 1995, featuring deli-style sandwiches and salads. The 1997 update gave the restaurant a new name (Le Cellier Steakhouse), a new menu, and a new status as a signature restaurant within Walt Disney World. It was an immediate success, and to this day it is still difficult to gain a reservation. The menu features such dishes as the Maple-brined Kurobuta Pork Porterhouse, a black angus rib-eye, and Skuna Bay Canadian salmon.

July 6

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July 6, 1994 – The Captain EO Attraction Closes

“We are here to change the world.”

On July 6, 1994, the 3D musical film attraction Captain EO closed in Walt Disney World’s Epcot Park. Opening on September 12, 1986, the attraction featured pop star Michael Jackson in a science fiction musical adventure, with Jackson playing the titular role and fighting against the Supreme Leader (played by Anjelica Huston) and her army of darkness. The film was popular enough to become an attraction in the other Disney Parks, including Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland. The last version of the attraction was officially closed in 1998; after Jackson’s death in 2009, the attraction was brought back to the parks for a limited time.

July 5

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July 5, 2007 – Disney Announces Removal of Epcot Sign on Spaceship Earth

“We think the timing of the removal is right.”

On July 5, 2007, Epcot’s Vice President Jim MacPhee announced that the Epcot letting, Mickey Mouse arm, and wand attached to the Spaceship Earth attraction would be removed, with the removal date to be before October 1st. The removal of the structure coincided with the park’s 25th anniversary, with Spaceship Earth itself once again becoming the sole icon of the park. The arm holding the wand was, at the time, the tallest structure in all of Walt Disney World, at a height of 257 feet.

June 25

June 25, 1995 – Le Cellier Reopens in Epcot

“Sensational Canadian Cuisine”

On June 25, 1995, the restaurant Le Cellier reopened in the Canada Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. The restaurant had opened on October 1, 1982, and featured Canadian-inspired dishes, including maple syrup pie. When it reopened, the restaurant had been closed for about nine months, and underwent an overhaul top-to-bottom, including a new menu featuring sandwiches and salads. This was only the first of the restaurant’s changes, as this would only last for about two years; this version of Le Cellier would end on July 20, 1997, when it became a steakhouse.

June 21

June 21, 2016 – The Royal Sommerhus Opens in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion

“You are cordially invited to the Royal Sommerhus to meet the beloved sisters from Arendelle.”

On June 21, 2016, the Royal Sommerhus meet and greet area opened in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion, located in the World Showcase. Here, guests can meet characters Anna and Elsa from the popular animated feature film Frozen, complete with a photo session with the princess and queen of the Norway-based country. The character greet experience is so popular that guests have waited hours to get a chance to meet Anna and Elsa.