Spaceship Earth isn’t going away, but Disney’s ongoing plan to modernize Epcot — and especially the Future World half of the sprawling, bifurcated park — nevertheless appears to be on track toward a dramatic overhaul, as Disney itself is teasing with the promise of a multi-year “historic transformation.”
In the latest batch of updates at the Disney Parks Blog, Disney highlighted a series of major long-term redevelopments in store for the Orlando theme park, which has mostly seen evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, changes and upgrades since its 1982 opening.
Chief among the changes is an all-new pavilion — Epcot’s name for Future World’s signature mega-structure attractions — to replace the old Wonders of Life attraction.
Disney describes its new kid on the Epcot block as a “play pavilion” centered around “an innovative city that’ll come to life under the dome” of the still-unnamed attraction. “The pavilion’s city will be bursting with interactive experiences, your favorite Disney characters, hands-on activities, and engaging entertainment when it opens just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort,” Disney teases, adding that it’ll be “beyond anything we’ve ever created and … completely unique to Epcot.”
Supplementing all the major new attractions (like the Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster, which is set to arrive sometime between now and 2021), Epcot’s traffic flow will be getting a major overhaul, too.
“Changes are coming to the Epcot main entrance, where the plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain,” Disney pledges. “This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements.”
What that might mean is still anyone’s guess, but it’s in keeping with Disney’s promise of “keeping true to the original vision of the park.” There’s also a plan to revamp the major pedestrian thoroughfare that connects the Future World half of the park with World Showcase, but Disney said it will release details of that plan at a later date.
If all that isn’t enough, Disney’s even planning to make an on-site meta-attraction, of sorts, out of previewing all the work in progress. A new “Experience Center” coming later this year “will feature interactive exhibits to help [guests] visualize park projects throughout this unprecedented period of transformation,” according to Disney.