Image Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

PHOTOS: See Stunning Aerial Photos of an Empty Future World at EPCOT with Construction Left at a Standstill During the Extended Parks Closure

As Walt Disney World remains closed for the longest period in the resort’s history, aerial photographers have been able to capture just what the Most Magical Place on Earth looks like without guests. Thanks to pilot Jonathan Michael Salazar on Facebook (also @ColombianPilot on Instagram), we’re able to show these photos of Future World at EPCOT and see how things stand at the moment.

Image Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

Above is an extremely rare sight to see in daytime: an empty parking lot, save for a handful of cars on the far right of the picture.

The road along the lower edge of the photo is the bus entrance. If you look closely, you can see that there’s still scrim fencing just slightly above that (between the road and the monorail beams) surrounding landscaping that still needs to be finished. Another interesting sight is the tram parked right down the center of the route, between two lots, as if frozen in time.

Image Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

As we get a glimpse of Future World, we see an EPCOT prepared for a future that seems to be on pause.

Image Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

In the lower center of the above photo, you can see the recently-opened security screening structure.

As EPCOT transforms its entrance, the you can see that the west side of the entrance gardens was left unfinished when the parks closed, but a close look at it shows that the paths in the concrete are the same shades of color, showing that they’re slowly being made to match with the east side, which opened earlier this year.

Along the rose walk near World Showcase Lagoon, you can see where the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival flowerbeds were removed, or possibly left to wither, with just the orange circles and mickey shapes left.

In the center of the picture, the topiaries in the walkway leading from the former Innoventions to World Showcase are now just on bare dirt.

Image Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

Moving on to the the redesign of the center of Future World, the former Club Cool section of Innoventions West and the surrounding ground has been fully leveled off.

Along the bottom left, you can see the partial installation of solar panels on the main building of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, in the style of its predecessor, the Universe of Energy pavilion.

Image Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

Over here, we see the outdoor portion of Test Track. At least there’s some good news: the cool Chevrolet cars are still around the center of the loop. On the other hand, Taste Track Burgers & Fries remains behind the portable hedges.

Meanwhile on the former site of Wonders of Life (and the future home of Play!), those pallets on the side of the pavilion closest to Mission: SPACE have been there since before the closure and it seems they just left materials staged there.

Finishing things off with the building for Space 220, things are fully enclosed, and we can’t really see what’s going on. As of the writing of this article, it’s unknown what the status of the project is due to its opening delays. Hopefully, it won’t open too long after EPCOT starts welcoming guests again.

While we know that Disney Parks are facing a $900 million reduction in capital expenditure spending due to the suspension and cancellation of construction projects due to the lengthy closures from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we don’t quite know yet what it will mean for EPCOT’s re-imagining. We can only hope that EPCOT will still remain an inviting, imaginative place when this is all over.

Once again, we’d like to thank Jonathan Michael Salazar (who you can also find on Instagram at @TheDisneyPilot) for his photos!

Featured Image: Jonathan Michael Salazar


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Frank W
Frank W
1 year ago

Very eerie pictures, almost surreal. If someone was going to make an end of the world movie, something where all human life disappeared in the middle of the m=night, now would be the time to use Disney World as a back drop.