PHOTOS: Mars Rover Tracks Disappear at Completed Mission: SPACE Planetary Plaza Pavement Refurbishment in EPCOT

Justin Giglio

PHOTOS: Mars Rover Tracks Disappear at Completed Mission: SPACE Planetary Plaza Pavement Refurbishment in EPCOT

Some colorful new pavement has debuted at the entrance to Mission: SPACE at EPCOT, while some iconic Mars rover tracks have disappeared with an uncertain future.

New Planetary Plaza Pavement at Mission: SPACE

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It’s a bright day at EPCOT as we head up toward Mission: SPACE to get a look at the new pavement.

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A-frame signage points guests toward the entrance to the attraction, as well as the entrance to Space 220, but if you pause to explore the plaza near Earth, Mars, and Jupiter you can spot some of the new pavement.

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Different-sized planets with various colors fill the plaza area.

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This space was also once home to tracks for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars, and while it’s possible they were preserved and will be returning, there is no confirmation or word as of yet.

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What do you think about these new mosaic-style planets on the pavement at Mission: SPACE? Let us know in the comments.

The Red Planet in Peril

We originally thought the construction in this area was to repair the excessive damage to the Martian display at the entrance to Mission: SPACE; however, the red planet is still in the same disrepair that we made note of earlier in 2023.

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While the box office decided Mars did not need moms back in 2011, the Mars entrance to this attraction does need a little salvation after a sharp decline in shine.

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Various portions of the shiny crimson orb are showing heavy wear and tear, and the maroon glow characteristic of the display is giving way to bare grayness and warped material underneath. Dirt is also accumulated in the grooves of the sculpture.

The structure serves as more than decoration — it hides the entrance area for both the Orange and Green Team experiences of Mission: SPACE, and both guests and Cast Members are regularly stationed underneath.

Granted, in Florida, all buildings and set pieces at Walt Disney World are occasionally subjected to extreme weather conditions, thunderstorms, high winds, and catastrophic hurricanes. Hurricane Ian devastated southwestern areas of Florida and caused record flooding in the Orlando area. But maintenance of these structures is equally important

That being said, it looks like our planetary neighbor could use a little love.

Mission: SPACE

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Mission: Space is a centrifugal motion simulator in World Discovery at EPCOT, that replaced the beloved Horizons attraction in 2003. The attraction simulates the thrill of space travel using high G-forces to make guests feel like they’re launching on a mission to Mars.

Originally just one experience at maximum intensity in which riders voyaged to Mars was available, until too many guests reported issues with motion sickness due to the centrifuge. As a result, a less intense version of the Mars mission was in place from 2006 until a tamer, more mild mission around Earth replaced it in 2017.

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Author

  • Justin Giglio

    Justin has been visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort since he was 2 years old. He considers Powerline to be the songbird of his generation. Contact Justin at justin@wdwnt.com