PHOTO REPORT: Epcot 8/7/17 (Goodbye Universe of Energy, Siemens, Hello Food & Wine Festival, ETC.)

PHOTO REPORT: Epcot 8/7/17 (Goodbye Universe of  Energy, Siemens, Hello Food & Wine Festival, ETC.)
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Our latest photo report brings us to Epcot as we countdown to the extinction of the Universe of Energy, the start of the Food and Wine Festival, and the relaunch of Mission: Space…

Siemens Closes VIP Center at Spaceship Earth

On July 31st, Siemens packed up shop and abandoned the VIP Center at Spaceship Earth ahead of the end of their contract with Disney.

If you open the front door to the space, you are greeted by a screen telling you that it is closed and will not reopen.

We have a video and photo tour in case you never were able to experience the Siemens VIP Center:

VIPs of course could get “back-doored” onto Spaceship Earth.

The Siemens and Disney contract is set to expire September 30th, 2017, so expect the references to the company to vanish and Project Tomorrow to close by then.

Feel The Flow, Here We Go…

With the Universe of Energy closing forever on August 13th to make way for the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster ride, Disney has stationed a PhotoPass photographer outside of the building.

As we near the closing, guests are certainly showing up in larger numbers to say goodbye…

At the exit, Disney has strategically placed a merchandise cart carrying the farewell merchandise for the attraction.

This and That

The bridge from Odyssey to Mexico has seen better days…

The repainting of the exterior of the Mexico pavilion continues, but apparently Disney isn’t happy with what they did. Above, you see blue paint starting to ascend the structure last week.

This week, the blue paint moving upwards on the structure vanished.

Work continues on Choza Tequila, now set to open during the Food and Wine Festival.

Some lovely new booths for the festival have popped up, like this one in Africa.

This new Italy booth is rather nice as well. Don’t forget that the Festival kicks off August 31st. And no, that’s not a typo… and I’m upset that it’s not (I don’t want to stand outside and eat hot food in August).

Club 33 preparations have moved into the lobby of the American Adventure.

The Chat Lounge will not return to the Food and Wine Festival this year as a result (also, it appears Chase is no longer a sponsor anyway).

The Torii Gate in Japan was repainted recently and is looking great!

The remodeling of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Japan continues…

The pearl jewelry area in the store was moved to a new location that is quite nice.

A new jewelry area has opened further into the store.

They were sold out of Yunker, probably because we ate it on the last WDW News Tonight.

Over in MouseGear, there is some new apparel to be found.

The Electric Umbrella has begun to offer mobile ordering.

Push and Pull

In what is becoming a more regular occurrence, we witnessed monorail teal getting towed through Epcot a few days ago…




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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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  • Please stop saying the Guardians ride will be a Coaster. The company has never said anything of the sort, so it is best to not spread anymore lies.

      • No, they didn’t. The ride was announced in July. It is currently August. They have never once said it was coaster, especially not the random month you just pulled out of your posterior.

      • And what September would that be? The one from last year, long before they even announced the ride? Or the one in the future, that hasn’t even happened yet?

      • Kind of like that whole “confirmed” demolition of Tomorrowland Speedway to make room for Tron? That didn’t benefit you but you not only went with it, you doubled down on your incorrect info when folks tried to call you on it.

      • Keep up the good fight Tom. It never ceases to amaze me that people who are so offended or put off by how you run your site and release information, continue to read and post replies.

  • Thank you! We only make it down there once a year, and these photo reports are so great for keeping updated and amused while I count down to our next trip (December). Great job, as always!

  • I am still baffled by the fact that WDW turned down the brand new Monorail fleet offer from Siemens in lieu of their sponsorship commitments… especially after seeing all the reports about Teal and then experiencing them taking it offline over the weekend right after we boarded…

  • The only reason why you two don’t want it to be a rollercoaster is because your 39 year old Oompa Loompa self wont meet the height requirement. So don’t blame tom.

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