Imagination Pavilion Rumors and Future World News

Written by Cory Disbrow. Posted in Dateline Disney World, Epcot, Walt Disney World

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Published on July 26, 2013 at 2:00 am with 25 Comments

About Cory Disbrow

Cory likes Walt Disney World so much, he recently packed his bags and moved to Orlando. Cory is a photographer and writes MiceChat's Dateline Disney World columns every Friday.

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25 Comments

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  1. I truly believe this hot mess of a park is the reason FP+ happened because this park has the BIGGEST crowd disparity. TWO ETix taking in 80% of the crowd? INSANE. This is the park that will benefit from crowd redistribution…..

  2. I’ve never ridden Soarin’ at EPCOT (don’t see the point) yet it is my favorite theme park ever. EPCOT, to me, is so much more than the rides. I love that I can walk on some of my favorite rides with little to no wait, yes, even Figment.

    That said, if something bigger and better is coming then I’m all for it.

  3. Thanks for the update. Hopefully Epcot will be treated with an expansion on the level of New Fantasyland. Sadly, I doubt that will ever happen assuming avatar in animal kingdom and (probably) in the near future star wars at hollywood studios.

  4. What are the odds they use the refurb project to re-imagine the area with a Phineas and Ferb theme? I’ve heard rumors before about the two possible having a future presences around the Innoventions pavilions, but i think this area (including the unique building structure) fits them almost perfect. And with Agent P already in the World Showcase, it would make for an excellent pairing.

    Now if we could ever get them to finally commit to adding to the real Epcot draw… adding new or adding to current International Pavilions!

  5. Epcot needs some love. This is my favorite park at WDW, but it’s starting to feel a little stale.

    I’d like to see something replace the Universe of Energy, a fix for Imagination and a new pavilion in World Showcase (India perhaps).

    • I agree with a replacement for Universe of Energy. That building is HUGE and could fit a pretty good sized ride. I’m not even opposed to a new theme for the ride system or even something along the energy theme. It just needs an overhaul, big time.

      As for a new pavilion, I think India would be a nice addition but I think I’d love to see a new attraction in one of the existing ones (Morocco, UK, Japan) before a new pavilion.

      Maybe a Doctor Who ride for the UK? They are selling Dr. Who stuff there now anyway.

  6. Thanks for the tip about the area to the left of the entrance! I’ll stop by next time we’re there and zen out for a few minutes.

  7. Future World is mostly a waste to me. I have very little interest in any of the pavilions (the Land has a good restaurant and that’s about it). Even Spaceship Earth isn’t that interesting once you been on it once. For me this park is World Showcase plus Mission Space and Test Track. I think they need to give Future World some love on the level of the extreme DCA makeover. Of course, that’s probably true of all of the parks at WDW…

  8. I wonder if it is time to ditch the “Future World” theme completely? What about a Syfi City overlay? This could pave the road for Marvel in the future instead of a 5th park based on Marvel.

    • Marvel won’t happen at WDW…period.

  9. It’s a shame that WDI has to hand over finished projects to the Disney Operations folks because they just tend to muck things up a few years after they take possession. It’s like a kid that breaks their Christmas toys by the time February rolls around.

    .Disney Operations (including Marketing) brought us the Spaceship Earth Millennium wand debacle along with Leave a Legacy; they ruined Grauman’s Chinese Theater with that ridiculous Sorcerer’s Hat; and perhaps worst of all, they changed the name of EPCOT Center to Epcot thereby essentially putting a bullet into the side of the head of the original concept behind why this park got built.

    I was in my early teens when EPCOT Center was taking shape and I salivated at the mouth every time a television report came on about the park or it’s construction was featured in a national magazine. I went the opening month and was blown away – this was an amazing concept. The ideas of the future and world fellowship captured in one innovative park that was designed to be ever growing and evolving.

    Since 1982, we’ve only seen the addition of three pavilions in Future World and two in World Showcase (I’m not sure what to say about Mission Space – - they ditched Horizons to add Space so I guess it’s a wash). That is hardly a track record of keeping the park fresh.

    When things are slated for improvement (which comes at a glacial pace) the improvements are lackluster to say the least (Imagination 2.0 and 3.0), Energy, Land, etc. I’m sorry Mickey, but you can’t refurbish a pavilion on a $6 million dollar budget, you just can’t.

    The interesting thing if you really think about it is that if WDI came up with a concept for a park of the future this thing would never get built or even into advanced blue sky planning phase. The leadership would say the future changes to fast, can’t be predicted, etc. It’s because of this confluence of opinions about the future that Epcot is allowed to whither and decay. In fact, when I read that people still love this park, I think what do you love about it??? A stale Energy attraction (Bless Ellen’s heart for at least still being relevant but, remember, she was selected to be in the attraction not for her talk show but her former ABC sitcom (pre coming out might I add), if she came out after I think Disney would have balked (and I am gay so I can write this).

    It’s true folks, a park based on that concept that human tenacity and free enterprise will continue to improve our lives on a variety of fronts just wouldn’t fly today. So what then to do about Epcot? Probably it is time to toss in the towel and convert this into some Star Wars or Marvel concept.

  10. There is no refurbishment planned or happening. The pavilion is simply being shut down indefinitely. Nothing’s going on with this attraction.

    • So Colorvision agreed to take on sponsorship of the ImageWorks portion of the pavilion just so it could be shut down and never used, huh?

  11. Remember it is not only popularity of an attraction that contributes to the wait time, it is efficiency.

    Sum of All Thrill has a 30 minute wait not because more people are going to it than Spaceship Earth….it has it because it is incredibly inefficient.

    For example, if Spaceship Earth is as popular as Soarin’, it would be a much shorter wait as it can handle way more people per hour.

    The problem with Future World isn’t only that it has two attractions that are way more popular than the rest, it is that those two attractions (especially Soarin’) are much less efficient than the rest. (Spaceship Earth, Imagination, The Seas, Energy, and Living with the Land are all incredibly efficient attractions).

    Similarly at Magic Kingdom. Peter Pan has a way longer wait than Pirates or Haunted Mansion, not because it is more popular, but because it is popular AND much less efficient.

  12. I rode Soarin’ once, thought it was just OK but didn’t blow my mind like it does others. Have no real desire to ride it again. I kick back on the “old school” Epcot attractions like Living With the Land, Spaceship Earth and… yes… Captain EO.

    If Imagination gets this rumored overhaul, I really hope it’s not the Phinneas & Ferb thing some of the rumors indicate. I personally can’t stand that show and the characters creep me out to no end (they look possessed with those huge bug-eyes). I think Perry is kind of cute, but I have no desire to buy any Perry merchandise. if Figment totally goes away in this refurb I will be extremely angry and sad. Figment was a big part of my childhood. But we’ll see what happens.

  13. Well at least Disneyland only has to figure out tomorrow land. WDW have to figure out both
    Tomorrowland and Epcot, which if you know what it stands for, I think makes way more
    sense without the center in the original title.
    I can’t imagine anyone with interest in the history of walt disney that feels much love
    for epcot, as he used to preface presentations about the project by saying ” this is not
    Just going to be another worlds fair… ” but despite it turning out exactly like another
    Worlds fair, it doesn’t come close to matching the energy of a real worlds fair because
    real worlds fairs are full of brand new stuff and brand new ideas and sometimes cool
    rides too.
    I wonder how many people would call epcot their favorite park if it didn’t sell alcohol.
    I went once. Non of the countries in world showcase that I had actually visited reminded
    of the real thing, and the 1967 Tomorrowland at disneyland was more convincing than
    future world ever was.
    Just my opinions, of course. I’ll take MK and a stay at the portafino at universal, after
    Harry potter 2 opens.

    • Any reference of Walt Disney’s thoughts about E.P.C.O.T. are totally moot, as he never intended it to be a theme park. What we have (which I totally love!) is nothing at all like Walt’s vision for the place. Every once in a while a sign or a narration will talk about EPCOT as being the embodiment of Walt’s greatest dream, which is pure bunk.

  14. I will call Epcot my favorite park, and it has nothing to do with alcohol. In fact, I’ve never purchased alcohol in Epcot. Even in it’s current form, Epcot is still about learning and gaining knowledge (be it technical or cultural).

  15. Wonderful update Cory, terrific photos (as always!), and great idea capturing a few around Imagination. Perhaps we will be able to have a retrospective of Imagination soon from its opening, through it’s long past glory days, to now, and then it’s future incarnation. I hope for a redo of the attractions there, and reopening of Image Works upstairs!
    I do hope Disney doesn’t ignore the potential of Dreamfinder and the real Figment, who are brilliant and overlooked characters with endless potential, for learning from, attractions, stories and merchandise sales! I still cannot fathom WHY those wonderful characters never spun off into childrens films (animated or live action), or edutainment tv shows. I hope they return with an inspirational new attraction that will take advantaged the leaps in technology that can now be found in other attractions (Mystic Manor).
    I would be heartbroken if they demolished the pavilion and started from scratch though, once again losing the timeless design of the building was lost like with Horizons. Sure, refresh the colours and outside a bit, but keep the structure and spring pyramids!
    Future world CAN recapture the optimism and inspiration it once held, and heaven knows we need more optimism in the world these days. Fingers crossed!