Many of us who have been following Disney parks for years know all about DCA 2.0 – a reboot of the entire theme park, basically, with so many new themes and attractions that the original version looks prosiac by comparison. Some version of that may be coming to DHS in the next several years, with Star Tours and Toy Story Land forming big chunks of the eventual park. But could such a thing happen to Epcot? Turns out, there are early plans afoot to do just that.
Let’s be clear at the outset: these are rumors, ideas, pitches, and blue-sky requests, not finalized plans with budgets. Many of the rumors need to be treated as unverified. But there are folks who want to see a reboot of Epcot, almost from the ground up. If all the plans discussed here were approved and given budget, we’d see just that. Of course, what actually gets built years from now may differ substantially.
Let’s start with what has been most heavily rumored, and which is most likely to actually happen. At the top of the list is Guardians of the Galaxy, potentially landing at Epcot somewhere (the leading candidate is the dated Ellen’s Energy Adventure). I’ve not heard any details about what that might mean for the current ride vehicles, but the concept as a whole intrigues me. The Energy pavilion is pretty dated, which has been obvious to every visitor for the past decade or two. That makes it a front-runner for replacement, and the Guardians concept would be well-received, there is a second film in the series coming soon with who knows how many more in the future.
Also rumored, for years on end, is the replacement of the Imagination pavilion. Surely this attraction needs it. The current version is itself a remake of a remake of the original attraction, but the current version feels very 90s in its approach. When humor feels two decades old, it’s time for a change. We haven’t heard what a replacement attraction could look like, to my knowledge, but the fact that something needs to change is probably a given at this point.
Most of the rest of Future World is probably safe. I can’t imagine they’d do anything to update Test Track or Mission Space, both of which are relatively recent and already fall into the thrill ride category. We may see some smallish upgrades to Living with the Land, as indeed has been done every few years since the attraction began. But the Seas with Nemo and Friends is probably safe as well, having just undergone a renovation to include the Pixar property.
I’ve heard bandied about that the France pavilion could get a new attraction. One assumes this means Ratatouille, the trackless dark ride that already exists in Disneyland Paris (technically their studios park) and could be duplicated here. Having experienced that attraction, I’d be in favor. It’s a good, solid Disney attraction, with atmosphere, drama, action, and good old fashioned storytelling. There have also been whispers that an alternate attraction is being considered here – something based on Beauty and the Beast – and the recent movie could be a sign of things to come. But that would be more expensive, and less “proven” than an attraction that already exists.
More at risk, I feel, might be the Mexico boat ride. Even though it was recently re-themed to the Three Caballeros and away from El Rio Del Tourismo (more or less), this ride is probably eyed eagerly by the Powers That Be in the studios and beyond. The reason is the November 2017 release of Coco, a Disney-Pixar movie that will explore Dia De Los Muertos (and is set in Mexico). It’s easy to think they might at least explore a re-skinning of the attraction. Given the success of the Frozen re-skin, that seems an even easier bet to make.
I have no clue what they intend for the former Innoventions East and West, but here’s hoping it’s a bold vision. My inner geek hopes for a dark ride (maybe even one that crosses the plaza!) but I suspect that would never happen. Still, they must be plotting something. They couldn’t possibly be planning to leave this prime real estate sitting mostly empty. I hold out a lot of hope for the currently dead center of Epcot, or shall I call it “EPCOT Center”?
And then finally, tantalizingly, a few of the quietest whispers have secretly let slip to me that there may be a brand new pavilion on the horizon, if funding can be found. Picture, if you will, a new World Showcase pavilion based around one of the biggest groups of visitors to Walt Disney World. A group that would find itself at home in this new pavilion. I’m speaking here of the legendary Brazilian tour groups, an absolute fixture in Walt Disney World. Could there be a Brazil pavilion someday in the future? One can only speculate that this would make a fortune, if for no other reason than the chanting masses who would descend here in groups of 30-40, singing songs the rest of us can only follow intermittently.
Well folks, what would you like to see come to Epcot? What would help bring this park into the future and get you excited about visiting? Would Guardians of the Galaxy do it? Does that even make sense? What about Coco, Ratatouille or Brazil?How would you fix Epcot? Click To Tweet
Kevin Yee is the prolific author of many Disney books. You can find them listed on Amazon HERE.