Remembering The Parades Of Epcot

Remembering The Parades Of Epcot | Disney | History | Epcot | Parade

Photo credit: Sam Howzit / Foter / CC BY

Everyone loves a parade, so it would be natural to assume parades at the four Walt Disney World parks have been abundant over the years. This is true for most of the Walt Disney World parks, but for Epcot – not so much. Since the park’s opening in 1982, there have only been a handful of parades.

EPCOT Center’s first parade began on opening day, October 1st, 1982. The parade was called the World Showcase Parade and featured hundreds of dancers, musicians, and costumed characters. The cast of the parade would make their way around World Showcase while performing to the parade’s theme song “There’s No Place Like World Showcase.” This very short-lived parade was performed only a few times before being retired.

Later in the 1980s, the imagineers began planning a new parade for Walt Disney World’s second theme park. They would call this new parade the Festival of Nations and, naturally, the parade would take place around World Showcase Lagoon. Unfortunately, this parade never became a reality for EPCOT Center.

June of 1984 saw the kickoff of WorldFest at EPCOT Center. This year long celebration showcasing the traditions, entertainment, and celebrations from the World Showcase countries.

Remembering The Parades of Epcot - Tapestry Of Nations Disc Man | Epcot | Disney | History | Parade

Photo credit: Sam Howzit / Foter / CC BY

Just over 15 years later, in October of 1999, Epcot saw a new parade. The parade, called Tapestry of Nations, would be a celebration of the new millennium. The parade featured gigantic puppets designed by Michael Curry, the designed of the puppets for The Lion King on Broadway. As you would expect, these puppets were quite spectacular to see! They included the Disc Man featured in the photo above, an Aztec Man, a Bird Man, and many more.

The Tapestry of Nations parade was made up of three separate parade sections. One ran from Mexico to Germany, a second ran from Germany to Morocco, and the third parade section ran from Morocco to the United Kingdom. All of these parade sections took place at the same time; so, no matter the location around World Showcase each guest would have an opportunity to see the parade.

December 31st, 2000 was scheduled to be the last day for the Tapestry of Nations parade; however, due to the parade’s popularity, it continued until September 9th, 2001. A new version of the parade, titled Tapestry of Dreams, debuted at Epcot on September 24th, 2001. Much of the parade remained the same with the exception of the millennium references which had been removed. Tapestry of Dreams ran at Epcot until March 1st, 2003.

Since Tapestry of Dreams, there have been no more parades at Epcot. Perhaps this is due to the mile long walkway around World Showcase or perhaps it has something to do with the abundance of street entertainers around World Showcase. While I don’t know the true reason for the lack of parades at Epcot, I can only hope that one day another phenomenal parade will return to Epcot’s World Showcase.

Do you remember any of the past Epcot parades? Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below!

 

 

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

Latest posts by Kimberly (see all)

  • DIStherapy

    Yes! Tapestry of Nations is my all-time favorite Disney parade! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who looks back on the parades at Epcot so fondly. Perhaps once the very popular (and profitable) Epcot International Flower & Garden and Food & Wine Festivals brought their kiosks to World Showcase, parades became logistically impossible. Maybe for the next Epcot anniversary!

    • I hadn’t thought about it, but those kiosks might have something to do with the lack of parades. I haven’t been to one yet, but from the photos I’ve seen the food looks amazing!

  • Tapestry of Nations is the only one I remember and it’s my favorite parade of all time at WDW! I still love the music from that parade.

    • I love listening to the music from that parade too!

  • Tapestry of Nations was a spectacular parade! We saw it quite a few times. Each time was special because we stood in a different part of the WS. The music is still great.

    • I loved that you could see the same parade from multiple locations! So neat!

  • I was lucky enough to catch Tapestry of Nations a couple times. It really was fun and unique. I’m glad there are no parades at Epcot now though. Just not enough room to get around them if you don’t happen to want to stay and watch.

    • You’re right, there isn’t much room to get around while a parade is going on. I bet that has a lot to do with why there aren’t any parades at Epcot now.

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