This week we’re taking a tour through Epcot, photographing the park and checking out the latest news and happenings there. Let the march of nations begin. . .

Welcome to Epcot!

This is a few weeks old, but the Camera Center has a new sign, which many fans of old EPCOT were sad to see.

The Gateway Gifts sign is still the old one, for now.

The new Innoventions paint scheme has spread basically all the way to Spaceship Earth.

Walls up at this ODV cart.

Moat near Imagination drained.

With Captain EO closing at several Disney properties, is the Epcot version next?

Fountain at Imagination dry.

The area where the butterfly house was for Flower and Garden is walled off, along with the pathways around it. It’s hard to tell in the photos, but they have dug down quite a bit in there, and I’m not entirely sure what it is for.

Some Flower and Garden stuff remains.

World Cup score keeping in the UK gift shop.

Props for the French entertainment.

Spice Road Table is always empty whenever I visit. But it sure has a beautiful view. Do you MiceChatters have any thoughts on why this spot isn’t clicking with guests and what should be done about it?

Japan is full of entertainment.

The Sounds Like Summer concert series is well underway.

USA World Cup jerseys are for sale.

Right next to Germany, there is a little soccer field set up with World Cup brackets and all.

Beautiful World Showcase.

We’ll take a quick break from today’s article to remind you about MiceChat’s big Walt Disney World Invasion set for this coming October. We sure would like to see you all there!


MiceChat Walt Disney World Invasion – October 22nd through 29th, 2014: We’ll visit the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando, offer an optional Halloween Horror Nights event, hold a Walt Disney World GUMBALL RALLY, travel the World Showcase in our wonderful Food and Wine Festival Sip and Nibble event, enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, PLUS La Nouba, meet-ups, meals and more. Don’t miss this fantastic week of Orlando fun!!!

To book a room, please contact: [email protected]

For more information about dates, events and WDW Gumball Rally, sign up for the Invasion email list below.


I love taking the long, almost hidden walkway here in China.

Beautiful tree in bloom.

Over at Maelstrom, the waterfalls have been painted a new darker color.

With the recent rumors of this attraction possibly getting a re-skin with Frozen characters, we made sure to ride Maelstrom and take some pictures in the queue.

I really hope those rumors aren’t true. Maelstrom has a fun and quirky charm, and I think Frozen, being the smash hit that it is, deserves a large and grand dark ride of its own, not just a quick re-theme of an existing attraction.

Meanwhile, over in Mexico, everything looks lush and beautiful.

The Odyssey is the place to be in Epcot for World Cup viewing.

New paint scheme on the other side of Innoventions.

Time to head home.

Well, that does it for this week. What do you guys think about what is happening in the park? Let us know in the comments!!

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If you enjoyed the column, especially the photos, and you want to check out more photos and tutorials on Disney photography, please check out my photo site, [URL=””]Disney Photography Blog[/URL]. And if you like listening more than reading, you can hear us talk about Disney and photography on my podcast, [URL=””]ISO5571[/URL]

  • pbrsaau

    Epcot is looking great! Nothing new right now – but it appears like all is good.

  • disneytom

    The Innoventons (Communicore) paint job is, ahem, “interesting”, to say the least.

    • When they first started painting we thought it was a color test. But it was really the new theme. I don’t hate it, but it’s a bit odd looking. Though, I do like the colors and it might grow on me.

      What I’d REALLY like to see them do it plant a ton of trees throughout Future World (add planters everywhere). It’s too darn hot with all that concrete.

  • bamato

    While I’ve never been to WDW, it’s nice to read your column and see all the little nuances that I would only be able to normally appreciate by being there.

    Thanks Cory!

  • Dan Heaton

    I’m glad to see that so much of EPCOT looks great, especially in World Showcase. Now if they could just do a few things in Future World…

  • KENfromOC

    CORY –
    Great article! A question and a couple of comments:

    Question about the weather:
    We will be there (coming from Orange County, CA) July 1 to July 7. Of course I have weather Apps, etc. to keep updated, but I’d like to get your take on the afternoon rains, humidity, etc. Last time we were there was end of July in 2005 and basically when it poured we just walked around in it with little covering because it actually felt good. Basically bringing shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and Crocs! Your thoughts?

    I was first at Epcot literally the night before it opened (a soft opening) and was there the day it opened and have been back about 7 times. World Showcase still looks beautiful, but do wish they kept up on the promise to add countries and attractions. 32 years later and those countries need a huge refresh – but nice to see they are kept up.
    Futureworld of course suffers from that early “1980’s” architecture and what once cutting edge just can’t keep up anymore. Technology updates every day now, making it very hard for an area such as this to remain relevant anymore. Still, I look forward to seeing Epcot again.

    • daveyjones

      “Futureworld of course suffers from that early “1980’s” architecture”

      i would posit that the 80s futurist brutalism is gorgeous and should be preserved…and that the look of EPCOT center went sour when they started augmenting everything with 90s tacky. now it’s a mishmash of styles that doesn’t hold to any cohesive aesthetic.

      • KENfromOC

        That’s true – but I’m not talking about “Spaceship Earth”, but rather those rounded-corner, thick fascia Communicore buildings – and yes those horrible obstacle-course monuments up front. Like “Tomorrowland” , FutureWorld suffers from trying to catch up to the “now”. let alone the future.
        When it opened in 1982, it was showcasing tech that was futuristic and actually working and useful. Touch-screen kiosks, guide-by-wire ride vehicles, aqua-culture (ie: farm raised seafood!), advanced AA figures and so on. But not so much anymore. 1982 Universe of Energy for example: A solar panel roof!! WOW! 2014 Universe of Energy? a solar panel roof….ok, yeah, still fossil fuel show inside… but nice try. (and no, I’m not an anti-oil guy! – just saying)
        It’s a hard problem to deal with certainly when trying to keep ahead of future tech, especially when the real-world does this every couple of months.

      • Bfscott77

        Agree. The 90’s kitsch ruined it.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    The beautiful icon of Epcot is Spaceship Earth. The tombs that surround it, however, are ugly and need to be removed. I know that I am not the first to say so, but just removing those ugly things would be a big upgrade to the entrance. I am sure that those people have had their 15 minutes of fame by now.

    • jcruise86

      ^ ^ I agree, JCF. They should be moved, and Disney should get rid of tarps and most other things besides that block the bottom of Spaceship Earth. Domes are common–18 (?)-story balls [insert your own joke] are not, and when the bottom is obstructed guest can’t take in this ultimate celebration of circles.

  • Ravjay12

    Great update Cory! World Showcase looks great as usual. Future World? Really needs a refresh besides a new paint scheme. Maybe a Marvel theme like Iron Man’s Stark Expo with some new attractions to replace Universe of Energy or the Wonders of Life pavilion.

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      No Marvel will happen at the Florida Disney parks. Universal owns the rights on that (Marvel Island at IOA) east of the Mississippi. Disney could be a big stinker and make Universal stop,but in the grand scheme of things that would really make them look bad and like a bully, so they probably never will.

  • MonteJ

    Can’t say that I’m a fan of the paint job. In my opinion it’s a bit symptomatic of the general loss of cohesive theme in Future World… disorderly chaos with no overriding direction. Epcot used to be my favorite park, but really needs a fresh new vision and a plan to systematically bring it back to greatness.

  • yoyoflamingo

    If nothing else, the one thing I hope they do is fix that queue in Maelstrom. Easily one of the worst queues in WDW.

    Can’t wait to head down there in a few months…

  • Haven

    I like the new Communicore paint scheme. It helps break down the monolithic 1980’s modernist building that it is for something warmer and more hospitable. I think it compliments the intense green landscape of Florida and the surrounding flowers as well. I can see why they went this route.

  • SpectroMan

    I think it’s clear what’s happening at Spice Road: The average WDW guest does not “do” Moroccan food. As it was, Marrakesh was always the easiest Epcot restaurant to get into and what do they do? Add another one. Beyond foolish. Now, personally, since I love this food, I’m thrilled to see how empty it is but of course, that can’t last. They will need to retheme and retool the menu, dumbing it down to more American tastes if it is to survive. Otherwise, we’re looking at another Odyssey.

  • Speedway

    God this makes me homesick.

  • Klutch

    “Odyssey” is now open? Is it just a TV lounge, or what? I’ve never seen that building open for anything.

  • jcruise86

    Crunchie bars!
    Wait, how much does Disney World charge for those?

  • bocabear

    We ate at Spice Road Table last month…there was no one there. We are adventurous foodies, so the menu did not scare us…What was more of a problem was the absolutely tiny portions… Even for Tapas. Add a few plates and drinks and it was well over $60.00 for a quick snack. I think the prices need to come down and the menu needs a little retooling.. but I loved the dining room…the food was good….but for the price we would probably just do the Tangerine Cafe next door.

  • TheBig2na

    Way to ruin my weekend!!! Those photographs really are amazing and make me miss it just a little bit more. Such a relaxing park, even with all of the great rides and shows and dining. Like everyone more rides are always a good thing, but the uniqueness of that park is really something else.

  • QPerth

    Terrific pictures and coverage there Cory, thank you so much for bringing this to us all.

    Sad to see the cohesive design of Future World be even more covered up and lost. World Showcase looks gorgeous in your shots. It’s such a shame that the chances of Disney EVER adding another country if they had to use any of their own money is basically Zero. Epcot is making money already from food and booze, so why spend money on something that financially isn’t broken. Such a shame, so many opportunities.
    World Showcase as a brand in itself could become a huge Disney brand, with merch and international recognition, even documentaries and education. But Disney is not about the Art, Culture, Experience or Education any longer (the destruction of Disneyland’s New Orleans Square is evidence enough of that), it is purely profit and numbers driven.