Monday, March 5, 2012

Stargate Restaurant at EPCOT Center

Andy at Make the Magic posted about a character breakfast that she had loved and lamented the lack of information available on the Stargate Restaurant at EPCOT Center.

I quickly turned to my trusty Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia (Third Edition) by Dave Smith.
Fast-Food facility in Communicore East at Epcot, from October 1, 1982 to April 10, 1994. It later became the  Electric Umbrella.
Photo from Making the Magic
Andy had posted this information, already, so I needed to find another resource.

I pulled out my 1984 Birnbaum's Official Guide and found a lengthier description.
Stargate Restaurant: This large fast-tood establishment, located in CommuniCore East, is handsomely decorated in shades of blue, mauve, and magenta. It's a particularly good bet when the weather is temperate enough to allow dining on the tables on the terrace outside—or when bound for World Showcase with finicky eaters in tow. It's also one of the few Epcot Center restaurants open for breaktast. Cold cereals, Danish pastries, fruit cups. blueberry muffins, and cheese omelets served with creditable home-fried potatoes are available then. But the real specialty is the extremely satisfying. if extravagantly named. "Stellar Scramble." Made of cheese, tomatoes, ham, onions, green pepper, and scrambled eggs, this “breakfast pizza“ might not win any prizes among connoisseurs of haute cuisine, but it's unquestionably tasty. At lunch and dinner, offerings include pepperoni or cheese pizzas, hamburgers, and chefs salads. The peanut butter cookies are good, too. The Stargate Restaurant stays open until the park closes. B, L, D. S.

Image from the 1984 Official Guide to Walt Disney World
Andy also talked about eating a character breakfast at the Stargate Restaurant. I have an odd fascination with the history of dining at Walt Disney World. The earliest character breakfasts were always centered around the hotels and campgrounds. I wondered what Andy had experience. I wasn't doubting her memories or her photographs, but I needed to do some more research.

The Official Guide from 1991 still states that there were only a handful of character breakfasts at Walt Disney World at the time, with none at EPCOT Center. We see the usual: Empress Lilly, Contemporary, Ft. Wilderness, the Contemporary and the Polynesian. It is the same information for the 1993 Official Guide. We don';t see a major change until later; the 1997 Official Guide mentions a few other character locations, but it is still not the experience we know today (in 1984 and 1989, reservation were not needed for the character buffets at the Contemporary or the Polynesian).

Once again, we run into the wall for people researching the history of Walt Disney World. Relying on official resources can be tenuous, at best, and it makes it difficult to confirm or deny certain facts. Relevancy is important and we still need access to primary documents.

Does anyone have more information about the Stargate Restaurant? Email me at George@Imaginerding.com  with any photos, receipts or tales of eating there.
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