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D23 Expo 2013: The Land Pavilion That Never Was

I promise to provide an in-depth look at Walt Disney Imagineering’s entire D23 Expo 2013 Parks & Resorts pavilion in a future post, but I’m too excited not to bring you these photos first. Hands down, my favorite part of the pavilion (and Patrick’s favorite thing at the whole Expo) was this amazing model of a vision for Epcot’s The Land pavilion that never came to be.

We caught bits of its history from the Imagineer on duty as Patrick shot photos: The Land was to have contained seven different crystalline structures, five of which would each contain a different natural environment; The Blueprints of Nature, an overhead-track balloon ride where guests got blown “off course” by a snowstorm, then followed the lifecycle of the snow as it melted, became water and eventually evaporated; a Carousel of Progress-style revolving theater; and the requisite shop and restaurant. One tidbit they mention a lot is that one of the Imagineers on the project (the same guy who came up with a lot of the inventive growing techniques of Living with the Land) later went off to Arizona and consulted on Biosphere 2.  But this version of the concept was abandoned after the lumber company sponsoring the pavilion dropped  out and Kraft signed on but requested the pavilion have more to do with food. Dang you, Kraft!!!

Patrick made two trips to the model on Sunday and took almost 50 photographs—enough that you might be able to create your own version of the model at home! (And if you really do create your own version of the model at home, I’d love to see it.) Also, reader John Donaldson informs me that Imagineers secretly placed in the model miniature fruit and foliage purchased by Walt Disney in Paris. See if you can spot it!


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{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Elizabeth August 26, 2013, 3:53 PM

    GREAT photos!

    Now to go look at them again…and again.

    • Carrie August 26, 2013, 3:54 PM

      Patrick’s so good about capturing all the detail!

  • Hope August 26, 2013, 4:17 PM

    Totally missed this when we were inside, so it’s cool that Patrick took so many pictures. To be honest, we kind of breezed by here at the end of a very long day and all we really did was take pictures with Captain America and go into that room where you couldn’t take pictures.

    • Carrie August 26, 2013, 4:21 PM

      LOL! Then you’re the perfect candidate for my forthcoming in-depth look at the Parks & Resorts pavilion. 😀

  • Tim August 26, 2013, 4:34 PM

    Mighty cool to catch all those details (I love the hexagonal picture room into the eagle murals). That is some solid old-school EPCOT ambition going on in that model. It is fairly depressing that the pavilion didn’t get built this way. I know it isn’t as great as a princess meet-and-greet or an interactive queue but it still would have been cool.

    • Carrie August 26, 2013, 4:40 PM

      I got a little depressed too, but then Patrick reminded me that the whole thing probably would have received one of Epcot’s dreadful ’90s makeovers and be a shell of is former self by now anyway! 😀

  • Kimberly August 30, 2013, 3:17 PM

    Oh my Gosh, that balloon ride would’ve been amazing! I absolutely adore Living with the Land, but I may have been willing to give it up for the balloon ride :) In my opinion, semi-educational Disney rides are the best kind of rides.
    Hey, they can always get a second chance for this model to come to life when they get rid of Journey into the Imagination… Although, they may want to rethink the name. Might be too confusing with two “The Land”s.

    • Carrie August 30, 2013, 3:29 PM

      Yeah, let’s see… what could they call it? “The Land II: The Legend Continues”? “The Land Before Kraft”? Or just rename the old Land Pavilion to “The Airport”!

  • TongaXtine September 11, 2013, 5:44 PM

    These pictures are fabulous. Look at all that incredible detail.

  • Heather October 6, 2013, 5:56 PM

    Carrieeeeee!!!! Where are you? Miss your posts. That is all.

    • Carrie October 7, 2013, 8:52 AM

      Sorry!!! I’m trying to write a post about the A la Mode costume contest at D23 Expo, but I keep having to stop cuz the subject is so depressing. But I really want to do a post about it because I feel like all the people who got burned by it need to have their costumes represented somewhere….

  • Heather October 7, 2013, 9:41 AM

    No worries! Just want you to know you’re missed. Love your style. Headed to WDW in 48 hours. Woo hoo!!!!

    • Carrie October 7, 2013, 9:43 AM

      Oooh! Have fun!

  • Jim October 7, 2013, 2:35 PM

    WOW! Great pictures! I like the overall concept. The balloon ride seems pretty cool. I love The Land as it is but it’s always neat to see what might have been.

    • Carrie October 7, 2013, 3:09 PM

      Yeah, I would have loved that balloon ride. I mean, think how much fun Peter Pan is!

  • Jake October 21, 2013, 8:35 PM

    Sorry to interrupt…but isn’t it about time for the Van Dyke Halloween extravaganza. Just sayin

    • Carrie October 23, 2013, 1:54 PM

      Usually, yes! Unfortunately, this year he’s decided to take a break from the hoopla and isn’t decorating. Hopefully he’ll miss it so much that things’ll be back in full swing next Halloween!

      • Jake October 23, 2013, 2:25 PM


        • Carrie October 23, 2013, 2:27 PM

          I know, right???

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