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.