Looking Back: EPCOT Center in 1989

This time around, we are Looking Back at EPCOT Center from 1989. As with the photos of the Magic Kingdom from 1989, these photos were actually from two trips, one in April and one in July. Enjoy!

Starting off with something new, the Wonders of Life was getting ready to open later on that year. But as you can see here, it wasn’t open just quite yet. And if you are familiar with how things were, you will notice that the large DNA tower had not been added yet. Of course, the building is still there, but it isn’t used for much these days.

GERO, the GE Robot, makes a stop in front of Horizons, which as you know was sponsored by General Electric. GERO would ride out on his scooter and then talk to guests a bit before moving on. I’m not sure if the guy behind him was to make sure that he got to the right place, or if he was a bodyguard of some sort. If you are curious, he was not the one operating GERO.

Here we are making our way toward the World of Motion, presented by General Motors. I wonder if it was a coincidence that the two neighboring pavilions were sponsored by the two Generals, Electric and Motors? Probably so. For whatever reason, I always thought it was cool that the ride would come outside of the building at the beginning.

On the other side of Future World, Monorail Black passes in front of Journey into Imagination. If you look closely, you will notice that this is one of the Mark IV Monorails. The Mark VI Monorails started running in that same year, and often you would see both models on the beams.

Moving on to World Showcase, our first stop is Mexico. And out at the Cantina de San Angel, the Marimba Mayalandia guys are doing their thing. I always enjoyed hearing them, as the three of them played one big marimba. The marimba had a great sound, too. I miss those guys.

Stepping inside at Mexico, we go from day to night, because it is always night inside there, which is one of my favorite effects. I guess it really is more of an atmosphere than an effect, but I like it either way. Not all that much has changed from this view, but this was my first good photo of it, so I am including it here.

Stepping back outside, we run into Mariachi Cobre, the other performing group in Mexico, and my other favorite of all the EPCOT Center World Showcase performers. Okay, we saw Marimba Mayalandia on one trip, and Mariachi Cobre on the other trip, and not all all at one time. That would have been cool, though.

Up next is a scene from the American Adventure. This particular moment features Alexander Graham Bell and Andrew Carnegie as they talk about their latest inventions. These days, I often stop trying to get photos and just enjoy watching the show. Usually. I still try to get a photo or two every now and then, though.

Here is a view of Canada in World Showcase from a slightly different perspective. This photo was taken from the upper level of the double decker bus that used to travel around World Showcase Promenade. There were some great views from up there. Just another one of those small touches that is now long gone.

As dusk descends on EPCOT Center, we once again find ourselves in Future World, with a view of the always impressive Spaceship Earth. What is even better than Spaceship Earth? Two Spaceship Earths, thanks to the reflection in the water.

As nighttime approaches, we stop for a look at Journey into Imagination. I always did like how the pyramids looked the same during the day, but one of them was lighted from the inside at night, making it appear more clear than blue. One of my friends on this trip just happened to have a tripod that he had carried around all day (back before the lightweight travel tripods of today), and he was kind enough to let me borrow it for this photo.

We close out our 1989 visit to EPCOT Center with a night view of the dearly departed Horizons. It was a great looking building both during the daytime and at night. Too bad it isn’t there any more. Those were the good old days.

That wraps up this edition of Looking Back. Be sure to check back in the future for more from the past!

About Steve Burns

Husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography and stories through Burnsland.com. Steve cohosts the Burnsland Podcast with his lovely wife, Laura.


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6 thoughts on “Looking Back: EPCOT Center in 1989”

    1. Yes, I touched them up just a bit in Lightroom, mostly to remove the noise. I know some people like noise in photos, and it was somewhat natural in film photos from back then. But to me, it gets to be a little distracting. I thought these turned out pretty well.

      1. I think it’s a bit distracting, too. Just wondered on Lightroom for the other film photos from way back when that I hope to edit this summer. I have some I need to finish.

  1. I was good friends with Rafael Rivera-Marimba Mayalandia – in the 80’s at Epcot- still around?? – I’ now 80 – available to contact??

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