Monday, February 05, 2007

Hey Kids! Wanna Get a Picture with Your Nightmare?

When Disney opened EPCOT Center in 1982 they decided that Mickey Mouse and the gang were not going to be found anywhere in the park. There were no rides based on Disney movies, there were not Mickey t-shirts in the gift shops, and you couldn't find Mickey and Minnie walking around the park like they did at the Magic Kingdom. Instead the folks at EPCOT Center decided to have giant dolls from around the world (like this one to the right) three times the size of an average child roam the park for photo ops! Frightening...yes! Creepy....yes! Did I mention frightening!?

Little kids can get scared enough at a 6 foot tall Mickey Mouse standing in front of them, so I'm sure these 9 foot soul-less dolls prompted tears in many kids eyes. I'm not sure what country this dude is supposed to be representing except maybe Nightmareville! Is he supposed to be from England or Germany or what!? That's my younger brother and I in the picture with the mayor of hell, sporting our matching EPCOT Center t-shirts and bottling our fears long enough for the flash cube to pop on our parents camera. This picture was taken in December 1982, when EPCOT Center was barely three months old. The giant ambassadors of childish terror didn't stick around EPCOT all that long. When park visitors were disappointed that they weren't getting Mickey in a Disney theme park...they complained. Mickey and the gang eventually showed up in silver spacesuits with rainbows on them. I know I've got a picture of that somewhere...I'll have to dig it up for ya'll!

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