I have had this topic saved as a draft for a couple of months and now that we are starting to see changes come to Epcot I figured I would go ahead and write it before my point is completely moot.
If you have been to Walt Disney World in the last three years or have been keeping track of WDW news, then you are familiar with the numerous changes that are taking place all over Walt Disney World property. When I get asked why I go back so much, one of the reasons I list is there is so much I have not done and so many things constantly being changed or added. As I was trying to convince a coworker why they should go back to WDW, I began talking about all of the changes that were currently taking place. As I started listing them, park by park, I realized I left Epcot out.
After reflecting more on the topic it seems as though Epcot has been put on the back burner. The last major refurbishment we saw was when Test Track was “re-imagined.” I don’t consider the addition of Spice Road Table and Starbucks or the changes to France’s dining locations a major change.
Magic Kingdom has had a major overhaul in Fantasyland the last few years which I think many consider to be a great improvement to the park. Animal Kingdom has added a new theater for the Festival of the Lion King to make way for the addition of a land themed to the movie Avatar. We have also seen the park add a special event which featured an evening street party called Harambe Nights and are still anticipating several other changes that will transform Animal Kingdom into a night park, one of which is a nighttime spectacular called “Rivers of Light.” Hollywood Studios popularity increased with the addition of a few special events themed after the Disney’s recent blockbuster animated film Frozen. After Bob Iger’s announcement that Star Wars will become more present in the parks and the closing of two attractions (The American Idol Experience and The Backlot Tour) many are anticipating big changes soon for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Even Downtown Disney is getting a massive overhaul!
That leaves poor Epcot. Soarin’ and Test Track remain popular but it seems the rest of Future World has become very lackluster to many guests. World Showcase is still a favorite among adults for it’s unique dining experiences and entertainment but Epcot’s popularity seems to rely heavily on its numerous special events.
Epcot has more “abandoned” buildings/areas than any of Walt Disney World’s other parks. The Odyssey restaurant and the old Wonders of Life buildings still get some attention for special events but the upper floor of the Imagination pavilion seems to be completely abandoned.
I realize Disney has their hands very full right now but I hope Epcot is next on the list for a facelift. I think the Innoventions buildings could use some updating. Many of the exhibits are outdated and remind me of what you would find in a cheap kids museum. I would like to see Disney bring in some exhibits that really showcase some truly innovative ideas and technology. I know it is hard to keep attractions like this current but it’s overdue for an update.
I hope Epcot’s recent presence in WDW news for it’s changes to the entertainment in World Showcase and the closing of Maelstrom to bring in a Frozen attraction is a sign that Disney also realizes it’s time to give Epcot some love!
What do you think? Does Epoct need some updating? What would you change or add to improve the Epcot experience?
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Reportedly, they brought in two major head honchos to work with Disney–one is specifically appointed to deal with Star Wars properties in the park, and the other is to look at Epcot and make plans for an overhaul. I used to know the names, and now I cannot remember them, but i do know these guys were hired, and i do know they were put at HS and Epcot–and from what I gather, these aren’t guys you bring in to fix a ride or a restaurant–these are guys you bring it to build Lands.
Oooo! That’s exciting to hear! I hope we see more hints soon!
I found you through Dmoney’s blog.^^^ commenter above.
We just came back from Disney World, and I loved it, but what i found to be sad was how Walt’s vision for Future and Tomorrow to be seen in Today is not really being done. I mean, I saw many updates, so maybe everything is changing to keep up with the times and to advance the vision of Walt Disney, but much of what I saw was the same as when I was a child thirty years ago, and there is still a 70’s feel to much of the park (Epcot as well as Magic Kingdom), many of the rides and attractions.
None of those things hindered my visit – I enjoyed it and would love to back soon; it was just a general observation I made.
Yes, I really wish they would use Innoventions to showcase new technologies and try to keep that fairly fresh. Since there are two, one can still be open while the other is going through an update.