“Here! The Great Walk of the Millennium. ”These booming words of the Time Sage resonate with me more than 20 years after the debut of“ Tapestry of Nations ”at EPCOT. Designed for Walt Disney World’s Millennium Celebration Resort, this spectacular parade took place every night around World Showcase Lagoon.It is by far the parade that has ever created me the most for a Disney park, and I spent countless nights capturing performances in movies Recently, I scanned these negatives and wanted to share with you some of my favorite memories.
According to Pam Brandon’s “Marking the Millennium: Celebrating a Life at Walt Disney World Resort,” the parade was in development for three years. Originally conceived as a show called “Carnival of Giants”, the working title evolved from “Millennium 2000”, then “Earth 2000” and then “Tapestry of Dreams” (a name that was used later when the show went continue during the “100 years of magic” Celebration ”), before landing on the perfect“ Tapestry of Nations ”.
During the show, the drums of the millennium served as a beat of the human heart as guests were transported on a spiritual journey with life’s greatest puppets with an emotional score.
The concept clicked for me, as there were many times I found myself lost in the moment, playing music while the performers danced on the World Showcase walkway with 20-foot-tall aerial cane puppets. I think my favorite puppets were the futuristic Hammered Man or the gangster Disc Man.
Award-winning designer Michael Curry brought puppet designs to life and a crew of 50 people worked for more than a year creating 120 puppets for the show. There were 40 different styles, three of each design with names like Bird Man, Wiggle Girl, Aztec Man, Inverted Marionette, Angel Girl and the Sprite.
Thirty drummers struck giant clocks in time with an impressive score composed by Gavin Greenaway. He said the soundtrack “communicates a sense of togetherness, of belonging, with many cultures and people together.”
The music was recorded on Abbey Road in London with musicians from the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, and a 30-member choir. Even now, as I write this article while listening to the soundtrack, I am moved to tears as the music is full of hope and optimism.
I sincerely thank the cast members who have spent many hours bringing this show to life. Throughout my career, I’ve met a lot of people who love both “Upholstery of Nations” and me, and it’s always an instant bond we can share.
This is just one of the countless indelible memories of my years in the most magical place on Earth. I will continue to share more here on the Disney Parks blog as part of the ongoing celebration of Walt Disney World Resort 50th birthday. You can also follow #DisneyWorld50 on social media channels to be part of the conversation.