D23 Expo 2017 Rumors – A Brave New Epcot with Way More Disney Character, 5 Year Expansion Plan

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Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek has already announced that big changes are coming to Epcot, making the statement back in November 2016 at the Destination D event at Walt Disney World. While they weren’t ready to spill the beans just yet, the D23 Expo in Anaheim next month seems like a likely venue for the announcement of the multi-year, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of Orlando’s second gate.

According to sources, with work commencing this Fall and being executed in phases, the overhaul of Epcot is slated to be completed in 5 years, just in time for the park’s 40th birthday in the fall of 2022. That being said, major components of the expansion will begin to come online starting in 2018, with at least a new E-Ticket up and running in time for Walt Disney World’s grand 50th anniversary celebration in 2021. You may recall that California Adventure went through a similar expansion, starting in 2007 and completed in 2012.

So, what is happening to Epcot? While some things are more solid, others are just low rumblings at this point. Below, we go over everything we have heard thus far. Some will come to fruition, some undoubtedly will not, but here’s what might the announced for Epcot at the D23 Expo 2017…

New Entrance Plaza

Removing the Leave a Legacy “tombstones” and most of the original 1982 structures, Epcot will receive a new entry area to bring it into the 21st century.

Spaceship Earth Update

Siemens is expected to renew its expiring sponsorship deal for the Spaceship Earth attraction and Epcot’s nighttime show, which will likely lead to another update of the classic Epcot ride. We would hope that the problematic finale portion of the attraction created in 2007 will be addressed, but at the very least, a complete overhaul of Project Tomorrow seems likely.

Innoventions Plaza Area Overhaul

Including a new multi-level table service restaurant, a remodeled Mouse Gear, and the demolition of the existing Inventions East and West buildings, a new plaza behind Spaceship Earth will offer easier access to the rest of Future World. Here’s hoping that the Fountain of Nations (and Club Cool) will remain.

Guardians of the Galaxy/TRON Replacing the Universe of Energy

We have been talking about this one for a while, but it seems as if the announcement of a Guardians of the Galaxy themed land for Epcot is just about guaranteed for the D23 Expo 2017. Cast members at Epcot are already being told that the Universe of Energy will close just after the park’s 35th anniversary on October 1st for demolition, making way for what should be a small themed land that will take guests off-world to explore the galaxy with Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot and Mantis. While some are speculating that this area will instead be home to the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, we are still hearing that the TRON coaster is set for Magic Kingdom and not here, especially considering Chevrolet is the sponsor of the ride and they already sponsor Test Track in Future World. It is also likely that the former Wonders of Life pavilion will be demolished and the plot incorporated into this themed land, which will reportedly have multiple attractions.

Mission: SPACE Update

A new on-ride film and a lot of cosmetic upgrades are likely for Mission:SPACE, the first signs of which may even be evident when it reopens from its current refurbishment in just a few weeks’ time.

Inside Out replacing Imagination

Figment will be sharing the spotlight in a new attraction themed around the Disney-PIXAR film Inside Out, slated to replace the Journey Into Imagination attraction at Epcot. Sadly, Figment will not be getting his own adventure, but will be sharing one with the 5 emotions from the film should this rumor pan out. Figment appears in the actual Inside Out film in a brief Easter egg – a framed portrait of the purple dragon is present in Riley’s imagination.

The Land Re-Imagining

Upgrades for the Living with the Land boat ride and a new film to replace Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable seem likely for The Land, while Soarin’ Around the World will continue to be the headlining attraction for the pavilion.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends becomes the Marine Life Institute

The Nemo and Friends Searider at Tokyo DisneySea
The Nemo and Friends Searider at Tokyo DisneySea

While perhaps not a part of phase one, we eventually expect to see the Seas with Nemo and Friends converted into the Marine Life Institute, the fictitious location in Finding Dory which was inspired by the real-life Monterey Bay Aquarium. While the new and popular Searider attraction from Tokyo DisneySea would be a nice  addition, nothing solid on this front has come our way as of yet.

New World Showcase Pavilion

New country pavilions in World Showcase have been talked about since Epcot Center opened. Several have even been announced (but never built), and thus only two (Morocco and Norway) have been added since the park debuted. We have certainly heard about Disney sitting down with various countries and such over the last ten years to discuss a new pavilion, with rumors that Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Spain are on the short list. Spain seems the most likely as Disney would like a tie-in to the upcoming animated film Gigantic (now pushed to 2020).

Coco Replacing The Gran Fiesta Tour

As it would be an easy change in this screen-based attraction, the upcoming PIXAR film Coco may inspire some changes at the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros. Why do this after investing in a new end scene for the ride? Well, the addition of the Donald, Jose, and Panchito animatronics was a side project with a very limited budget, and not some major initiative for WDI and the company. Disney wants to invest in this park with more contemporary IPs, and Coco is both contemporary, and (sadly for those of us who love The Three Caballeros) a logical fit.

Mulan-Related Film for China

Apparently, Disney will look to keep the Circlevision 360 theater alive by adding Mushu as a narrator for the history of China. Sadly, there isn’t much space to do something else here, but Reflections of China is desperately in need of some change.

Ratatouille in France

Whether it ends up being the large-scale trackless ride from Walt Disney Studios Paris, or a new film starring Remy, a redo of the France Pavilion seems all but confirmed at this point. The pavilion already sells a ton of Ratatouille merchandise and Disney is likely chomping at the bit to rip out Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul to replace them with the lucrative Bistro Chez Remy restaurant from Disneyland Paris, where guests can dine at the size of a rat.

Something for the U.K., Germany, and Japan Pavilions

While it is unclear what might go there, the upcoming sequel to Mary Poppins and the likely closure of the Great Movie Ride may equal Disney’s first attraction based on one of its most popular films of all time for the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, show building that were never utilized for attractions still stand in both Germany and Japan, spaces which may be used for Tangled and Big Hero 6 related attractions, or something else perhaps.

New Nighttime Spectacular to Replace IllumiNations

Without a doubt, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth with be ending soon. The show is the oldest continuously-running fireworks show at any Disney Park around the globe. Despite it being a beloved and still-popular nighttime spectacular, it will likely be replaced with something new, and injected with Disney characters and franchises inspired by tales from around the globe.

Stay Tuned for More in WDWNT’s Coverage of the D23 Expo 2017

While all of this is likely not what any fan of classic Epcot would like to see, there is a new direction coming in an effort to make it as exciting as the other three Walt Disney World theme parks will be to guests by the time 2022 rolls around. While all the individual pieces of the plans will likely not be announced at the D23 Expo next month, we at least expect Disney to give us a clearer explanation of their vision for the park’s future. Stay tuned to WDWNT’s full coverage of the D23 Expo 2017 in just a few weeks!


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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.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • Mindblowing. I’m sort of on the fence about IP’s but Epcot needs whatever it takes to get people excited about going there. Any word on if the name Epcot will remain? I dont see it changing but I’m still kind of curious.

  • Here comes the “Walt would absolutely hate this obvious money grab” comments LOL last time I checked when Disneyland opened it wasn’t free ????

    • Walt would hate the fact that people actually think what they opened in 1982 was his idea of epcot….he wanted a fully functioning community, not just a bunch of theme parks, sadly his dream will never be met.

      • I am sorry, but NO ONE could get Walt’s original idea for EPCOT off the ground except for Walt Disney. He had a charisma that could charm the pants off a state senator, which is who the Disney company would need to buy off in order for a city like this to be built.

      • Even Uncle Walt made mistakes.
        Smoking himself to death was one.
        His original plant for Epcot was another.

        • Epcot has been in a sense already realized. The entire Disney World property is actually Epcot. You have your visiting residents in the various hotels. Many of Walt’s services that Epcot are in place, certainly the environmental ones. including solar power You have your shopping areas in Disney Springs and elsewhere. You have 4 theme parks and 2 water parks offering both entertainment and employment. You have an extensive highway system with various modes of transportation. Sure, it doesn’t look like the model, but Disney has come close to Walt’s dream.

      • “Hey honey? You want to go to that city at Walt Disney World? I hear its WAAAY better than the Magic Kingdom” said no one ever.

  • I don’t mind the rumored (for now) changes but can we here at Disney World get those donuts disneyland is selling?!?

    • Totally off topic and I hope I don’t start a random chain, but if we’re bringing stuff from Disneyland, the only thing I would really want is Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. Why we never got that is beyond me.

    • “It is also likely that the former Wonders of Life pavilion will be demolished and the plot incorporated into this themed land, which will reportedly have multiple attractions.”

      I swear some people just glance at headlines and make no attempt at actually reading the entire thing.

    • More IP for the E-ticket there. Working name: “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Through Your Body”

    • Once you see Earth floating in space you are backwards with nothing to entertain you except the screen which only works half the time.

  • I understand changes and updates, but I really would like to see EPCOT getting closer to Walt’s original vision for EPCOT…not getting further away from it as with these changes. But if these changes are what they have in store, I hope Jedwa’s idea comes true. Change the name of the park. Change the names “Future World” and “World Showcase.” It’s not really an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow as is. I don’t see it isn’t getting any closer with these proposed changes. And I’d like that Disney let the name go so that EPCOT may be actually conceived someday in some other place for what it is meant to be.

    • If you think the parks should be modeled on the vision of a man who’s been dead for over 50 years, then no you do not understand changes and updates. There is no need for a prototype community of tomorrow, what kind of park attraction would that even be? EPCOT was supposed to be a working city. So I’m going to pay to fly down there and watch people living their lives? I’d rather sit in my backyard lighting $20 bills on fire, sounds more fun and would probably cost less. Nobody is trying to realize Walt’s dreams anymore, nobody is going to build the EPCOT that Walt wanted because nobody but the handful of people that complain about this silly stuff is going to want to see it.

      • I literally agreed with everything you said except the part about burning $20 bills and enjoying it. Thats the kind of talk that’ll land you on psychotic comments.

      • Attitudes like this are precisely the point as to why attitudes like mine persist and will never die. EPCOT is not about a time 50 years ago. It’s not about Walt or a “prototype community of tomorrow” or a “park attraction.” Much like America, EPCOT is a place, but it is not about a place. Much like America, EPCOT is bigger than belonging to any one person or people. America is an idea that can be found all over the world in the hearts and minds of individuals inspired by goodness and possibilities. EPCOT, too, is an idea — the idea that there can and should be a place where free thinkers are free to innovate, free to cultivate a culture of innovation, free to enterprise their ideas and free to enjoy the prosperity of their efforts.

        And, yes, realization of the EPCOT idea is absolutely needed today as it was 50 years ago, as it will be 500 years from now and as it always will be. Why? Because there will always be naysaying and negativity. There will always be false presumptions, know-it-all-ness, busy bodying, meddling, bullying, twisting of words, detraction of meaning and “you can’t because…”. And no one will ever have to go far to find any of it.

        Individuals can and should raise the bar — not by some governing hand, but on their own…because they choose to…because it’s a better life. And wouldn’t it be easier to do so if you were surrounded by scores of people who have made and are continuing to make that same choice? That’s not dreaming. It’s already happening. Individuals are already independently coming together in small groups…as friends, on projects…in volunteer efforts and in business. What could happen if they all came together as a society of ideas and true progress? I don’t know. But I will never stop wanting to find out.

        • I don’t know you, but thank you for giving me hope. It’s good to be reminded that, even though we are hard to find, we are many. Thanks again!

    • why can’t the “People of Tomorrow” have their community experiment AND their rides with IPs? What’s so hard about this?

    • Charles ,
      Did you miss the caveats to those plans that Walt also laid out at the same time that he was announcing his sketches and plans for EPCOT ? Or are you too busy stuck on the EPCOT the City that you know and everyone else knows will never happen because Walt was the only one that can make that happen and he couldn’t ?
      I will say though that they need to put a sock in all of these amounts of changes happening at the same time though and I am talking about the Disney Parks ( Plural ) All 4 of them in one property .
      I know that they want to keep the parks fresh and cost effective to where they do not have to go up so much on park admission expenses while bringing in some new things while preserving whatever they can of the old
      and for that I say God Bless them , but they need to keep some things open and not do so many of those changes at one time to where it leads to crowd congestion on most days so that everyone who is able to enter the parks on any particular day or days they
      can have at least something there for everyone to experience on days when the parks are overcrowded .

  • I actually think a couple of these potential changes bringing in more IP could end up working out. While I do love Figment, I think Inside Out could inject some life into the Imagination pavilion with its mixing of the former Figment stuff and almost an to Wonders of Life with human emotions. Coco and Ratatouille could work better than Frozen did in WS; overall, I’m cautiously optimistic at this point.

  • I’m a bit upset about Figment being put on the backburner, being the park’s mascot, as well as the Three Caballeros losing their limelight. That being said, all of this seems reassuring for Epcot. Here’s to what D23 has to offer!

    • I’m sorry you don’t like a change. There’s this wonderful movie called Inside Out that does a great job explaining how to deal with change. The characters are fun and there are great visuals. It would make a great theme park attraction

    • Seeing as Disney is attaching their (formerly planned for TV release) Olaf’s Holiday Adventure on to CoCo, I don’t think they expect it to be a hit. I don’t see CoCo replacing Gran Fiesta Tour… but thats just me

  • I understand changes and updates, but I really would like to see EPCOT getting closer to Walt’s original vision for EPCOT…not getting further away from it as with these changes. But if these changes are what they have in store, I hope Jedwa’s idea comes true. Change the name of the park. Change the names “Future World” and “World Showcase.” It’s not really an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow as is. I don’t see it isn’t getting any closer with these proposed changes. And I’d like that Disney let the name go so that EPCOT may be actually conceived someday in some other place for what it is meant to be.

  • Not really happy about the idea of them replacing the Figment ride, even if he will be in the Inside Out attraction, but other than that I’m fine with these changes.

  • I really hope we don’t lose IllumiNations this soon after everything else. I’m still heartbroken over Wishes and IllumiNations was actually the show I saw the most growing up. We already lost MSEP, Celebrate the Magic, and as I said WIshes, I really don’t want to lose that too. (Especially if it’s for another IP projection show along the lines of Once Upon a Time/Happily Ever After/Whatever all the other parks have. It’s not that I don’t like Happily Ever After (not as much as Wishes but whatever) but like no thanks, I like IllumiNations just fine. That is NOT what I want to see more of, I want something different in at least one of the parks, not more of the same.)

    (The rest becoming so IP saturated (sans Marvel but I’m not starting that fight here again) I can understand even if I don’t love most of the ideas, but the firework show becoming just like every other firework show in the Disney parks is surprisingly disappointing given how nice IllumiNations is. Like I don’t want more Disney song mishmashes thank you, leave me one completely orchestral soundtrack plz and thank you.)

    • Illuminations is so old that adults can say they grew up watching it. This is a problem.

      You may have some nostalgia attached to it, but the common Disney park goer that doesn’t know its history just thinks it’s a super outdated fireworks show.

      • I liked the old Illuminations years ago. Don’t touch France! I like Chefs de France and the movie. That’s where I fell in love with French composers. Yay to Inside Out!

      • How is it outdated? Because it’s not a super fancy Disney music projection show?

        Like is it the pyrotechnic technology because that’s not hard to do and they’re constantly updating it. The show’s pyrotechnics have received upgrades over the years (they took out the squealers), the images on the globe themselves are pretty general and timeless, the message is just celebrating life which is timeless, and the music is still high quality and timeless.

        Like I can understand why people would think Wishes is outdated even though for me it was a wonderful classic (The message was more of a message from the Disney of the past, the pyrotechnics were old, there was no projections, the newest Disney movie in the show was from 1998, etc) so while it hurt (more than the loss of IllumiNations would’ve, btw, Wishes was my favorite thing at the park and its magic was something that I will miss seeing live forever) I understood the decision. IllumiNations needs a facelift, not to be replaced.

  • I Would like to see happened to the universe of energy to Guardians of the Galaxy it will be awesome for Epcot! I can’t wait for the Announcement about the Universe of Energy to Guardians of the Galaxy!

  • When I was a little girl, my parents took us to Epcot. The most fantastic ride there was FIgment, I am not saying the other ones werent good. But the one i remember the most was Figment, the purple dragon..That ride made me feel safe. And Now u want to take it away. But there are generations and generations that havent seen it yet. Why would anyone want to take it away from all the children and families. i think this needs to be thought over again.

    • You didn’t read the article before you posted this, did you? They’re not taking Figment away. They’re keeping Figment and adding Inside Out.

    • I worked at WDW in 2009 and have since visited several times taking new friends. Every single time I’ve ridden that ride, there are zero people on that end of the park. Those bathrooms are always completely empty, and the people I take to it are so confused as to why I made them ride it. It may be nostalgic for some, but for newcomers, it doesn’t really appeal to the masses and I think the park could be making more money and utilizing the space for other things.

        • Disney is a Business Corporation that is in the business of making money. The good it provides is entertainment for a price. Considering that many desire that type of entertainment, Disney continues to make a profit. It has a duty to do that in order to satisfy their stockholders, the actual owners of the corporation. So , yes. Disney needs the money and if it is smart, it will continue to reinvest in its parks, its hotels and restaurants, its film industry etc.

    • It’s not even the same ride now as it was when you were little, Journey into Imagination and the feelings you speak of was destroyed when it was changed to Journey into Your Imagination. Yes they eventually reintroduced Figment, but it’s still not the same ride that you so cherish. I love Eric Idle, but I’m all for giving Ol’ Dr. Nigel Channing the boot for Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust because it can’t get any worse… I hope.

  • Inside Out would have been perfect in Wonders of Life Pavillion! Plus it would have been wonderful to see that building back in action!

    I do love characters, but it makes me sad when there are so many in the countries. They lose a bit of magic with me when there is so much character affiliation and less actual country gizmos and gadgets.

  • Saddest thing out of all of these possible rumors for me is the removal of Wonders of Life. Not only do I not remember ever going in there, I had a chance to during F&G in 2016, but I missed it by a day. Now, that free one-day ticket to Epcot is gonna be useless for me, if they get rid of it.

    • It was only open as the Festival Center in 2016, the attractions haven’t been in operation since 2007 and all of the health exhibits were ripped out as well. That’s a shame you never got to experience it when it was fully operational, Cranium Command was always my favorite attraction and I was really hoping they could reutilize that theatre for Inside Out because it was basically the same concept except with parts of the body rather than emotions and popular comedians of 90’s with popular comedians of now.

  • More like “a brave new IPcot.”

    Nothing screams “innovation” like just adding in characters and screens. : (
    Also, I realize I’m in the small minority here, but I HATED Inside Out and the thought of it coming in and replacing Figment just makes my desire to visit Epcot again grow smaller and smaller.

    • I thought my wife & I were the only ones who didn’t like Inside Out. I wanted to love it. Great concept. So much to build on from Cranium Command. But I thought it was thoroughly disappointing.

    • Didn’t. Read. The. Article.

      Read the Imagination heading again. There is no plan to get rid of Figment.

      • You’re. missing. the. point.

        Many people loved the original ride with figment as the main charcter. They are saying that they would prefer the new attraction to have Figment as the main charcter also, not characters from a new movie.

  • I was at WDW last week and noticed a large contingent of what I thought was a Brazilian tour group at the various parks but upon closer inspection, they had Disney name badges and I saw them scattered around the resort performing various jobs “earning their ears” under staff supervision. This leads be to believe that Brazil will soon be opening a pavilion at EPCOT.

    • Walt Disney is rolling in his grave right about now! Reading the proposed changes sickens me as I believe EPCOT was truly set out by Walt back in the 60’s as a place where people, technology and residence can all reside in one park. Walt died way too early to see his dream into reality and I am sure if he were alive today he would not let this happen! Since Walt is not here we are faced with the leadership at hand making these changes to resemble nothing but rides based off movies. I was part of the opening crew at EPCOT and it was always known as the “adult park.” Older people than 12 could go to discover innovations in energy, transportation, the Sea, the Land and technology along with discovering the lands around the lagoon. Now we are faced with animation characters and movie props to accompany every attraction (so it seems.) Why can’t the park be updated to at least somewhat resemble Walt’s original concept? Does the park need a facelift?? Yes of course however build on what you have and make it grand! Even if you tear down an attraction because it may not fit replace it with something with a Walt Disney idea and not an idea that is temporary. Just sayin!

      • Mike. …you hit the nail on the head. I hate a lot of the changes being proposed. Epcot WAS the park for grownups but will now be MK JR….. So sad, but then everything i loved as a child is now not good enough for the kids today! Adults are indifferent and notice whats happening as these changes are done. Prices go so high to cover all the changes that more and more, myself included, are priced right out of a yearly pass. My pass has been a part of my life for the past 15 years . the price has more than doubled in the last 5 years alone. So this year i say GOODBYE DISNEY…my only joy in life , my escape, my home away from home. They will not have my money to make these horrible changes!!!!

        • I’m with you both – we don’t need another MK – the one we have is great. I think Epcot should change to keep ahead of the times & remain futuristic & more lands in the WS would be awesome (I agree with change, I disagree with these changes). Epcot has always been my favorite park & I love Disney but with the current direction of the company we find ourselves going less often.

      • Walt is not rolling over in his grave. If you assume he’s doing that, than you also have to assume that he was happy with the way EPCOT Center was to begin with. As it’s been stated over and over again, Walt wanted EPCOT to be a working city that was driven by technology, he did not want to build another theme park. EPCOT Center in its original form is merely an extension of Walt’s IDEAS about the future of technology. It presented ways that technology could be practically used, but it didn’t actually go about developing these ideas as Walt envisioned EPCOT to do. Was EPCOT Center meant to inspire people to develop the ideas into reality? Yes, but did it really have the effect that a working city built on technological advancement would have had? Absolutely not, because if it had, Innoventions would have been the next step in the process, but unless you consider corporate fat shaming as being a huge technological advancement, than any hopes of EPCOT Center actually furthering Walt’s original concept died right there, which is most likely the point at which Walt rolled over if he hadn’t already done so when his city became a theme park. EPCOT will never exist, EPCOT Center was a good idea in concept, but just didn’t work. All that’s left is the name Epcot, which everyone on here seems to think shouldn’t remain. The thing is, when we hear the name Epcot, we don’t immediately think of a city, we think of a theme park that inspired us to use our imaginations, to explore everything from inside ourselves to the entire World around us, and to even explore the space around it. Adding IP’s doesn’t kill all that, because characters still can inspire and have a positive effect, it’s a lazy approach compared to creating original characters, but unfortunately we live in a world where people just have to latch on to things they’re familiar with in order for there to be any sort of effect on them. It still has a positive effect and I think that still fits the “theme” of Epcot.

      • Mike … Question , We all know that Walt had a vision for EPCOT to be a utopian futuristic global city of the future but remember that Walt also added that this was just a starting point , the first overall thinking about Disney World and EPCOT specifically and that everything could change time and time again as they moved ahead and that change happened after he died because this EPCOT is something that only Walt himself could do just to have them choosing to move on past Walt .
        I said all of that to ask you this .
        Would you have rather had EPCOT Center the theme park here and have an EPCOT built and opened and operating to experience the way it is or would you had rather continue wishing that they went for EPCOT the way Walt originally wanted that not all of them were on board with yet
        and possibly had no EPCOT and bylarge no Walt Disney World built and opened and operating at all and all of us sitting back thinking about what could have been there instead of what we wish was there … in the name of Walter Elias Disney while some of us old timers sometimes forget about the Walt Disney World that exists today because of the team led by Walt’s Brother Roy Oliver Disney and Card Walker ?

    • Those Brazilian cast members are the parks “super greeters”. They are brought in every year during a high volume period of Brazilian tour groups as they all speak Portuguese and can assist the Brazilian tourists.

  • REPLACING Donald Duck will is a CRIME! HE’S my fave! HOW can anyone THINK of getting rid of the 3 caballeros?!?! Wrong on so many levels! However, some other changes would be bueno! Glad Soar’n will stay and update living off the land!

  • Am I the only one got punched by the Innoventions demolition ? I know it has been sad and vacant for a while now, but an area of education and innovation for guests is something that really set Epcot apart from every other theme park in the world.

    • Agreed. Why does everything have to have the characters in it. Seems like all they want are kids to be amazed…what about adults? EPCOT was a great learning experience and introduced people to countries that they may never travel to. Ok, make the front of the park for kids but update and enhance World Showcase without making it another “kid playground”. Magic Kingdom started offering more grown up menus at restaurants and carts but because ” little johnny” wants chicken fingers with waffle fries rather than pulled pork they change everything.

  • NOOOO!!!! If they touch Illuninations and Worldcase, I’m selling my DVC. We don’t need more Mickey Mouse in Norway or France. You see the same old ears at the other parks. Epcot is unique but Disney is out to ruin it. Not every change is a good change. Not to mention all the construction / destruction again. ????????????

    • Im sorry but I didn’t see anything in the post about adding Mickey Mouse to Norway or France. Could you possibly point out where it says they’re doing that?

  • Think up ORIGINAL ATTRACTIONS! EPCOT was never about rides based on movies. You turned Norway into a joke. There’s a reason I’m a Disney passholder and not a Universal passholder.

    • Well said. I think it’s better when the parks bring original ideas to life. I don’t mind rides inspiring movies/TV or IP-themed rides, but shoehorning one into another feels lazy and forced.

  • So even less Figment, bummer. And do I get to cut out and keep the three portraits I bought on the “Tombstones” at park enterance? I was under the impression they would be there forever like the cobblestones at MK. Hmmm. Not what I paid for.

    • Amen. We bought into DVC right after my dad passed and our plaque is in honor of my parents and our family. Billed as “forever”, I thought they would be displayed at least until we are gone

    • So did you not read the Leave A Legacy Applcation agreement you (or a parent if you were a minor at the time) signed that stated the image and/or sculpture may be replaced or relocated within Walt Disney World at any time, and that the image may be permanently removed on or after the twentieth anniversary of its installation (1999)? Considering that’s only 2 years away, it could be far enough down the list of changes to be removed exactly after you’ve gotten what you paid for.

  • The removal of Figment for inside out would be a bad move honestly. I think it is Pixars worst movie. Figment can’t just end up being a mascot for Epcot, and be replaced by a picture. I truly hope it doesn’t pan out. It’s nothing but a poor imitation of the wonderful attraction, cranium command.

  • So with them getting rid of Universe of Energy. Is there a way for someone to get ahold of some of the Exxon stuff. My father worked for Exxon. They use to have a hospitality room with stuff in it. Is that still there ?

  • wow no more universe of energy way to kill off the classics its sad to see this happen to such a good park.

  • Technology is changing way to rapidly to build anything permanent. Bill Gates home is now obsolete with it’s miles of cat5 cables.

  • I know EPCOT wasn’t originally a reflection of Walt’s idea, but I was inspired as a child by the way the park did not talk down to people. The experience was based on the idea that people were interested in acquiring knowledge and making genuine connections to other cultures. My October, 1982 visit to the World Showcase, when I was six, directly inspired me to pursue international travel in my adult career. (How boring to skip over the treasures of, for example, Germany and France to sell more Rapunzel and Ratatouille mercy- both movies that I love, but still…). I agree that the current Epcot is badly in need of updates, but I feel let down by the IP push. I miss the days of Imagineerng driving new stories through attractions instead of just regurgitating movies. With the incredible updates in technology that continue to occur today, there are so many genuinely newly exciting possibilities for a renewed Future World. This all feels lazy and unimaginative to me.

  • They sure are missing a great option here – rebrand Future World, or a portion of it, as Stark Expo.

    And leave my Gran Fiesta Tour alone, dagnabbit. Everything doesn’t have to have today’s IP in it, and besides, where would they put a queue. You get more than 50 bodies in line there and you have a problem.

    World Showcase, and all of Epcot really, should function as a World’s Fair. It’s too bad that Disney has gotten away from that, too lazy to work with companies and nations in an ongoing basis to promote technology, tourism, new cutting edge products. Yes, it’s not 1982 anymore, but the entire world doesn’t spend their days with face in computer screen like some people and prefer to learn in other ways. I really think Disney has failed Epcot through neglect and not the other way around. (not neglect in so much that omg the buildings are falling in and nothing is ever done there, but they lost focus on the vision so long ago that it’s likely never coming back. Plus accountants run the company and not dresmers.)

  • I hope that they just relocate leave a legacy. We had ours done right after we were married in 2000. Whenever we go back, the kids love seeing it.

  • Greece, Australia, and Ireland would be countries worth seeing at the World showcase.

  • Why can’t they just go back to the original Imag ride created by Tony Baxter? It was fantastic – they could probably take his concept and give it some cool tech enhancements! I am a Figment Fan…nothing against Inside Out, but with retro “in” keep Figment as the focus!

  • I am wondering what they are going to do with the Leave a Legacy monoliths?
    It would be a shame to have them disappear.
    The whole idea was to celebrate the changing millennium and to leave a “Legacy” for your family to revisit for many generations.
    It appears that less than 20 years is all a “Legacy” is worth to Disney’s planners.
    Truly a shame!

  • I would think Disney would go more of the Dreamfinder route over Inside Out, considering how many of us love of the character. Face it, we mostly buy the comics because of him, care about Figment because of him, and buy the merchandise merchandise because of him. If the Inside Out ride happens, when robo Bob Chapek announces the new replacement, imagine what the response would be! Heck, just the Guardians thing should make Imagineers uneasy when it comes down to updating Future World (and I would much rather ride the Universe of Energy over the Universe of Synergy, personally). Disney needs to open their eyes and realize what is best for fans, guests, and the future of WDW second theme park. For the average guest, put the characters inside the World Showcase! For the future, give the park advanced and unique attractions. And for us fans, put Dreamfinder into the next Journey into Imagination ride, not in the gift shop.

    The Imagineers should start focusing on Future World over the World Showcase if cheap, unpopular ideas are being funneled into Epcot. This is just me saying this, and it is great Figment is staying despite what happens, I just wanted to comment on the Inside Out ride idea.

  • They CAN”T remove the Leave a Legacy stones!!!! All of those memories gone (including mine of my honeymoon)????? NO!!!! NO!!!! NO!!!!

    • They were only supposed to,last twenty years as I recall being told,when I,purchasedour pictures in 2000. I am ok with it. I have taken many pictures of us. My daughter was 5 and looks so cute, but my pictures will last longer than those stones. Go take a picture before they remove them.

  • OK, call me the curmudgeon on this one, but here goes… EPCOT always seemed to be the most “adult” park in Disney. Even when it was first built, the idea was to have rides and attractions based on more adult themes. Yes, there was Figment and Cranium Command, but for the most part the idea was highlighting science and industry and experiencing cultures from around the world. Two more parks were built after it, and both of those parks, along with Magic Kingdom, cater to small kids and their parents. Why can’t EPCOT remain as the more “grown up” park among the four? YES, please add rides, but go back to the original drawing board and bring about the original rides planned for the countries area (like the toboggan run in Japan, etc.). Why does everything have to be tied into characters? And please, no disrespect intended, but why the obsession with character meet & greets everywhere? Maybe Disney should open a fifth park and have it be Character Land, where all you have is one meet & greet after another. Believe it or not, there are plenty of families and couples who are in their teens and adulthood who would love to have a theme park that they could enjoy. Not every family has little girls in princess dresses, and their are plenty of us who would love to have a park that is more geared towards us… and Epcot had been that park.

    • Well my daughter’s favorite park was always epcot since we started taking her at age 2. We are good with the changes. I personally never go in innoventions… boring as hell even for kids. Horizons building is empty and body wars was fair not fantastic as people want to remember. Rough as I recall. Ellens ride was always lame. Best thing they did was soarin and get rid of that fountain from the middle of the building. Love the sunshine market. Circle of life movie is lame … when a kid only wants to see it once ….I can’t wait for the new rides and buildings. I am 60 and look forward to the new rollercoasters. Cant wait for,tron!

  • Disney: Please stop with all the roller coasters! If I wanted to ride roller coasters I could go to Six Flags, Kenny Wood or a dozen other mediocre theme parks.
    What made WDW unique? Animatronics and it’s theming and unusual entertainment along with educational information that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Please Imagineers go back to your roots and provide the great rides we once knew.

    • People keep wanting more rides because “it’s for the children!” Well Walt Disney wanted a place where the adults could enjoy themselves also and in my opinion EPCOT fits the bill…especially World Showcase. Over at the Magic Kingdom they want to cater to little johnny…oh he eats nothing but crappy chicken fingers so let’s get rid of the carts serving pulled pork and waffle fries and add more chicken fingers! Well, they are forgetting who foots the bill! So ok, leave MK for the kids and WS for adults. Leave it a learning experience instead of making it another kiddy park. Yes, the front of the park can be as many rides as they can fit, but what about us? Especially if we have no children? And someone mentions about changing the name; well change Magic Kingdom to kiddy central then, with the other parks being off-shoots for more kid rides. Seems like the progressive money grabbing thinkers want to change WDW into another six flags! And to be honest, six flags in New Jersey, with all the roller coasters, dark rides, etc is still a dump compared to WDW.

      • I am good with the rides. You just cant pay $100a day to just walk around the world showcase. I wouldnt keep coming back if that was all epcot was. It keeps everyone happy. I dont need disney to educate me on anything. At 60 yrs old and with two masters degrees I have seen quite a bit without their help. Innoventions is a joke. It is insulting to anyone with half a brain… so boring never walk through it. Spaceship,earth sucks. Always worry about getting stuck facing backward when the ride stops and it usually does. Last time I looked there were plenty of kids at epcot in september when school was back in session. If you don’t like kids then you shouldnt go to an amusement park. If this park was just for adults and no children it would be closed in less than a year.

  • Looks like all the reasons Epcot has been my favorite park since I 1st went in late 80’s early 90’s as a kid have gone or will be gone shortly. Also come on a rollercoaster for Guardians. What does that have to do with what Epcot is or was about. Learning, science, space, future etc.

    • Nobody wants to learn on their,vacations… i certainly dont. I just want to have fun. It is not 1975 anymore. Internet and computers have given people worldwide access to knowledge and events. Bring on the changes! i am a DVC member and love going on all of the new rides. I am 60 and still like rollercoasters. Pandora ride was the best yet. The navi river journey was for,toddlers and grannies..but it fits the family theme. Just dont ride what you dont like. I personally love test track.

      • ET, you’re all over these comments crapping on “learning”. I’m sorry if your “two masters degrees” means you have learned all you can and you are incapable of an attention span it takes to learn about sea creatures, energy, another culture, or agriculture while on a ride . This is just your opinion. YOU may not like learning on vacation but there are tons of people who love EPCOT simple BECAUSE it is the learning park. Turning it into Magic Kingdom 2.0 is unoriginal and beneath Disney. They have so much they can do with what they have an a willing audience to consume it than to just throw popular characters at it with cut and paste roller coasters.

        • I agree with Donna, it’s people like ET that are destroying everything Disney was meant to be. It’s not a special place anymore, it’s an over priced Six Flags now. My family and I used to be huge Disney fanatics, we we’re obsessed with all things Disney it was our “happy place” now I’m 28, my once happy family no longer exists and all my happiest childhood memories have been ripped down and thrown in the trash. Disney doesn’t care about nostalgia or memories, they only care about $$$. I’m done with Disney. I’ve been done with Disney. Every update just breaks my heart. At least I still have our old family home movies from Disney. That’s the only Disney that’s left.

          • You should read my whole reply. I said leave World Showcase as an intellectual property for adults and add as many rides as they can fit in the front. Unfortunately i only have one masters and have travelled quite extensively for my business but my wife and i enjoy Disney by “paying $100 per day to just walk around the countries!” I dont care if the kiddies, which we were unfortunately able to have, are running around but what i am saying is why not cater to the adults also. We enjoy seeing children enjoy themselves but we also enjoy seeing adults enjoy themselves also.
            And as for the rides, yes they do need updating. Whether they update, go the retro route and bring back old favorites like dreamcatcher, or tear down and rebuild is fine so i think you are jumping the gun without reading what i posted. So apparently you did not read what was written, or you had a bad day and no coffee, or you are just trying to start something when there was nothing to start.

  • Number one thing they can not do is infuse characters into a new illuminations. It’s the only night time show left that has any true meaning anymore and that hits the emotions. It’s needs to stay about global unity. Which is the core of what World Showcase is about.

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