Epcot is one of my favourite Disney World parks. Its a little more laid back, not so many big rides and just a great place to relax a little, its slower paced – a more educational park compared to the others they offer. But all of that could be changing over the next few years as Epcot is due to have a $2.2 billion refit between 2017 and 2021… just in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
There are some subtle, smaller changes and updates to existing rides/attractions as well as various larger and grandiose changes and additions too.
Here I’m going to take a look at some of the changes coming that we know of right now.
One of the first major changes will be the removal of the ‘Leave a Legacy’ stones at the main entrance. These are a collection of large stones where you could have you face or a message etched into metal sheets attached to the legacy stones for all to see as they pass.
Exactly what will be put in their place is not yet confirmed, but rumours suggest the new entrance will be decorated with more trees, flowers and gardens to give the park a much greener look and appeal.
Universe of Energy
This pavilion in Epcot houses only one attraction – Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Its a slow/educational attraction that provides a look at various energy resources, how energy is produced, the history of energy production, and the search for new energy resources and so on. Its is already set to be closed later this year so work can begin on an all new attraction. At D23 Expo 2017 – it was announced that the new attraction would be a Guardians of the Galaxy themed roller coaster.
Perhaps the best ride at Epcot is undergoing an overhaul right now. Mission Space is an interactive simulation of a space shuttle launch where you will experience g forces and even weightlessness as the shuttle takes off and drifts around in space. Its a motion simulator ride and one that can leave even the most experienced theme park goer a little uneasy. So much so that Disney introduced a ‘ less intense’ version after several complains and even two deaths of people after the ride.
After the refit, Mission Space is said to offer a better queuing system, updated/HD screens for the ride itself as well as the option to chose from multiple missions to partake in giving you more variation for re-riding. The new, improved Mission Space is set to open by the end of this year.
These are two large halls (East and West) situated near the entrance of Epcot that are used to showcase future technology. Originally opened in 1994 and has always undergone updates every year to keep with with modern technology. However, rumours suggest that the two Innoventions halls will be closed permanently by 2020 to make way for (rumour) permanent usage for the many Epcot festivals (food festival, etc) held over the course of a year.
This pavilion in Epcot is a building that currently houses the main food court along with the Soarin’, Living with the Land and Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable attractions.
The whole area is set to be given an update starting in 2018. Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable is said to be replaced with an all new attraction – but what that is is currently unknown. And Soarin’ is also rumoured to be receiving an update with improved screens and an all new film.
The Seas With Nemo & Friends
Yet another pavilion set for a complete refurb before 2021. Following in the footsteps of Tokyo Disney Sea – this whole area is set to be completely revamped with rides, shows, attractions, shops and restaurants all inspired by the sea.
The area is rumoured to be changing to ‘The Marine Life Institute’ from Finding Dory. The current The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride itself is also said to be getting a refurb too with an all new story.
The Journey into Imagination with Figment ride is going to be closed and replaced with an all new dark ride using a similar track design to Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disney. But don’t worry Figment fans, that annoying little dragon will not be gone for good – as he will be getting his very own 4D short film to be played at the Disney & Pixar theatre in Epcot.
Perhaps my favourite part of Epcot, a large area where you can walk from country to country and take a tour around the world by stopping off at Mexico, France, Japan, England, Italy, China, Norway and other countries all without ever leaving the park.
Ratatouille: The Adventure, a very popular ride already doing well at Disneyland Paris is coming to Epcot. This will (obviously) be placed in the France area of the World Showcase. But that is not all. The United Kingdom (its really just London) pavilion is also set to get an attraction in the form of a Marry Poppins ride/show. And in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary, they will be adding a whole new country to the World Showcase. As of writing, the two main front runners are Spain and Brazil, there have even been rumours of both of the countries being added by 2021. There has also been a rumour that if/when built- the Spain area will be getting an all new attraction based on the up coming Disney film Gigantic (which is set in Spain).
Then lastly for the World Showcase area – the current IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth firework show is also going to be completely replaced with an all new firework show in 2019 and will use Disney’s new drone technology.
Well there you have it, all the info I could find on the up and coming Epcot overhaul. All expected to be completed between right now and 2021. Some big changes over the years with more rides/attractions being added as well as updates for already existing ones too.