With D23 Expo 2017 right around the corner, a lot of rumors of new Disney rides, movies, and attractions have popped up- and the most intriguing ones involve Epcot.
Epcot stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” It was built to represent the latest technologies and newest innovations, showing guests a bright and promising future in which we could all live with better convenience. World Showcase shows us how our world interacts with other cultures around the globe. Different pavilions showcase various aspects of life such as imagination, motion, energy, the environment, and the ocean.
However, I fear all of this is soon about to change.
• Guardians of the Galaxy or Tron will replace Ellen’s Energy Adventure
WDW News Today reports that this rumor “is just about guaranteed” to be announced at this year’s D23 Expo. Sadly, Ellen’s Energy Adventure has been slated for demolition for a while now, and the attraction itself is really outdated. Due to the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy overlay of Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure theme park, I think it is more likely that Guardians will take over rather than Tron. Rumors of a Tron Lightcycle Coaster, like the one currently in Shanghai Disneyland, coming to Disney World have been popular, but I predict Tron to go into Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom instead (where it is also rumored to replace the Tomorrowland Speedway). However, what Guardians of the Galaxy has to do with the concept of energy, I have no idea.
• Inside Out will replace Journey into Imagination with Figment
It is rumored that the beloved (or annoying, depending on who you talk to) Figment will soon have company on his attraction- and no, it isn’t the Dreamfinder. The emotions of Inside Out will reportedly join Figment on the exploration of imagination. Now, I can actually understand this idea- the emotions in the movie live inside Riley’s brain and travel to different realms within her mind, one of which is imagination land. I assume this is where Figment will come in, as he journeys with Joy, Sadness, and perhaps the rest of the gang in order to show guests how imagination works. If this happens, I hope they get rid of the skunk smell. And maybe this will breathe new life into the attraction; as of now, the attraction never seems to have more than a five-minute wait.
• Disney and Pixar’s Coco will replace The Gran Fiesta Tour
I think this rumor will largely depend on the success of Pixar’s newest film, Coco, slated to open in theaters later this year. I have a feeling it will do very well, as it’s the first Disney film to deal directly with Mexican culture and their traditions. I love Donald and his friends, but I think the sleepy Mexico boat ride needs an update to rival that of its neighbor, Frozen Ever After- however, this also means the crowds on one side of World Showcase will be a lot larger than those on the other side (Mexico and Norway are side by side). This brings us to our biggest rumor…
• Ratatouille will be an Attraction in France
This rumor is as good as true. Permits are filed that show the construction space for where this attraction is slated to go. Talks of this attraction in Epcot have been buzzing about for years (along with a Mary Poppins attraction in the UK Pavilion, but that still remains a mystery). And most importantly, Disney already has a version of this ride at Disneyland Paris, which is state of the art and seems pretty popular with the guests. Now, I’m not the biggest Ratatouille fan (I’ve only seen the movie once), but I would love for a new attraction in the World Showcase. The circle vision films in some of the countries just don’t draw enough crowds, and if they were to stay, they need massive updates. Also, Ratatouille would be a dark ride, something Disney is famous for, bringing the park back to its roots, and I can see a lot of great Remy-themed cooking merchandise for the gift shops. The only question is, like with Frozen, is this movie a proper representation of France (other than the fact that the film is set there, and that it deals with French cuisine)? If the ride proves as popular as Frozen Ever After, then I suppose it won’t matter.
Here are some other, more intriguing rumors about Epcot:
• Illuminations will be replaced by a new nighttime spectacular (I know how beloved this show is, and with the success of the new Happily Ever After fireworks, I have a sad gut feeling that this may come true; but we’ll save the discussion for another post).
• Mary Poppins attraction for the UK Pavilion, Tangled attraction for the Germany pavilion, and a Big Hero 6 attraction for the Japan pavilion.
• Mulan-related film to replace the current film in the Circlevision 360 theater in the China pavilion.
• New countries added to the World Showcase including Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Spain.
• The Seas with Nemo and Friends being re-themed to the Marine Life Institute (the fictional aquarium in Finding Dory).
• Updates for Living with the Land and Mission: Space.
• Updates to Spaceship Earth (if not the attraction itself, then an overhaul of the Project Tomorrow area at the exit to the ride).
• The removal of the “Leave a Legacy” grey slabs at the Epcot entrance.
• New updates for Innoventions.
Either way, it looks like Epcot is headed for exciting times. I’m sure at least some of these rumors will be addressed at D23 Expo in a few weeks, and if most do turn out to be true, I have a feeling they’ll be opened in stages (after all, Disney is going under a LOT of construction with Hollywood Studios already).
Do all these updates and new attractions mean that Epcot is losing its original purpose? Will it no longer be the community of tomorrow that Walt once envisioned? To be fair, Epcot has already moved far beyond Walt Disney’s original premise for the park, but I have a hard time seeing how Marvel and other Intellectual Property (movies and characters that Disney owns) help bring the ideas of innovation and progress to life. At least with Test Track and Soarin’ Around the World, we have original rides that show us the future of technologically-advanced cars, and the breathtaking sights of different corners of the world- no superheroes or talking rats needed.
Nevertheless, the future looks exciting for Epcot.
What do you all think? Are you happy with the changes? Which ones do you think will prove true?
Hugs and Fishes,