With some clarifying from inside sources, it seems likely that the Universe of Energy at Epcot will be closed to be replaced with a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.
While we had reported that it was Mission: SPACE that would be overlaid with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme, it seems that rumor was incorrect as instead there are currently plans for a lavish update to Mission: SPACE on hold from Walt Disney Imagineering. While we can’t say much about that project yet, it seems the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction that will replace the Universe of Energy has already been approved and is moving forward.
The Universe of Energy is an original pavilion from EPCOT Center, opening in 1982 and moderately updated to Ellen’s Energy Adventure in 1996. While the 1996 refurbishment changed the music and most film portions of the ride, it otherwise has remained very similar to the original attraction and has been enjoyed by Epcot guests for nearly 34 years now. Barring some unforeseen complications, it is likely the building will be gutted or demolished and replaced with a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.
Rumors indicate that Bob Chapek, the new chairman at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, was key in the decision. Chapek spent 3.5 years in charge of Disney Consumer Products, but this is his first role in the Parks and Resorts division of the company.
The Universe of Energy could close as soon as the Fall of 2016, but Disney has made no announcement of any closure as of yet.
Stay tuned for any further developments should they become available.