Epcot, like the rest of the Disney parks worldwide, was never intended to be finished. They’d be expanded, things would change, etc. But there would never be a time when Disney would sit back on its laurels and say, “It’s done.”
Whether you’re a fan or just a recent visitor to Epcot, one of the four parks at Walt Disney World, you know that the park is in the midst of a huge reconstruction. There is construction almost everywhere, including:
Walt Disney World began their “Moonlight Magic” events in 2016 to celebrate Disney Vacation Club’s (DVC) 25th anniversary. DVC, as Disney’s version of a timeshare, can cost significantly less when you purchase points on the secondary market (as opposed to buying them directly from Disney). To make buying from Disney more valuable, they have continued the Moonlight Magic events from 2017 onward as a perk that’s reserved for those who’ve purchased points directly from them and not from the secondary market.
Joe and I have been attending Moonlight Magic events, on and off, ever since they began in 2016. As DVC members since 1991, and as Central FL locals, being able to go to a select park after hours, with minimal crowds, has been a nice perk that we look forward to here and there. As the events became more popular, it had become a little more difficult to sign up in 2018 if you weren’t staying at a WDW DVC property for the event (they get first dibs), but Disney has tweaked the system and we’ve found it easier to get in in 2019 than 2018.
We’d been to the Epcot event in 2017, and in 2019 had been to the event at Magic Kingdom, so we were interested to see how the event had changed, not only from park to park, but from year to year.
Epcot was originally imagined by Walt Disney himself as what would be an urban city center, residential areas, and a series of mass transportation systems that would connect the community. However the concept of Epcot changed gears following Disney’s death in 1966 and it eventually morphed into a place to showcase different countries (a’la a world’s fair. It’s called World Showcase), as well as modern innovation through “edutainment” (education + entertainment) attractions. Each pavilion in the “Future World” area of Epcot focused on something different…space, farming, technology, etc.
Less than 2 years after the opening of Epcot in 1981, The Imagination pavilion, a pavilion that celebrated imagination, opened in early 1983. Its main attraction, a ride called Journey Into Imagination, was said to be the favorite of MANY Disney fans, partially because of its catchy theme song, but mainly because of a cute little guy named Figment, who, along with a man named Dreamfinder were the pavilion’s main characters.
Before Epcot opened in 1982, Wat Disney World already had some beautiful mosaics on its property, in the form of the five panels that tell the story of Cinderella, inside Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.
Designed by Imagineer Dorothea Redmond, the mosaics were done by Hanns Scharff, a WW2-era German interrogator who turned into a mosaic artist in the 1950s, and whose other work included the California State capitol building, the Dixie State College Cine Arts Center and several schools, colleges and universities.
So when Disney was building its second park in Florida and wanted a mosaic at the entryway to The Land pavilion, they knew exactly who to call – Hanns Scharff.
The mosaic is meant to depict the various layers of the earth, which fits in perfectly with the theming of The Land. But did you ever notice that the tile aren’t just on the wall, but they also curve onto the floor? There’s a reason for that.
I bet you’ve done it. Or if you haven’t, you know someone who’s done it. Or you know someone who’s been a victim of it.
You’re at Epcot and you stop at Club Cool, over in Future World. You grab cups and tell you friend/family member/whoever to, “Try the Beverly…it’s delicious!” They take a sip and…
Hilarity ensues. End scene.
Yeah, it’s pretty gross.
So what IS it about Beverly that most people just…hate?
Well…there are a bunch of reasons. It could be that it was never really made for American palates. Or that it wasn’t intended to drink quickly, but to slowly savor. Whatever the reason, it’s the soda at Disney that people love to hate, and Rob Plays has given us the whole, nasty history of it in the following video…