Ephemera is defined as lasting for a short period of time. Synonyms for this term are: temporary, transitory, fleeting, and momentary. In other words, flyers like the one I am featuring in this post were meant to fulfill a purpose and then… be thrown away. But I’m a Disney fan. I save paper napkins and ticket stubs! And if you’re reading this post, I’m guessing that you do too.
So Disney collectors and eBay Sellers will keep paper products like this one alive for years to come. For there is nothing transitory about Disney fandom!
This promotional pamphlet was released in 1981 to generate excitement for the pending opening of EPCOT Center on October 1st, 1982. It features some beautiful concept art. I believe this was released quite late in 1981 because the concepts shown are pretty much what ended up being in the actual Park. So the artwork featured was well beyond the original Blue Sky imagining of earlier released promotional media. However, it wasn’t released late enough to contain actual photographs.
This pamphlet begins the same size as a regular Park Map. But it then unfolds to twice the size to reveal an awesome image of what would become Spaceship Earth:
For the remaining pages the pamphlet unfolds again to twice the size of the Overleaf page to reveal full-page images of the Park and all the planned attractions:
As of 2020, much of the buildings pictured in the image above are gone. EPCOT is undergoing a major overhaul with significant retheming. So this pamphlet should be a nice piece of nostalgia for fans of the original EPCOT Center!
As a fun side note: Who wants the ‘Center’ added back to the name of this Park? Disney has re-capitalized the main name and reinstalled the Entrance Fountain. Is it too much of a stretch to go just that little bit further to reestablish the full wonder of EPCOT and make it a ‘center’ once again?
“Travel the corridors of time and discover the future.” This page introduces us to Spaceship Earth, the Universe of Energy, and the Transportation pavilion. Note the multicultural nature of the guests strolling around the Park. Is it Dapper Days at EPCOT?
The next page continues our look into the Future with The Land, EPCOT Computer Central (Communicore), New Horizons (remember the underwater colony?), and Journey Into Imagination. Yes, Dreamfinder may be gone, but Figment lives on!
Next we are introduced to the World Showcase: “Travel the countries of the world and discover the family of man.” This first of two pages features the American Adventure, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Page two of the World Showcase section features China, Germany, France, Mexico, and Italy. But wait, isn’t there someone, or somewhere, missing? Actually, both Morocco (added on September 7th, 1984) and Norway (added on June 3rd, 1988) are missing from this pamphlet.
Walt Disney World touted EPCOT Center as a place for ‘The Dreamers and Doers’. Walt Disney himself was hoping that EPCOT would be a place where American industry could prove the value of the free enterprise system. He envisioned it as a permanent World’s Fair. I don’t believe it actually ended up reaching either of those lofty goals. But the EPCOT that came to be has showcased invention, imagination, and world culture. And that ain’t bad!
If you love these perishable paper products, just enter the keyword ‘Ephemera’ into the ‘search box’ of this site and you’ll find a virtual kaleidoscope (a constantly changing selection of objects or elements) of forgotten Disney media. We like definitions almost as much as ephemera! Can you tell?