RUMOR: “Next-Gen Larger-Than-Life Mystery Attraction” Opening at Epcot in 2016?

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Something BIG is coming to Epcot, and it will be here sooner than you think. Former Imagineer and now Disney consultant Jerry Rees recently updated his website bio to the following:

Jerry has Directed a record-setting 16 trans-media Disney Theme Park attractions in Anaheim, California; Orlando, Florida, Hong Kong and Paris, France. His projects span multiple formats, such as Showscan, Hi-Res Digital and in-theater illusions, and include the show “Cinemagique”which won a THEA Award for Best Attraction. His recent creation, “Animation Magic” which plays aboard Disney’s new cruise ships, won a THEA Award for “most innovative use of technology”. His 17th attraction is slated to open at EPCOT in 2016.

Meanwhile, on his resume…

“Mystery Attraction” / EPCOT -Next-gen larger-than-life interactive spectacle. Premiere planned for late 2015 or early 2016.

And then there’s these…

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When I spoke to Jerry in late-2013 for a book project, he was actually just a few days away from leaving for Florida to work on the project. While he wouldn’t say too much about it, he claimed it was “very ambitious” and that he “couldn’t believe Disney is willing to invest in something like this”, leading us to believe the project is something the likes of which we have never seen before.

Nothing links this story to the Frozen attraction opening next spring (so you can rule that out and deem that this is a separate project), but there are two possible scenarios for what this attraction might be:

  1. With Innoventions West closing at the end of the month, this could be the replacement for that attraction space; or Innoventions West could become the new Festival Center so Disney could put a new attraction in the Wonders of Life pavilion building.
  2. Rees could be working on a brand new nighttime show for the park to replace IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Based on Rees description of the attraction as a “Next-gen larger-than-life interactive spectacle”, this sounds more like a nighttime show than an attraction, but it really could still be an attraction as opposed to entertainment. We just don’t know enough at this time and there aren’t any very strong rumors out there for what Disney might be up to.

Regardless, it is nice to see that Epcot will not be forgotten in all of the expansions of the other three WDW theme parks, with now a Frozen ride, Frozen meet and greet pavilion, and this “larger-than-life” mystery attraction” on the way by next year. Now if Disney would only tell us what it is…

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

17 Comments

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  • Could it possibly replace Captain EO in that theater? Heard it is on the chopping block and a “next gen interactive spectacle” could go in that already existing theater without major construction (so would fit that time frame). Also seems a lot of his past work involves similar type shows.

  • With what is being stated above in this article, I too find it very difficult to believe that IF such a “larger-than-life” interactive spectacle” is indeed coming to Epcot in 2016, then certainly no ‘from ground up” construction is needed as we are as little as 9 months to no longer than 18 months away from this apparent new offering.
    I would absolutely automatically think of Innoventions as the timing seems perfect for an approx. 1 year overhaul of the building interior and introduction of a new experience. I could also say that of the current “old” Wonders of Life Building. The only thing that triggers a thought as to Illuminations is the characterization of “interactive spectacle”.

    Spectacle by definintion: a very impressive show / : something that attracts attention because it is very unusual or very shocking /
    an eye-catching or dramatic public display

    So with that said…….could be a new Illuminations (rumors over the past few years are noted) show although I have not heard about any new composers (Gavin Greenaway – RoE Composer) or Don Dorsey (Music Director – RoE) or the Steve Davison types being used at this point but whatever it is, if this is a “spectacle”, then we sure do need some of that at Epcot these days, without a doubt.

  • Thats an interesting point other than the fact that tom’s comments above –

    “When I spoke to Jerry in late-2013 for a book project, he was actually just a few days away from leaving for Florida to work on the project. While he wouldn’t say too much about it, he claimed it was “very ambitious” and that he “couldn’t believe Disney is willing to invest in something like this”

    This tells me that this is
    1 – NOT the Frozen Norway Project as the movie response was not anticipated yet..
    2 – Soarin? No – The quote does not note something like a upgrade to a movie screen and new movie. (I know they are building that 3rd screen)

    The quote Tom uses is alot BIGGER that an upgrade to an existing system. I would have originally thought of AvatarLand but this is Epcot specific. I went to the Jerry Rees site and it mentions “late 2015”, 2016 is really not mentioned so this really has me in a quandry. The lasers @ Epcot around the world showcase were upgraded last year as well. I don’t know, with only 9 months left in the year, it is hard to make out what it could be but I dont think it is Soarin (completion of upgrade is late 2016/maybe 2017?) and it certainly isnt Norway based on the timing noted by Tom…..we will need to really pay attention over the next few months at Epcot to see what it could be.
    Maybe they will bring back the “Lights of Winter” in a bigger / better way !!!! We can always hope !

  • Well I just got an email stating that my Captain EO fastpass in May is no longer avialable as it will be closed… (not sure if it is temporary)

      • I was using more as a filler since you have to book 3 fastpasses and Epcot put anything worth fastpassing in the tier 1 column. I mean even Living with the Land is now a Tier 1

  • Odyssey is being used for private parties. I was just down there last week with 238 high school band and orchestra students for a dinner and character meet and greet. A parent not part of the group had to pay for it and it cost her $80.00.

    So they are using Odyssey and making a good buck with it!

  • There is construction going on next to Norway on the left it looks like it will be Frozen land or castle we just saw it a day ago looks interesting at the least anyone else seen this area yet

  • Any chance the writer accidently put Epcot but meant Animal Kingdom. I could easily see Jerry Rees designing the Rivers of Light show. They use drones and other new next gen items, and its slated to open in 2016.