Spoiler Alert: a change is coming to Epcot. Maybe one you’ll like, maybe you won’t like. The jury is out.
The first reaction to any change to WDW is OUTRAGE. “How could they do this?! Walt is turning in his grave!!!”
Me on the other hand? I’m pretty welcoming to change. I will admit, that if ToT in WDW was torn down or updated to a new ride (GoTG in DLR), I would be pretty miserable. But, when it concerns outdated and improperly used land across the WDW resort, I’m all about swift changes to update the parks. Change almost always feels good to me.
With that said, many of you may have heard of some major upgrades and changes to EPCOT (along with the rest of the resort). Let’s run through them, shall we?
- The Updates will take place from 2017 to about 2021
- Epcot may get a new name (nothing major, think like what Jay-Z has been putting us through with the styling…we may see a change in caps, suffix added)
- Entrance/Central Spine will be overhauled – This means bidding farewell to the ‘memorials’ in front of Spaceship Earth as well as changes to Innoventions and the central hub of Future World. It’s possible that those names won’t survive the update. This was originally slated to begin in 2017, but was pushed back to a 2021 completion due to more important updates that will be focused on.
- As reported, Siemens is ending its sponsorship of Spaceship Earth and Illuminations. Spaceship Earth is scheduled for a 2019 refurb and no word quite yet on what will replace the evening fireworks show although it’s been long discussed that Epcot needed new nighttime entertainment.
- The Energy Pavilion will be replaced with a roller coaster. The strongest rumors suggest it will likely be Guardians themed, although nothing is confirmed or green-lit. Insiders suggest the main building will be a fully themed queue, with the ride building being constructed behind it. The tech rumors for the ride say there’s a possibility the coaster will be a ‘sitting to flying’ position.
- Future into Imagination will be getting an update which includes ditching Figment, but this will not happen for a number of years. Insiders expect 5-6 years from now, a new attraction would be opening.
- Mission:Space is getting an update this summer, with new screens, new missions. It was originally scheduled to open this month but insiders suggest it is behind schedule, as is the Disney way, and will now open in August.
- Land Pavillion – Living with the Land will get an update and Circle of Life will be replaced
- Living Seas Pavilion will be refurbed.
- Uncertainty regarding the fate of the Wonders Pavilion. It may be replaced with more GoTG attractions or just demolished entirely.
- Ratatouille IP coming to France in the World Showcase. This is green-lit and will be opening in 2020-2021. The queue may take over some or all of Impressions de France.
- New Pavilion in the World Showcase! Front runner is Brazil, with Spain trailing behind as a long shot. There are some rumors that Disney plans to add three more new pavilions by 2025. Brazil will be completed possibly by 2021. This date is not firm.
- A new B or C ride will be coming to the UK and Mary Poppins is a strong contender.
- Disney/Pixar’s new film Coco, may be overlayed unto the Grande Fiesta in Mexico, with GF closing for update in 2019.
- American Adventure will go digital with an alternative ending. Bye Lance and Tiger
So, there’s still a bit of uncertainty with some/all of the bullet points above. Until confirmed by Disney, this is all just rumor. I do trust the sources on the forum I follow in regards to the content, but the timing is always the most questionable. Things get delayed, things get scrapped. Just use Rivers of Light as an example.
You still have plenty of time to cherish Epcot in its present state but don’t get too attached. As the Disney Co evolves and stretches into new territory, thus will the parks. I have faith that the changes will be great improvements to my park experience! I’m hoping that Disney does not cheap out on the plans for Epcot and gives it its full attention.
Honestly, there are way more updates and changes on the horizon, RESORT WIDE, as Disney Parks plans for Magic Kingdom’s 50th Celebration. WDW may be somewhat unrecognizable in five years!
I’ll update ya’ll with more information when I get it. Hopefully we get more concrete information about these and all updates from Disney at the D23 Expo next week!