History and photos of the entrance plaza in the front of Epcot at Walt Disney World.
After passing through the front entrance gates, guests find themselves in the entrance plaza to Future World and the rest of Epcot.
The entrance plaza is a transition point from everyday life into the visionary future of Future World. It's a "decompression zone" allowing for people to become situated inside of the theme park, figure out their course of action, and then head towards their first adventure.
In Epcot, the entrance plaza is a short section of Future World composed of flower gardens, short trees, a landscape with futuristic rockwork, a large water fountain, the sleek Disney monorails passing overhead, and of course, towering views of the 18-story geodesic dome known as Spaceship Earth. Playing in the air is an assortment of music heard throughout the theme park.
One of the biggest changes in the entrance plaza occurred in late 1999 when the landscaping around the water fountain was altered and the futuristic rockwork was added. The water fountain was also changed to this theme as well. This conversion was made into a pay-for experience known as Leave A Legacy. For a nominal fee, guests could have their picture taken and have the photo engraved onto one of the rock slabs. Leave A Legacy was one of the experiences added to the park to help celebrate the year 2000 and the new millennium.
Although the store and photo booth for Leave A Legacy closed in 2007, the photos that were engraved into the rock features are still as shiny and detailed as the day they were installed. Those people who purchased the opportunity to leave their mark in Epcot can still easily their photograph as if it was taken yesterday.
Today, the entrance area in Epcot is a section of the park that is busiest in the first and last thirty minutes of the park's opening and closing. The rest of the time the entrance area is normally quiet as people check their guidemaps, form a plan of action, and pose for the obligatory photograph in front of Spaceship Earth.
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