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.
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.
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!