A new portfolio from a former Imagineer discovered this week revealed yet-unseen details about the as-of-yet “postponed” attraction based on “Mary Poppins” announced at D23 Expo 2019 for the United Kingdom Pavilion at EPCOT, including what kind of ride was set for the spot.
A portfolio shared by former Imagineer Damon Pressman showed off the yet-unseen art and layout. One piece of art showed guests spinning around indoors in teacups amid an English countryside background similar to the “Royal Doulton Bowl” sequence from the “Mary Poppins Returns” film. We also saw previously-seen art for the exterior Cherry Tree Lane area and the poster first revealed at D23 Expo 2019.
Most critically, we got a look at the layout for the ride, which would have an interior queue through the lower level of the Banks family home at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, featuring a preshow similar to Enchanted Tales with Belle at the Magic Kingdom. In that preshow, guests would watch the fireplace come to life before coming into the English countryside from the “Jolly Holiday” sequence. The ride itself featured six teacups on three smaller spin platforms. Flats of trees and bushes would anchor the corners of the ride experience.
WDWNT first reported on rumors of a Mary Poppins spinner flat ride in August 2018, just under a year before its announcement at D23 Expo 2019. The project was one of many victims of the COVID-19 pandemic cuts which struck projects across EPCOT including the ill-fated Festival Center and PLAY! Pavilion. Just days after Walt Disney World reopened from the unprecedented four-month pandemic closure in July 2020, Disney issued a statement confirming the postponement of the Spaceship Earth reimagining and this Mary Poppins attraction. They also removed both from The EPCOT Experience, which was a showcase of the park’s future.
Just last year during the Annual Shareholder Meeting, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that the ride was still on hold, not cancelled, expressed his disappointment that the projects had to be put on hold, and vowed that as their cash situation becomes a bit more robust in terms of liquidity, Disney looked forward to restoring funding to those projects. He also noted that the “Mary Poppins” attraction was one of his favorite projects. No opening date had ever been given for the project prior to its postponement.
With Chapek out as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, it’s as possible as not that this “Mary Poppins” spinner ride could still come to fruition in EPCOT, but the project is still seemingly up in the air at this point, with no construction preparation spotted behind the United Kingdom Pavilion even as Walt Disney World officially sheds the last of its pandemic-era measures and closures.
What do you think? Will we ever see a “Mary Poppins” spinner ride come to EPCOT now that the pandemic has come to an end? Let us know in the comments below!