Have you ever found yourself walking into EPCOT, saw the granite megaliths and thought to yourself “why in the world are there big slabs with all these faces right here”? Well if you have, then you’re in for a treat because we’re going to see why these were erected. So sit back and enjoy this month’s article on EPCOT’s Leave a Legacy.
As everyone was preparing for the roll over into the new millennium there was a lot of excitement around. This was a time that people got enthusiastic about. We would never see this again in our lifetime nor had we experienced it before. All across the world people were planning to celebrate in different ways and Disney was no different. From October1, 1999 through January 1, 2001 Disney had an event called the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration. Over the course of this time the celebration was mostly done over at EPCOT. Some of you may remember the huge Mickey wand that was constructed next to Spaceship Earth. This was done as a part of the celebration. It remained in place until 2007. The Millennium Village was a 60,000 square foot building that was built between the Canada and U.K. pavilions in World Showcase. The village was the centerpiece for the celebration and it showcased exhibits, sights and sounds from countries such as Israel, Kenya, India and South Africa. Also during the celebration, Illuminations 2000:Reflections of Earth debuted and the parade Tapestry of Nations made its way around the World Showcase promenade.
As you can see there was some fun stuff to see and do during the celebration but what about those huge granite structures you still see to this day when you enter the gates of EPCOT? These structures were designed by none other than the late-great Imagineer John Hench. If you’ve never heard of John Hench then by all means read up on this legend. He worked for the Disney Company a whopping 65 years. He designed Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, he assisted in Walt Disney World and EPCOT. The Leave a Legacy structure was his last Imagineering project for the company. Hench and his team designed (in my opinion) a visually aesthetic design. The way it is designed falls into the theming of EPCOT. The plaque which explained what the monument was all about read:
“Rising before you is the EPCOT Legacy Sculpture. A tribute to a unique moment in time-The dawning of the third millennium.
The Leave a Legacy program at Walt Disney World is offering EPCOT guests the opportunity to commemorate this once in a lifetime event in a very special way. By contributing their images to this unique artistic expression.
The legacy sculpture celebrates the hopes and dreams passed from one generation to the nest. It is a living testament to the promise of tomorrow.”
The 30 structures stand anywhere from 3 feet up to 19 feet with the heaviest one weighing in at 50,000 pounds. From the fall of 1999 all the way through to June of 2007 you could purchase one of the tiles that adorn the granite structures. There were 5 photo stations located at the entrance. And for just a small fee of $35 for one person or $38 for two you could have your face etched onto a 1-inch steel tile. Over the years you were able to purchase a tile over 550,000 were sold to guests. There is even one featuring the boy band N’Sync. If you go into the camera center under Spaceship Earth you’ll find the Leave a Legacy Locater Station to look-up where certain tiles are located. For those of you who love the monument and those of you who loathe it, might as well get used to it because it is supposed to remain in place until the year 2027, so it’ll still be there for qu
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