World Showcase pavilion rumors are always around and it seems that we’ll never actually get one confirmed. We’re still waiting to hear if the Brazil pavilion is coming, as well as an announcement of the Mary Poppins ride in the U.K., but now we’re hearing that Walt Disney Imagineering has another full-blown pavilion in development: India.
An India pavilion has actually been among the long list of rumored countries to be added to the back half of the park, with Disney holding meetings with Indian government officials way back in 1986 (according to the Orlando Sentinel at least). The India booth at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is popular and Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is possibly the best sit-down restaurant in all of Walt Disney World. Could you imagine being able to get Sanaa-like dishes (including bread service) from table and counter service restaurants while at Epcot? Maybe this sounds like a better thematic fit for the Animal Kingdom theme park, but there are other plans for expanding there in the next few years we’ll be sharing at a later date.
If the plans for Epcot’s India pavilion come to fruition, it will be anchored by a massive E-Ticket attraction: a boat ride based on the 2016 hit live action film, The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau.
While some might prefer a ride based on the animated classic, it’s important to remember that the live action adaptation was critically and commercially successful, grossing almost $1 billion worldwide. The film will also eventually have a sequel, which would be the perfect time for Disney to have video portions of the ride shot in conjunction with the production of The Jungle Book 2.
The boat ride would utilize the revolutionary ride system from Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland. This ride features boats with a motion base, allowing vehicles to rock and spin in the water along their path. This would be a massive attraction, just as the Shanghai Pirates ride is the largest in that park.
This project could be a few years away (as the sequel is not even set to resume production until after the live action The Lion King is released in 2019), but it is starting to be discussed more seriously by executives at this point. No matter what the pavilion may hold, I think most would be happy just to have a new country finally built in Epcot for the first time since 1988.
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