Editor’s Note: This series is a look at how one staff member would re-imagine Epcot pavilions. Previous articles in the series can be found here.
Hypothetical Future World is slowly getting better pavilion by pavilion. After leaving the now eventful and exciting Innoventions pavilions, I’m gonna take a stroll over to Imagination’s neighbor, The Land.
An original Epcot Future World pavilion, The Land has kept the same overarching theme, a celebration of the earth and nature, since its inception in 1982. However, what’s contained inside has gone through some dramatic changes. The dining options have modernized and gotten the character treatment, but the attractions have gone through more.
What was once Kitchen Kabaret, a simple animatronic stage show, became Food Rocks, another stage show “in moderation”, but in 2005, everything changed with the addition of Soarin’ from DCA, and a completely new show building. Listen to the Land became Living with the Land, and the boat tour guides were replaced by automatic spiels. Symbiosis, a boring environmental film, was replaced by Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, a boring environmental film with the characters from The Lion King as the stars. They didn’t really help much.
The main changes took place around 1993, when Nestle took over Kraft as the main sponsor of the pavilion. Probably the most significant changes were the removal of the giant fountain in the middle of the ground floor of the pavilion and the music loop, creatively combining jazz standards and folk classics.
The Land as it sits today is in need of some upgrades, some much more dramatic than others, but it can certainly be re-imagined. Sunshine Seasons, The Garden Grill, Soarin’ and Living with the Land will see minor changes, but will not be replaced in our plan.
Sunshine Seasons won’t be touched, but the fountain will come back in a smaller scope, still allowing for an ample seating area on the ground floor.
Living with the Land will be updated with modern images of what’s going on in our society, and the live narrator will be revived.
The Garden Grill will get a revamped menu. Out with the family-style “buffet”, in with cuisine celebrating the earth and nature.
Soarin’ Around the World now has a great new film, a refreshing change from the California-centric original. So the film will be kept, but I much prefer the the original Jerry Goldsmith score rather than the updated Bruce Broughton version, so the plan is to bring back the old score, combining the best of the original with the new.
Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable, will be completely removed due to low popularity among guests. Its replacement is a tribute to the first two decades of the pavilion’s history: an animatronic stage show about food, The Food Follies, will be added in. The name is temporary for the moment.
Unlike its predecessors, Kitchen Kabaret and Food Rocks, this new show will have the latest in audio-animatronic figures. Not only that, but the cast will feature well-known voices from the Disney animated universe, appealing to guests of all ages.
Another change, also evoking the tone of the original Land, will be the introduction of a new music loop, with new modern jazz from groups such as Snarky Puppy, another tribute to the past.
These changes should modernize The Land and will create more guest traffic.
Next time, I’m going to save the Universe of Energy before Imagineering changes it to Guardians of the Galaxy.