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Epcot - Walt Disney World | by CMitchell Photo
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Epcot - Walt Disney World

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Epcot is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was initially named EPCOT Center. In 1994, the "Center" was dropped from the park's name, and by 1996, the park was simply named Epcot. In 2010, Epcot hosted approximately 10.83 million guests, ranking it the third most visited theme park in the United States, and fifth most visited theme park in the world.

 

Epcot is an acronym of Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a Utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney. Disney's original vision of EPCOT was for a model community, home to twenty thousand residents, which would be a test bed for city planning and organization. Disney's vision was not realized as funding and permission to start work on his Florida property would not be granted until he agreed to build the Magic Kingdom first. Disney died before the Magic Kingdom opened and the Walt Disney Company decided that it did not want to be in the business of running a city.

 

The theme park originally was known as EPCOT Center to reflect the fact that the park was built to embody the ideals and values of EPCOT the city. The park consists of two sections; Future World and World Showcase, laid out in an hourglass shape. Both sections are patterned after the types of exhibits found at world expositions. In its early years, Epcot was often called a "permanent World's Fair."

 

EPCOT Center was constructed for an estimated $800 million to $1.4 billion and took three years to build (at the time the largest construction project on Earth). Covering an area of 300 acres , it is more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. The parking lot serving the park is 141 acres (including bus area) and can accommodate 11,211 vehicles (grass areas hold additional 500+ vehicles).

 

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Taken on July 23, 2011