Walt Disney World
A History in Postcards
Chapter 7 We've Just Begun... to Dream, Page 7: A Center with Character
Walt Disney World in part is known for its characters, and many of you already know that early on EPCOT Center
was not planned to have characters (Mickey, Donald, et al) in it. According to the book The Disney Touch by
Ron Grover "Managers in the Card Walker (Walt Disney Productions President 1970-1983) had refused to allow Disney
characters to tread the turf in EPCOT Center, in a misguided effort to avoid competition between EPCOT and
the Magic Kingdom. Eisner and Wells changed that edit ordering Dick Nunis to put Mickey, Donald,
and the other characters into EPCOT." This happened around fall of 1984.
But I think that perhaps even before that decision was made some of the attractions themselves were being
developed in such a way as to soften that "no characters" stance. In particular
Journey Into Imagination, featuring Figment and the Dreamfinder, and Kitchen Kabaret had characters that stuck with
(and for many still stick with) guests who experienced those attractions.
Someone must have thought these characters had a lot to offer to
the EPCOT center guests as they made sure that
these memorable cast members made it onto "Cartoon Card" art cards similar to the ones sold of the classic
Disney characters at the Magic Kingdom.