Epcot Parks & Resorts Walt Disney World Resort

Siemens Abruptly Leaves Spaceship Earth Corporate Lounge Before Contract End, Disney Taking Ownership Immediately

The Siemens VIP Center (formerly Base 21) behind Spaceship Earth was abruptly abandoned this week when Siemens left the space months ahead of the end of their deal with Disney Parks. Even though the contract is set to expire on September 30th, Siemens staff left the space forever on Monday, July 31st, 2017. Apparently the relationship between the two companies soured rapidly after Disney turned down a new monorail fleet for Walt Disney World that Siemens offered in lieu of compensation for a new sponsorship deal.

Since 2007, Siemens employees could access the space to relax and enjoy refreshments, and Siemens executives had plenty of board room space inside to hold various meetings. If you have never been inside, be sure to watch our video tour below.

In a sign that another sponsor is not yet lined up and may not be at any point, Disney executives toured the space with Siemens staff ahead of their departure to decide what will stay and what will go. Siemens was supposed to return the Lounge to its original form upon departure, but Disney could choose to keep it as it is now. Regardless of what stays and what doesn’t, Disney is going to be taking over the entire corporate lounge and meeting space immediately.

Now the question is, will Disney use this space for internal meetings and such, or will they begin to hold special events in this building like dessert parties and such, also making the lounge and board room bookable for guests looking to hold special events in the park? Only time will tell, but the ability to enter this lounge for regular park guests is likely something people would happily pay for. Sadly, it seems it is too late to make this space the Epcot Club 33 location as construction has already begun on the upstairs venue at the American Adventure.

Siemens sponsorship is still present at Spaceship Earth and IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and should be at least until September 30th, 2017.

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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.

24 Comments

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  • If there was ever a time to bring back the “What Were They Thinking?” segment this would be it.

    But seriously Disney:
    “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???”

  • Why is it that any new space available to guests becomes likely to host dessert parties? What is it with dessert parties? Are we living in the 1800s? :P

    • It’s all about getting that dollar. Kinda sorta have to admire Disney for trying all kinds of different ways to monetize as much of the resort as they can.

    • Brian – I am a CM and frequently worked shifts at the Siemens VIP center. It isn’t the type of space that would work for day guests, but the suggestions to open it to pre-planned events guests can book through disneymeetings.com is a good one.

  • I was on Disney’s side at first, but after rethinking it, I feel they dropped the ball on this one. I brand new monorail fleet would be a tremendous and much needed upgrade. That’s a shame! However, I’m sure none of us truly know both sides of the story… maybe it wasn’t as obvious of a decision as it seemed

    • Disney went with Lyle Lanely he built monorails for Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map! The possums and breakdowns are just a myth.

    • Also a new monorail fleet with Siemens branding on them which was left out of the article. Which I’m guessing Disney did not want. Which I agree. Siemens monorails rolling around would be very odd.

    • When I think back on how two days in a row the monorail was broken down during my trip in December – yeah I can say without hesitation this was a bone-head move on WDW Parks part. That and they only had one train running when MK was at capacity – it took us *two hours* to get back to the Polynesian that night. I’m in an even worse mood after seeing the debut of the new Fantasmic at Disneyland. Needless to say, my next trip is going to be to Anaheim after their Star Wars Land opens. WDW needs to get their house in order before I think about coming back.

    • Part of the deal was the new monorail was to have the giant SIEMENS logo plastered all over the train. That Disney could not do. It seems like the laser generated Siemens name on the ball after fireworks just wasn’t enough for the corporate giant.

  • A new fleet of monorails would have been a good deal, considering the breakdowns of late. Also, with the construction going on above the American Adventure, does that mean the Chase Visa lounge is officially gone for good? Maybe THAT could take the place of the Siemens area, at least during F&WF.

  • Tom, are you hearing anything about why this feels like an ugly divorce? It appears to me that Siemens has been a proponent of preserving the classic Disney that a lot of us love (a long-term show in Illuminations and Spaceship Earth — a ride that Project Gemini wanted to nix). I’d really like to know the underlying factors — whether I’m right in that guess or if I’m entirely off and Siemens wanted to make changes, but Disney wouldn’t allow it.

  • Any decent corporation wouldn’t want their name within a mile of Disney World. The place is fun for us freaks with nostalgia, but let’s be real. The place is run worse and more cheaply than any other corporation out there. I can’t convince my kids to go with me. It’s an overrun mess. I still like it. Never would I want my companies name associated with it. Used to mean world class, now means, mismanaged overcrowded cheapness.

  • I heard the monorail deal included huge siemens logos on the trains which Disney did not find acceptable.
    Frankly, anything that big and phallic shaped with Siemens on it would have been mocked from day one.

  • Disney should just have China buy the new fleet of monorails for WDW, everything you buy from Disney has “Disney China” on it. So I don’t think anyone would look twice at a passing monorail that had Disney China on the side.

  • tom thank you for this informative video ! I was a disciple of josh for a long time kept reading your name with some amusement & checked your site out. keep up the good work .