Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration
Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration logo
|Dates||October 1, 1999 - January 1, 2001|
|Location(s)||Walt Disney World|
The Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration was an event at the Walt Disney World Resort as part of millennium celebrations held around the world. Running from October 1, 1999 to January 1, 2001, the celebration was primarily based at Epcot, with its emphasis on human potential and the possibilities of the future.
The Celebration spawned many changes for Epcot. In 1999 a large wand was erected next to Spaceship Earth with "2000" written on it, also a new fireworks show was created for the World Showcase Lagoon called "IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth". A parade located in Epcot called "Tapestry of Nations" was also created for the celebration, that would also become the inspiration for the Disney produced Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show which promoted the Millennium Celebration.
Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand was the theme song of the celebration, and was released on the 1999 Walt Disney World Official Album. The Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration album also contained this song as well as the soundtracks of the fireworks show and the parade. This CD was also available in a slightly different form on the Walt Disney World: Yearlong Millennium Celebration CD, a promotional album available to purchasers of Energizer batteries.
Millennium Dreamers Global Children's Summit
One of the events that took place during the celebration was The Millennium Dreamers global children's summit, sponsored by McDonalds and UNESCO. It was an event that took place during the first week of May 2000. Two thousand children and teenagers who won an essay contest on volunteerism and philanthropy took to Epcot and the other parks for workshops, symposiums, behind the scenes tours, and private functions that allowed kids to network and learn about different cultures and customs from their selected peers.
A pavilion in Epcot was constructed and opened on October 1, 1999 specifically for the Millennium Celebration called "Millennium Village". Millennium Village was a 60,000-square-foot building that contained many exhibits featuring countries who were not represented at the World Showcase along with exhibits featuring The United Nations/World Bank and an exhibit relating to EXPO 2000. The pavilion closed at the end of the celebration on January 1, 2001.
The text on the large "Mickey Wand" constructed next to Spaceship Earth was changed from "2000" to "Epcot" in 2001, and remained in place for many years until late 2007 when it began being dismantled in honor of Epcot's 25th anniversary. The large "Leave a Legacy" structures in front of Spaceship Earth facing the main gate still remain. Millennium Village was later repurposed as the "World Showplace Pavilion". IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth was so successful it continues to operate at Epcot as "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" and has won several awards in the years since such as 2012's Best Outdoor Night Production Show by The Golden Ticket Awards.
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