Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy, Tron, Pixar and more rumored to be headed to Epcot

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 8:01 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA DISNEY
  • Photo via Disney
While most of the focus at Walt Disney World has been on Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, there's a growing list of rumored possible fixes for major issues that have been plaguing Epcot.

The brand new Frozen Ever After ride recently opened in Norway, and the new international film, along with the new third theater, has opened at Soarin’. At this point, the park has no official projects in the works but many rumors point to major updates coming to Future World in the coming years.

A massive update to Future World has long been conjectured, with plans dating back to the late 1990s, but the chance of a major overhaul now looks stronger than ever.

WDW News Today has reported that Guardians of the Galaxy will be introduced to Future World, with the strongest candidate for replacement being the very dated Universe of Energy ride. The new ride would likely use the same ride system but would probably run much shorter than the current 45 minutes.

With Shanghai Disneyland now officially open, it’s only a matter of time before some of the rides used there are replicated in other parks. The two most likely candidates for this are the Tron motorbike coaster and the "jetpack" spinners, both found in Shanghai’s Tomorrowland. The Tron motorbike coaster is a Vekoma motorbike coaster with a custom light package and layout. The rumored location for this ride is the former Wonders of Life pavilion.

Innoventions, the science fair style exhibit halls that flank the central entrance corridor of Epcot, are currently sitting almost entirely empty. The entire West side sits mostly unused, except for a nearby character meet & greet, while the East side only houses three attractions. The most popular attraction in the East side is the Sum of All Thrills, a Kuka-arm based attraction that opened in 2009. That attraction recently lost its sponsorship, leading many to speculate its end was near, but it remains open. Both Innoventions East and West will likely see major updates in the coming years. Some speculate that aspects of the Walt Disney: One Man's Dream museum attraction currently housed at Hollywood Studios will be moved. The Innoventions space could be used as festival space if the Tron coaster, or another concept, requires the permanent closure of Wonders of Life.

In the western side of Future World, the Imagination pavilion currently houses a Pixar short film series that’s also currently available on Netflix and is one of the least popular dark rides in any Disney park worldwide. It has been a popular candidate for update rumors, but nothing specific has been announced. The strongest candidate for a specific property to be used in this attraction is Pixar’s Inside Out.

Hopping over to World Showcase, the leading theories seem to point to more characters being introduced to the park. In Mexico, an update to the Gran Fiesta Tour will likely occur, introducing the characters from Pixar’s new Day of the Dead-themed film Coco. Beyond that there’s strong conjecture that the trackless Disney Studios Paris e-ticket, Ratatouille: The Adventure, may be headed to the France pavilion. Ratatouille has proven to be a popular attraction at in Paris. It’s similar to Spider-Man here in Orlando, using a mix of physical sets and 3-D screens.

Industry insider and Disney expert Jim Hill has mentioned that a potentially new Disney Vacation Club resort along the back of World Showcase with suites that would offer views into the park itself, including views of the nightly fireworks. Little else has been shared regarding this rumor.

The last major rumor involving Epcot points to a new nighttime show replacing the long-time IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. What the new show will include has been the focus of much debate with drones, flogo clouds and water projection screens all bruited. Other rumors include a new country pavilion to be added to World Showcase, but none of those have been strong enough to give any real attention to yet.

Many of the updates will likely occur in or around Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021. 

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