A Tale of Three EPCOT Center Books

Three EPCOT Center Books

In the pantheon of Disney books, few are as revered as the Richard Beard book about Epcot Center; people usually refer to it as Beard’s Epcot book. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are three different versions of the book: pre-opening, post-opening and a smaller version.

EPCOT Center books Richard Beard

This does stymie collectors and completists. How do you know if you have the three different versions?

EPCOT Center books Richard Beard

You knew I was going to tell you, right?

Three EPCOT Center Books by Cover

The easiest way is to look at the book jacket! The pre-opening version says Walt Disney’s EPCOT. The post-opening version says Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center. And the smaller version is, well, smaller! It also has the Unity logo on the cover.

EPCOT Center books Richard Beard

So, why should you care about the three EPCOT Center books?


The Insides of the Three EPCOT Center Books

Well, the main difference between the pre- and post-opening titles are the pictures and photos. The pre-opening book was printed and published in 1982 before the actual construction was finished. The post-opening book was released after the theme park opened. The small version was printed after and contains many of the same pictures of the post-opening version. But many less pictures, of course.


The difference in the photos presented in each book really come down to whether the photos are of models or the actual show buildings. The pre-opening version has models for a lot of the Future World and World Showcase pavilions. In the case of the countries, there are full-page images of some of the Herb Ryman paintings.


Beyond the images that are switched, there is no other difference between the larger books. The text is the same, as is the layout. The two larger books sit at 239 pages while the smaller version is 127 pages. Obviously, there is a lot missing from the smaller version and it is mostly artwork.

You can see that the major difference is the model of the pavilion in the pre-opening book and an actual photo in the post-opening one.
Concept art on the left and showcase pavilion photo on the right.

I’ve had frequent questions about the ISBN for the different versions, but the two larger pre- and post-opening books have the same ISBN.

Do you own any of the three EPCOT Center books? Do you have a favorite Epcot-related book?

I’ve just provided links to the EPCOT Center books, but there’s no way to guarantee which copy you’ll get without contacting the seller, directly.

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