Rumor: Ellen’s Energy Adventure’s days are numbered

You might want to sneak in a final ride on Ellen’s Energy Adventure at the Universe of Energy pavilion sometime soon. Last year Bob Chapek, Disney Parks chair, stated that EPCOT was the next park due for a mega makeover; now permits have been filed indicating that work in FutureWorld will begin soon and Bill Nye and Ellen are in the cross-hairs.

Ellen’s Energy Adventure attraction is know for its amazing audio-animatronic dinosaur dioramas. Visitors travel through the attraction in huge battery powered “traveling theater cars.” The building gets a portion of its power from the 80,000 photovoltaic solar cells on its roof. One of the last ‘slow’ rides. The whole experience takes about 45 minutes to complete.

This early permit is mainly just preparing the area for what is to come. Disney is moving some drainage areas around the back of the attraction to accommodate land that will be needed for construction of the new attraction, potentially an expanded show building.

What the new attraction will be is still un-announced. Rumors are it will be either a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction or the TRON coaster from Shanghai Disneyland. Between the two, I think TRON fits better with the Futureworld theme. Disney could be planning a re-theme for the whole area, just depends how big they want to go?

Disney is targeting opening the new EPCOT attractions in 2022 and work is scheduled to begin in October, which marks Disney’s new fiscal budget. I’m told that work was to have begun already, but the they couldn’t agree on the plans for the area. That has finally come into focus, so now they can move forward once the new budget year begins.

With it’s dis-proven science, heavy-handed oil company bias, and ancient films Ellen’s Energy Adventure was long over-due for an update. I’ll be very sad to see the excellent dinosaur audio-animatronics go. But I’m hopeful they’ll find a home elsewhere in Walt Disney World’s 40-square miles. Where would you put them?

(H/T WDW News Today for finding paperwork)

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12 thoughts on “Rumor: Ellen’s Energy Adventure’s days are numbered

  1. Mike KC

    Questions: How does Guardians work with the whole “Universal holds the marvel rights in orlando” thing?

    When does Disney except Tron is not as popular as they want it to be?

  2. Dave D.

    I am currious too about the Universal question. But if I had my way, Innoventions would be replaced with a Stark Expo thing showing cool technology being developed real and unreal.

  3. Eric B.

    I had read somewhere that Guardians of the Galaxy were characters that Universal did not get the rights to for theme park use. How factual that is anybody’s guess. The Tron Coaster would be cool to see built and would fit the Future World theme. As much as I might like Tron, I don’t see that as a franchise with staying power to develop into a park attraction.

    I like Dave D.’s idea of a Stark Expo. You could theme it as Future World with a Marvel promotion. I foresee a hands on tour through Tony Stark’s garage attraction.

  4. Brad J

    Re: Universal – there’s a Star Lord/Baby Groot meet-and-greet in Studios. I can only guess that the Guardians of the Galaxy rights aren’t tied in with the rest of the Marvel characters.

  5. Todd

    As near to my heart as Epcot is, the Future World portion of the park has had an identity crisis for quite a long time and has more empty or pavilions that few guests visit than those that receive good volume such as Soarin and Test Track. Looking through the list, the only pavilion that connects in anyway with the “future” is Mission Space. The others all struggle to find a connection to the Future World theme. Beyond the Energy pavilion, something needs to happen with the vacated Wonders of Life pavilion, nearly empty and unused Innoventions space, and the confused Imagination pavilion. Rather than use Wonders of Life for festival functions, building something new that is centrally located in place of Innoventions would make sense. It’s unfortunate that Eisner pushed for the Seas pavilion as it would have been more fitting in the Animal Kingdom. Soarin is the only thing that prevents The Land pavilion from being a ghost town; there is a lot of square footage there to do nothing other than lead to long tunnels into Soarin. Let’s hope all of Future World is reimagined and brought back to the greatness it was upon opening.

  6. Kara

    It’s a shame that Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and MK’s Tomorrowland all are experiencing the same flaw in their design–outdated theme and loss of purpose. My heart holds a very special place for each. Some of my most fondest memories were at 1990s EPCOT and MGM Studios. The idea was brilliant and inspiring but was bound to become obsolete much sooner than later. I think Disney understands that if they want to continue to bring in guests, they are going to have to let go of some of the past. I’d love to see them use characters like Big Hero 6 / Iron Man in the Innovations area, Inside Out at Wonders of Life Pavilion, and PLEASE officially change Test Track to TRON (In all reality, all you have to do is change the soundtrack and some of the graphics- they can even keep the same vehicles–although the light cycles would be INCREDIBLE). My point is that they have a lot of great material to work with and would still be able to keep true to the original concept– a hope for a better tomorrow.

  7. R

    I think the Tron Roller coaster would fit perfect in Tomorrow Land at Magic Kingdom. It would be a great addition to that park and really elevate that area of the park. It could replace the speedway.
    It would be very cool to have Tron in Epcot, but I believe Epcot tries or should keep their attractions based in reality, innovation, science, etc… I think that whole left side of the park should focus on Space travel and exploration. It’s the future. Team up with NASA and SpaceX. The possibilities are endless. Keep Mission space and build and focus on that idea. The right hand side of the park is interesting, all about science. They should build on that.
    If they’re getting rid of Ellen’s Energy Adventure they might as well get rid of Test Track. Test Track is now a joke, we all know how to drive. Why do people wait on line to ride a car? I drive faster on I-4. They’re whole updates to that ride with “Tron” lights is hilarious. I expect better from Disney.
    As far as any Marvel themed attractions, they should be added to Disney Hollywood Studios. Yes I understand that Univetsal Orlando owns the Marvel attractions rights, it’s only a matter of time before Disney gets the rights. I actually could see Disney’s 5th park being a Marvel Super hero thrill ride theme park, Marvel everything!

  8. Mark

    Obviously hit a nerve as this blog doesn’t usually generate this many responses and none address John’s question. The dinosaurs would be great in Animal Kingdom. In terms of what to put in the space, I am just hoping it will be as great as Soarin’. I do share the sentiment that the two huge empty pavilions are an incredible waste and ripoff. The Glidden Paint people must feel royally screwed.

    1. R

      @ Mark . Is everyone forgetting what they already have at Animal Kingdom? It’s called “DINOSAUR” lol. I think they’re set with a Dino themed ride. I love that ride. It’s been there since they opened.
      So moving forward what do you think should be added to that part of Epcot?

  9. Amy

    I, too, was thinking that the Dino animatronics should go to the Dinosaur section at AK. Make a mini walk-through “museum” or something at the very least (enclosed, AC…).

    I was on Ellen’s Energy Adventure last month/early this month after not having been on it for years, and I still had fun. It’s not my favorite attraction, and there are nitpicky things (I feel that there could be more to learn…it feels a little disjointed when, at the end, when Ellen is answering the random Jeopardy questions, she’s talking about things that we didn’t learn in the ride. Not that we can learn everything in a ride, but still…).

    I won’t necessarily miss the attraction too much, and I’m sure it’ll live on on Youtube…

    I really like Kara’s idea of having ‘Big Hero 6’ characters incorporated into Epcot. That seems like a natural fit.

    And I hope that Figment is able to stay in some capacity at Epcot. So many of us would miss him.

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