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From Barren Swampland to Walt Disney World in 60 Incredible Photos

Epcot

Originally conceived as a futuristic, working city, Epcot eventually became the second theme park at Walt Disney World when it opened in 1982. It sprawls across a massive 300 acres, making it almost three times as large as the Magic Kingdom. Despite this, it's still not the largest theme park at Walt Disney World - that crown is taken by Disney's Animal Kingdom. To build the park, some 54 million cubic feet of dirt was excavated.

Before:

Epcot's icon is Spaceship Earth, which weighs some 16 million pounds. The outer skin is made up of 11,324 aluminum and plastic-alloy triangles. You can see an early model of it below, followed by several images of it being put together.

Spaceship Earth construction (1)

Spaceship Earth construction (2)

Spaceship Earth construction (4)

Spaceship Earth construction (5)

Future World construction (1)

The World Showcase area of the park sits around an enormous lagoon, which covers some 40 acres. If you walk around the entire World Showcase lagoon, from Mexico to Canada, you've covered a distance of some 1.25 miles.

World Showcase construction

After:

Spaceship Earth.jpg

Epcot

Image: Greg Goebel, via Flickr

Morocco Pavilion

Over the years, a number of new pavilions have been added to the World Showcase line-up. Here's a look at the Morocco Pavilion, which debuted in 1984.

Before:

Morocco Pavilion construction

After:

Morocco Pavilion

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There are 15 comments.

wow what a great write up that was and to see some old pics of then and now love it

I believe the third photo under Spaceship Earth is actually World of Motion.

I believe you're right. Removed for now.

It isn't. It definitely is Space Mountain. Just look at the foreground, and you'll see Cinderella Castle. You wouldn't see the castle at Epcot.

It isn't. Just look at the Background and you can see Cinderella Castle. You wouldn't see the castle at Epcot

Wow! Thank you for sharing! It's great to see how wdw all started!! So amazing!!

I loved looking at these pics. brings back memories, my husband was working out there as a crane operator, heavy equip operator, his dad was an ironworker as were his two brothers that I can recall, they were ironworkers. when the park opened for the vips, when it was done, I was there with my husband and his d ad and his brothers, and they all pointed out different items, or areas etc that they had worked on and it was very kool to see the different ironwork that was made into railings and my father in law and brothers in law were very involved in this as was my husband with the crane., and heavy equipment.. very very nice presentation and it did bring back alot of memories from the 70's now my two kids are working at disney .. Isnt life strange, how things go round in a circle sort of and some back to u!!

Love looking at construction photos of Disney World. May I recommend the popular Disney Avenue blog for their popular "Making of" articles for more construction photos like these. Great article!!! The link is disneyavenue.blogspot.com

Absolutely. Disney Avenue is a fantastic website.

Thanks, as is Theme Park Tourist, its one of our favorites and we will be adding it to our list of recommended sites!

Hi i am a visitor from the UK and I will just say you never grow up Disney is just great.

Great article. One request which others might appreciate also: when possible, be more specific in your photo citations. For example, if I want to find a specific photo you have here credited to Tom Simpson's Flickr site, I have to wade through his 3,000+ untagged, barely organized pile of photos to get to it. A link straight to the actual photo would be awesome!

Otherwise, keep up the great work! I visit your site many times a week.

-Jim

Great article with some great photos!!!

Very cool. (Correct the bold heading "Spash Mountain" to "Splash.").

Absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. My first time to the Disney World parks was in 2000. Ever Since, I have been to all the parks hundreds of times. I'm just amazed how it all came together. Fascinated with the history of Disney. I have already been to MK 3 times this week. :) it's crazy, but I love it. Thanks again.

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