Feature: The Future of Epcot’s Future World

future world

We are a few week past the 2015 D23 Expo. The wuestions we had for Disney theme parks were answered. The excitement of huge announcements has mellowed. We now know that Walt Disney World will be gaining momentum in the next few years with additions to Animal Kingdom (New nighttime entertainment, Pandora – The World of Avatar) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land). I already believe Disney had a little momentum after the additions at the Magic Kingdom with New Fantasyland and the expanding hub area. In a single decade, almost all of the Disney parks in Florida have had serious upgrades, all except for one: Epcot.

The 1990s saw amazing growth at the Walt Disney World (and even Disneyland) Resort! Multiple new hotels, a brand new theme park in Animal Kingdom, and the expansion of Downtown Disney. That’s not including the newer attractions that came to the parks during that time period. During the 2000s we saw a lull with expansions taking longer and new attractions scattered here and there. The 2010s have seen a move back to what we saw in the 1990s with upgraded and expanded hotels, new lands added to theme parks, and innovative technology upgrading attractions making it very easy to spot the new stuff from the old. While the 2010s have been great for nearly every square inch of space on WDW property, it hasn’t helped or upgraded Epcot.

Sure Epcot got the refurbished Test Track, or “Tron Track”, but it was a horizontal move for the attraction. It was neither an amazing upgrade or a disappointment. The only true upgrade despite controversy will be the addition of the Frozen Ever After attraction to Norway, which in my opinion, is not the area of the park that needs attention. World Showcase can continue to be a place where food, drinks, shopping, and culture all meet. It doesn’t need an E-ticket attraction or any serious upgrades. Sure we would all like a new country to add to the World Showcase lagoon but the real upgrades that need to happen to Epcot are in Future World.

future world 1

Epcot’s Future World is littered with aging attractions and lukewarm upgrades. Almost every pavilion in Future World either needs major upgrades or completely new pavilions. Disney did have plans in place to upgrade Future World in the early 2000s with a project called Gemini which would see the area change into Discoveryland. The project would see the demolition of The Land pavilion in favor of a “rainforest rollercoaster” and the attraction inside Spaceship Earth go away and be replaced with an additional roller coaster called “Time Racers”.

I’m not a big fan of this complete throwaway of Future World. I think the edu-tainment of Future World can work as long as we get these attractions out of the 1980s and 90s and move them into the “future”. I understand that means, like Tomorrowland, we would see constant upgrades because the future is always changing. The integration of Disney characters doesn’t bother me either and can actually be useful depending on where they are put.

I’d love to see Wonders of Life reopen with a new health and fitness center along with the return of a Cranium Command type of attraction featuring the emotions of Inside Out. Universe of Energy can still be an attraction or pavilion but I see big changes if it stayed. Energy and fuel proficiency is a big political agenda these days and into the future and would continue to make for a great discussion to entertain and educate. And how exciting would it be for the return of the Dream Finder to the Imagination pavilion? Old school fans would rejoice and new fans of the attraction would fall in love with the characters for the first time.

future world 2

I don’t see changes coming to Epcot anytime soon considering the work that will need to be finished at the other 3 theme parks, but my hope is that by the end of this decade, the 2010s, we can see changes coming or starting at Epcot to take us into the park’s future. Maybe this is just a dream of mine, but I do hope that WDW’s 2nd theme park continues to be one of it’s best. I have no doubts that Disney has or will have plans for the park, the questions really is, when will we find out about them and when will they be put into action?

What would you like to see happen at Epcot’s Future World? What would you keep? What would you ditch? Leave your thoughts in the comments below to keep the conversation going!

Josh Taylor
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Posted on September 5, 2015, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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