Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More EPCOT model photos

It's time for the final installment of vintage photos of some EPCOT models, courtesy of Mike Devlin!

We'll start with a look at the model for the France Pavilion. Oo-la-la! (Sorry, I couldn't resist). Mike has explained why these models were painted in shades of gray (to emphasize the forms and layout without being dazzled by distracting color), but it feels like Paris has been dusted with a fine layer of volcanic ash.

Mike said, "The designers used forced perspective to create additional depth for the main avenue (rue?), both in the model and the finished product. My one significant design contribution was relocating the Eiffel Tower from atop the front building where the architects had it, to atop the rearmost building, aiding in the success of the forced perspective". Way to go, Mike!

It's funny, the little plastic people add a surprising feeling of activity, with a painter (France is lousy with them), what might be a flower seller pushing a cart, and various people out for a promenade. Notice the kiosk covered in handbills and posters, as well as the fountains in the distance.

Next we'll look at the Germany Pavilion. The emphasis was on medieval architecture - a castle, half-timbered structures, Northern Renaissance shops, etc. 

I looked at Google Earth, and it appears as if the final pavilion followed this model, at least in the larger details. All of my friends who have visited EPCOT say that the Germany pavilion has some of the best food!

Mike said, "I think we might have had the most fun with this one. The designers asked for an interior model of the biergarten, and we made sure that every man, woman, and child in the building had at least one, and often two huge mugs of beer in hand, complete with sizable heads". Everyone knows how much German kids love beer!

So, that's the end of those cool photos of the amazing models - I wonder if any of the models have survived? Of course they were huge, and storing them would be expensive, so my guess is that many were destroyed. Why not put them on display in their respective pavilions?! 

Many thanks to Mike Devlin for sharing these photos with us! We're almost done with the images donated by the Devlin family, but there are still a few left. 


Nanook said...


How great, once again, to view more models from EPCOT. They all really bare a fantastic resemblance to the actual 'countries' as finally built. Driving behind France on the service road, the 'backside' of the Eiffel Tower seems to be missing its "legs"; but the effect from the park-side is quite credible.

Thanks again for sharing these terrific models.

Chuck said...

As always, these are simply amazing models! I can actually see the table in the Biergarten where my wife, brother-in-law, and I had a fantastic lunch in 1997. Somehow, the table seemed bigger at the time. Funny the tricks memory plays on you...

As awesome as the Germany pavilion is, I still can't help but feel a little pang of sadness that we never got the proposed Rhine River Cruise attraction to go with it. Now we'll never have anything that can be re-themed into the Rapunzel River Run.


Those models do indeed still exist! Abet in their final finished and painted forms. until the late 1990's the models for GERMANY, ITALY and CANADA were displayed in the reception area of the WED/WDI offices located at Epcot Center ....I recall very close behind the HORIZONS show building.

Around this time WDI art Collections began "rounding up" original art work, color boards, maquettes and models that had been left behind since Walt Disney World's and EPCOT's construction. it was discovered that original artwork created for the opening "Century of Change" segment to the Hall of Presidents pre show was decorating the walls of the Main Street Penny arcade (coated by decades of cigarette smoke residue)also on main street in the Town Square Cafe the restaurant's walls were decorated with original silk screened printed main street building exteriors by Imagineer Ernie Princehorn and very early Marc Davis renderings for what would become The Country Bear Jamboree decorated a lounge walls over at FORT WILDERNESS.

WDI cleaned and restored if needed this artwork and cataloged and documented these treasures. The GERMANY PAVILION and AMERICAN ADVENTURE models were some of the models recently displayed to guests at EPCOT for one of it;s recent big anniversaries.


if you take a closer look at the FRANCE pavilion model you can see in that stage features the full Circle-Vision version of "Impressions of France" before it evolved into a 200 Degree theater by EPCOT's opening. The 200 degree screens and projections systems were built "Double" one for the France Pavilion at EPCOT and one for Tokyo Disneyland's "The Eternal Sea" film in their Tomorrowland that eventually became "MAGIC JOURNEYS 3-D".

Mike: do you recall working on models on the German Rivers Cruise attraction KD Cruises was suppose to have sponsored? Any insight as to what the real reason for the attraction having been deleted from EPCOT Phase II? ( actually it seems ALL World Showcase Phase II plans never happened German Rivers Cruise, MEET THE WORLD in japan, and the Roman ruins and second restaurant at the Italy Pavilion.

Tom said...

Major, you've inspired a fun new game: match the models to the Google Earth image! That's what I'll be spending my morning doing. Until my boss shows up anyway.

K. Martinez said...

Mike Devlin, Thanks so much for sharing these EPCOT model images. I've thoroughly enjoyed the entire series.

Scott Lane said...

Thanks to the Devlin family for sharing their photos and thanks to Mike Cozart for the collection & restoration info. (I remember that artwork in the arcade and at FW)

For the record, Major, I meant what I said yesterday as a compliment. Even the most bland of shots is interesting in some way. After all, they can't all be "monorail production art" quality.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these are terrific.

Thanks Devlins and the Major. I haven't seen the real places, but the models alone are wonderful.

Really takes me back to my model-building days, but nothing like these.


David Zacher said...

"Painter?! Harumph! I am an artiste!"

My wife is studying elements of design and had to build models. It was like a snow storm some days. I am so impressed with anyone who can do this. Thank you, Mike, for the behind the scenes look. And than you, Major.


David Zacher said...

You know I meant *thank, Right?


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, are mere mortals allowed to drive through the service road you mentioned?

Chuck, I need to scan an EPCOT item that was given to me, it has a page about the Rhine river cruise.

Mike Cozart, as always, you have the best information! I’m glad to learn that the models still exist, and that the artwork you referred to was rescued from cigarette smoke and other insults. I didn’t know that the France pavilion had a circle-vision type movie, but it kind of makes sense to me that it is not in the round. As novel as 360 degrees is for a movie, I’ll bet most people face the direction that the camera is moving.

Tom, it is the best game ever. Please send me fifty dollars! Or keep it and buy delicious snacks, your choice.

K. Martinez, I hope Mike checks in today.

Scott Lane, I would say that very few of my photos are “Monorail Production Art” quality!

JG, when I was a teenager, I would make little buildings out of the thin cardboard from cereal boxes and such. Some of them came out surprisingly nice! But it was fun to look in the windows and see Cap’n Crunch’s eye staring back at you.

David Zacher, those French are so sensitive. They are only “artistes” if they wear a stripey shirt and a beret. And yes, I knew what you meant!

Patrick Devlin said...

As always, Major, thanks for the scans and the work. On a personal note, Mike was and is an inspiration in my life. He, along with my brother Joe, is a big part of the reason I strove to build models for a living.

Melissa said...

I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be able to look at these models. Huge thanks to Mike and the Major.

The big building in the front left of the France Pavilion houses the Chefs de France restaurant. A few years back, they enclosed the little sidewalk cafe area, so I can also see the location of the table where I ate, even though it's indoors now.

Such fond memories of that meal! Besides the food, the staff was super nice and even encouraged me to speak my less-than-perfect French.

avenue (rue?)

Rue means "street;" "avenue" translates to avenue.

Nanook said...

@ Major-

Unfortunately that road requires greater access than 'mere mortals' possess. Thankfully, I know a few of those elevated souls.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick, thank YOU and your brothers (and the rest of the family) for generously sharing so many wonderful photographs. One of the neat things about them is the fact that several Devlins actually check in now and then!

Melissa, very cool that you have such vivid memories of the France Pavilion. It's too bad the staff wasn't snooty, that would have been a real authentic Parisian meal!

Nanook, those special people probably have a silvery glow about them, and one hears the faint sound of wind chimes as they stroll by.

Mike Devlin said...

FOr Mike M: Epcot Phase II didn't happen for a single reason: Money. Much of Epcot was built on Sponsor money, and when the funds didn't appear, the new plans faded.

The German River Cruise concept took place after I left WED, but I'm sure it never happened for the same reason as the rest of Phase II.