Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This was a pretty slow news week, and I almost got rained out. This week, we’ll take a quick look at Epcot, where FastPass+ has taken over.

Welcome to Epcot!!

Monorail maintenance still happening.

FP+ kiosk right in the center of the plaza.

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Test Track was down in the middle of the day.

The line for the Frozen meet and greet in Norway is always crazy long.

It makes the pavilion rather tight.

Bushes up where Food and Wine and holiday stuff used to be.

Flower Power Concert Series names are announced.

No fountains at American Adventure, but it made for a nice duck pond.


Light crowds.

Nikon photo spot.

That’s it for this week. How does everyone feel about whats going on or not going on at Epcot? Let us know in the comments!!

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  • BrizMarc

    Time for something new at EPCOT. The park really needs something. Its starting to look old and they have sooooo much space

  • parker4fm

    I would love to see the Entertainment department at WDW contact Entertainment at Disneyland. Reason only makes me think that the Lunar New Year Celebration at DCA would fit perfectly at Epcot. It’s a poor missed opportunity that makes no sense.

  • totalorlando com

    Epcot is such a strange success.
    It relies upon quaint rather than whizz bang, and the place really appeals to me and my family.
    That lovely music in FutureWorld is simply addictive and the thing I miss most when we aren’t there.
    I have to admit that the park seems to be slipping back a little and definitely needs a major addition very soon. Somehow though, with all of the work that has just wrapped up in the MK and soon to start in AK, you’ve got to wonder if Disney have the same stamina as Universal right now.

    Let’s hope so!

  • tooncity

    I can’t believe they actually charge money to get it to this place. Never had an ounce of Magic. I still don’t know what there is to do or see in Slowcase. Just a mindless concept. Outdated just like everything at Walt Dated World.

  • Big D

    Great shots inside the Mexico pavillion! That’s a tough one to get decent photos inside.

  • While stale, Epcot is still my favorite WDW park. I love the scope of the park, the detail, and the optimistic tone. What I don’t love us that the park isn’t evolving and adding major new pavilions and attractions.

    Great job with the photos today Cory. Really lovely!

    • KENfromOC

      DUSTY – Looks like many of us feel the same way!

  • KENfromOC

    My history with Epcot goes back to day one as I was there when it opened. Actually even earlier as I snuck in on the media event one year prior in 1981, and still have a lot of pre-opening posters, press kit, and so on.

    My last time there was in 2005 (and may be going later this year). In some ways it’s grew to see the park still looks nice, but in another way it’s sad that not much has changed.

    The promises of all those other countries never happened, nor the additions of top-notch attractions to the countries that were there from the start.

    The main entrance, once elegant and welcoming is now strangled by those terrible monolithic abutments that act more like a maze you have to navigate through.

    Future World, once at the very height of technology an innovation has now become stale, full of dated structures that reek of late-1970’s “view” of the future (lets remember when these buildings were being designed….). Even Spaceship Earth a has become more of a “caricature” of itself in recent years….

    It’s still a neat place overall, but certainly stuck in the past. Time for major life-saving changes!

  • martinjbell1986

    Love EPCOT! Not a huge fan of Illuminations, doesn’t feel “Disney” enough but I love everything else about the park. But agreed, time for something new…

    • FerretAfros

      Interesting, since Illuminations is one of the only things that still feels “Disney” in all the right ways to me. It doesn’t rely on familiar characters or branding, but instead brings together a variety of media in a unique way that only Disney could have the vision to do. Yes, it’s in need of some technical upgrades, but it still works. I much prefer it to the over-hyped and synergistic Wishes at MK

      • martinjbell1986

        True, I do believe it is a unique show that ties into what epcot represents but I would love a redesign of the show. Fantasmic and WOC in DL wow people everynight and I feel illuminations is lacking in that department. I will be looking forward to Animal Kingdom’s night-time show the most.

      • Country Bear

        I probably stand alone on this thinking, but I find Illuminations to be underwhelming. I like the idea behind it but I think it’s too small a show for too large a stage. I always feel like I’m 10 miles from the show when I’m watching it. The WOW factor is not there, for me anyway.
        I am addicted to Disney fireworks shows but this one doesn’t even make me want to stop and watch it as I walk by. In my opinion it could really use some large enhancements.

  • Omnispace

    Thanks for the wonderful update! Just to respond to some of the comments — Epcot has certainly had its fair share of renovations and upgrades over the years – perhaps even more than the other parks. There are very few pavilions that have been left untouched, (perhaps Germany, and Great Britain?) While the results of the various upgrades are debatable, the fact is that a continued effort has been put out there. It’s an epic-scaled park and there are huge challenges to manage and maintain it.

    I think the “staleness” that some perceive is that the park doesn’t quite live up to one’s expectations. It’s like a movie that you really love the storyline to but the dialogue isn’t quite up to par, or the ending isn’t quite what you expected. And for some I’m sure it’s that tastes have changed. Epcot is a park that lives in the context of the moment. What our expectations are for a Future World are based on what is going on in the world around us today, and that is rapidly changing.

    Though things have been watered down over the years to make it more manageable, fortunately what was built in ’82 still holds a lot of promise. I think it’s simply a matter of the right management team willing to once again embrace a cohesive and timeless concept that strives to be bigger than itself. It can be done — just takes the right people who understand how to do it.

    • Country Bear

      You make lots of valid comments.

  • Edward Allen

    ” How does everyone feel about whats going on or not going on at Epcot?”

    One word: RIDES.

    I want to get into a boat, a car, a carriage, a plane, whatever and ride something. And while I’m riding something, I want to look at and – experience – something NEW. For God’s sake, if they don’t want to build anything entirely new, then swap out the older scenes and figures with new and different (and dare I say better) ones. Or have they forgotten how to do that kind of stuff?

    • michael darling

      Agreed. Although, it is still my fave behind the MK. It needs new stuff, and updated stuff. The soundtrack to Illuminations is astounding and gives me chills every time. I’m not alone in that.

  • Kenny B

    I remember how much I loved Epcot when I was 5, in 1990. Journey into the Imagination, and Horizons were the standouts. Malestrom freaked the hell out of me, Body Wars was intense, and whatever the hell the ride inside the ball was classic. Nothings changed, other then things being downsized and/eliminated.

    Last time I was at WDW was 2007, I was 22, and distinctly remember being thoroughly let down.

    As everyone says, future world is not so futuristic anymore. It felt more of a “copy/paste” land. The hope, and optimism is long gone from the front of the park. Not to mention the funeral that is the main entrance.

    Epcot needs a billion dollar make over BAD in future world. Level half the buildings, get rid of the BS ride where you stare at four inch screens. Bring back rides with omnimovers, with a ride length minimum of 9 minutes. Bring back hope. bring back Disney.

    • martinjbell1986

      I would hope that once the fiasco of MyMagic+ is done, that they’ll have more budget for all the Florida Parks.

  • Disneymike

    Did they just slap a Nikon sticker over the Kodak name on that Photo spot sign?

    • billyjobobb

      looks that way don’t it! Stay classy Disney, stay classy.

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      Sure looks like it. And I can’t help but laugh. Klassy.

  • fnord

    I keep waiting for the experimental prototype community of tomorrow, walt’s last big dream.
    Oh, well.
    To me, regular world’s fairs are far more interesting and electric than this place has ever been. I first visited as an adult disappointed walt disney fan. The way they developed all the WDW parks is truly uninspiring, but fortunately they added enough attractions at the magic kingdom, to bring Disneyland style magic to the place. When it first opened, anyone familiar with Disneyland at the time had to be disappointed.

  • Haven

    I will always loved EPCOT, one of the last Disney parks that was designed by a majority of original Disney Imagineers before their retirements, and it shows! So much detail, fantastic botanical experience, truly immersive park. That having been said, I do wish Disney had not overbuilt so many “gates” in Florida during Eisner’s reign. EPCOT could have easily taken the best elements of Animal Kingdom instead of it being its own park. Kilamanjari Safari could have been an awesome African pavilion, Expedition Everest would have made a great and appropriate roller coaster addition to the World Showcase. Soarin’ over Australia in an Australian pavilion shaped like the Sydney Opera House, would have been like WOW man. How about a Canadian version of what became Kali River Rapids… EPCOT has become a victim of the empires own expansion, but I will always love it 🙂

  • danielz6

    I have only been to Epcot once, and recently so I have no nostalgic emotional connection ti the place like so many here. But I have a lot of respect for that. That’s how I am with Disneyland cause I’m from CA. Anyway my question to all the Epcot veterens is what do you think about Disney cartoons slowly invading the park? Now they have 3 caballeros and frozen there, and I imagine there’ll be more in the future as that’s the easiest way for Disney to add to the park without having to be truly creative. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Ratatoullie makes it into France. From what I read I thought not having Disney cartoons in the park is what really set Epcot apart? It’d be a shame to see it become just a second Magic Kingdom.

    • KENfromOC

      When Epcot first opened Disney characters were outright barred from the park for the first year or so- They wanted it to be totally unique and stand on its own. However they quickly realized kids were getting very bored by the whole thing and families would veer back to the MK. So, within a short time Mickey and all came to Epcot.

      Personally I don’t mind the characters being there at all and would love to see some animated movie themed attractions in limited areas. Frozen to Norway…Sure! Do folks really care to see the climax of that ride being about an oil-rig?

      Let’s not forget a very important fact: the internet, along with the ability to “see the world” sitting on couch any second we want, did not exist back then. The country pavillions main purpose was to act as a taste and I tuce you to travel there.

      Just another reason why Epcot has become stale and without the purpose it once had….

      • KENfromOC

        PS My iPad keeps auto correcting and putting in the words it thinks I want…..sorry

      • danielz6

        Thanks for you’re perspective Ken. I didn’t know the cartoons were introduced such a long time ago. It seems like a few dark rides with Disney’s IP could easily fit into Epcot. Ratattouile in France, Mulan in China. Why not? A mystic manor could fit in just about anywhere. You already have the great restaurants and films for the adults and people who like that, seems to me a few good rides would really freshen the park up.

  • Aotphks

    Very lovely pictorial. Thanks for those pictures of Epcot. What saddens me is that, apart for the nice photography, there is not much else to talk about. With no big plans or new additions to their already tired line up, Epcot continues to be the park that is in most need of real entertainment. Restaurants and shops can only satisfy so much. For now? there’s no incentive for me to plan a family visit there or Disney World in general for that matter.