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Disney Parks, Opinions and Commentary, Walt Disney World News

The New Epcot

Written by Steve Rhodes.

If you’re a fan of Walt Disney World you already know by now about that the recent D23Expo in Anaheim highlighted some new rides which meat changes to old ones. We covered one of the most controversial ones in our Guardians of the Galaxy post already.  If you’ve read that my sentiments here won’t be of much shock to you, but here’s my thoughts on the other changes we’re going to see at Disney World’s second-gate.

FUTURE WORLD

As a whole Future World is getting a new feel to it with a new look to go with it. The changes to all of Epcot are in the hands of Vice President and Senior Creative Executive, Tom Fitzgerald. Tom is imagineer behind the story-line of the now retired Horizons attraction and author of the line “If you can dream it you can do it” which is so memorable that it’s often mis-attributed to Walt himself. So Future World and all of Epcot are in good hands.

a screenshot from D23 showing the new concept art for Future World

If you want a cool rundown of everything happening here, I suggest you check out Jack over at DSNY Newscast who did a nice job covering the expected changes and upgrades. In general they’re making it look more future-y which is a good thing. Some of the facades in current Future World are so far stuck into the 80s and it’s fucking ridiculous. From the looks of this photo, it seems the monorail track is going to illuminate at night and that shit right there is just plain cool.  Also, it’s seems as the walking paths will become better suited to move traffic through which inarguably is also good.

MISSION SPACE

A refurbishment has been underway on this for some time now, but now we have details as to what exactly is happening. First, the more thrilling Orange Mission will be getting some new video technology which is certainly welcomed. It seems as if the same G-forces will be in effect on your trip to Mars though so for those who felt it was too intense that is unlikely to change, but at least the video will be prettier. The more important thing happening is the Green Mission will become family-friendly giving you a chance to go “soarin around earth” as Tom Fitzgerald, said. This is a game changer for families with young children as it’s rumored there will even be booster seats available. Disney ain’t fucking around with Epcot anymore they are committed to garnering that full family enjoyment from it. This is a huge play in the right direction and one Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney Parks and Resorts called making Epcot, “more timeless, more relevant, more family, more Disney.” This will all re-open in August 2017.
In addition to the Mission Space rehash, we’re getting a new space themed restaurant adjacent to it. And by the looks of things it shall be glorious.

As Tom Fitzgerald said, “We know our guests love dining at Epcot – and the restaurants really are out of this world. Now we’re about to create one that takes that literally.” As fucking corny as that sounds (because it is) just look at that photo above. Fitz ain’t playing with you bitches, that shit is gonna be incredible. There are going to be views of Earth from space at your damn table. So you can bet you’ll need to use all of the 180-day ADR window to get a seat. That being said, I can only assume this a table service eatery as it seems there’s a wait staff based on this photo. Also, it will be operated by Patina Restaurant Group which runs Morimoto Asia and other nice table service spots around the Disney property.


RATATOUILLE 

Based off the Disneyland Paris attraction, Ratatouille: The Adventure (Warning link contains spoilers). The France Pavilion at World Showcase will be getting its own trackless dark-ride based on the movie Ratatouille. While I was firmly in the camp against such a ride based on Frozen being added to Norway (my views have since softened) and it a was moreso to do with the fact that Arendelle, while based off of Norway isn’t an actual place. In this instance with Ratatouille, it is at least set in Paris, France. Also, the folks in France set box office records going to see the film. With that said, I’m all in. This use Disney’s intellectual property (IP) which is why you may hear the naysayers referring to the future Epcot as IPCOT. If this shit is executed in such a way that makes some sense thematically and keeps families entertained throughout the entirety of the Park then so be it.


BOTTOM LINE

If this is the new direction of Epcot, I’m on board with the changes. As I’ve mentioned before folks my age and older had or still have this fantasy of the EPCOT Center from the 1980s in their heads and scoff at changes as basically shitting on Walt’s dream. This I’ve debunked before and you can read about that here. However, I do still feel that nostalgia from those days and hope that the changes coming will bring that same feeling to my daughter and the youth of today. 

My daughter’s most recent “experience” at World Showcase

As a child in the 80s and into the 90s I thought of Epcot as different, but no less enjoyable than the Magic Kingdom. I felt this way about both Future World and World Showcase. But the fact of the matter is that I was part of a small minority (now a very vocal one). Many children while they might have tolerated Future World back then felt as though World Showcase was boring outside of Maelstrom (may you rest in peace. Maelstrom shall never be forgotten motherfuckers, never!!). Anyways, as Future World became less future-y due to aging of the attractions, I’ve anecdotally heard of parents shying away from Epcot in general or relegating it to a half-day park as their kids had little to do there. Disney is addressing this and attempting to keep Epcot informative yet entertaining. Which is what attracted so many of us there in the first place.

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