Do you remember?
“The gateway of time has opened and the spirit of humanity has brought us together. Let us reach out and touch. Peace and goodwill to all who gather here for this earthly celebration. May the spirit of humanity bring us together…may the promise of the new millennium light the child within your heart. And now…as the millennium drums unite and become one heartbeat, let us fly together hand in hand on the wings of joy, kindness, compassion, and love.”
-Introduction to Tapestry of Nations
March 1, 2003:
Epcot features the final performances of Tapestry of Dreams,
coinciding with the end of the 100 Years of Magic celebration. Originally, the parade celebration was called Tapestry of Nations, but closed as Tapestry of Dreams.
Tapestry of Nations was the first parade at Epcot since the World Showcase Parade. Created especially for the 15-month Epcot Millennium Celebration, the parade celebrated the human spirit with 150 performers and giant puppets. The parade was in development for three years, which was the longest time taken to producea Disney show. At first, it was going to be known as Caravan of the Giants, Millennium 2000, and then Earth 2000 before the final name was decided. Once the Millennium Celebration was over, the parade was changed into Tapestry of Dreams. The Sage of Time puppet, who lead the parade, was replaced at this time by The Dreamseekers, who carried butterfly-type nets and had a new float at the beginning and end of the parade. Throughout the day at Epcot, children were supposed to write down their dreams and then drop them in the nets during the parade. I had seen the parade a few times, but didn’t remember seeing the nets.
The floats in the parade were amazing. Fifteen identical rolling percussion units called Millennium Clocks were in the parade, with a person on each side beating on rotating drums, which symbolized the human heartbeat. The floats were 19 feet tall and 16 feet wide. The hours on the clock moved forward on the left side and backward on the right. Standing on the sidelines watching the larger than life drums go by was breathtaking. You could feel the drumbeats from deep down in your chest, it was quite an experience.
The performers were also beautiful. The stilt-walking Sage of Time lead the Tapestry of Nations version of the parade. His cloak was covered with designs of timepieces used by different cultures. The performers walking the parade held large puppets in fun, unique shapes and symbols. The puppets and performers were not supposed to represent any specific culture, but rather a unity among countries. The puppets were almost attached to the performers, they sat up high, going with the stilt theme, and they were awesome to see.
Tapestry of Nations/Dreams had one thing that stood out the most to me. The Music. Disney has always put so much emotion and feeling into the music they produce for various things. This parade was no exception. I haven’t seen this parade in years, yet I can still recall the music. It was incredible. The music from Tapestry of Nations was divided into five areas: The Sage of Time Prologue, Millennium Heartbeat, The Great Millennium Walk, Reach for the Stars, and The Human Spirit. When the parade was altered into Tapestry of Dreams, new spoken introductions were made, but the heart of the music stayed the same.
So, 15 years ago this month, Tapestry of Dreams took it’s final performance. Of all the things that Disney has “retired” from the parks, Tapestry of Dreams is one of the attractions I miss the most. I remember being in Epcot, and looking at the times guide to see when the next performance would start. If you weren’t sure when the parade was going to start, and were casually strolling around Epcot, you would know when they were starting by the pulse of the music. The “heartbeat” from the drums rang through the park, it grabbed your attention, and made you stop and look. Tapestry of Nations/Dreams was truly a piece of Disney “magic” at it’s finest. I hope one day they bring it back to Epcot to do an encore, so that those who weren’t lucky enough to see it the first time, could experience the magic and wonder that was Tapestry of Dreams.
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