As you probably know, there are currently no parades at Epcot. There hasn’t been a parade at the park in years. In fact, since Epcot opened in 1982 there has only been a handful of parades at the park.
When EPCOT Center first opened on October 1st, 1982, guests were treated to the very short-lived World Showcase Parade. This parade featured hundreds of dancers, costumed characters, and musicians. The cast made their way around World Showcase while the parade’s theme song “There’s No Place Like World Showcase” played. Unfortunately, this parade was only performed a few times.
In the 1980s, the Disney imagineers were in the process of planning a new parade for Epcot. The parade would have been called Festival of Nations and would have taken place around World Showcase Lagoon; however, the Festival of Nations parade never came into being.
In June of 1984, EPCOT Center hosted WorldFest. This year long celebration included the sharing of traditions, celebrations, and entertainment from the countries around World Showcase.
As part of the millennium celebration, Epcot debuted a new parade in October 1999. This new parade, called Tapestry of Nations, featured large elaborate puppets designed by Michael Curry, who also designed the puppets for the Broadway version of The Lion King. The puppets created for this parade included a Bird Man, Aztec Man, my personal favorite the Disc Man, and many more. The Tapestry of Nations parade featured three separate parade sections. They ran from Mexico to Germany,to Morocco, and Morocco to the United Kingdom. Each of these three parade sections took place at the same time.
Tapestry of Nations was originally scheduled to end on December 31st, 2000; however, due to the popularity of the parade, it continued until September 9th, 2001. The parade returned on September 24th, 2001 as the Tapestry of Dreams parade. All of the references to the millennium had been removed. This new version of the parade was just as spectacular as the original. It ran until March 1st, 2003.
There have not been any new parades at Epcot since Tapestry of Dreams ended in 2003. Perhaps it’s the mile long parade route around World Showcase that has kept the imagineers from designing a new Epcot parade. Or perhaps it’s the fact that many of the World Showcase countries have special activities such as the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corp. and the Mariachi Cobre which take place outdoors at the various pavilions. While the true reason for the lack of parades at Epcot is unclear, we can only hope that at some point in the near future the imagineers might design another stunning parade celebrating the nations of the world.
Do you remember any of the past Epcot parades? Let us know your favorite in the comments below!