The other day as I strolled around EPCOT, I wondered why is ‘Future World’ stuck in the past. Of all the attractions only Mission: Space could be said to be forward looking. Spaceship Earth tacks a little choose your own adventure video on the end with a look forward, but the bulk of the ride is about the past. The rest of the ‘future attractions’ are really now ‘present day’ attractions. Why hasn’t Disney kept up with some of the latest technologies of the future?
Where are the ec0-friendly buildings, how about podcars (or other rapid transit innovations (Google Self Driving car anyone?)), and a view of what work will be like in the future. Recreate a portion of Masdar City, the first city designed to be energy neutral. Inspire guests with a vision of the future where technology is there to enable us to achieve even more as a planet.
Anyway, enough of that rant. There is change at the center, and I took a few pictures on my stroll. Here are some of the new things I saw in the park:
The cast member greeting position for the Seas with Finding Nemo pavilion has a new shade structure. It looks nice, but unfortunately they didn’t see fit to install a solar power fan for the cast member stationed there.
A close look at the floor reveals this is a future site of Fastpass Plus.
A very nice exhibit for children. It explains how sea turtles hatch from their nests on the beach
They’re still working on building a separate entrance for the Turtle Talk experience.
This photo is from a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to sneak it in here as a reminder Test Track is supposed to be reopening this fall. I’m hearing sometime in November is possible.
The areas outside of Test Track are also getting some TLC
I guess cast members finally got tired of providing change for penny presses. There are a couple of these change machine, press combos around the park now. Of course, it would help if they weren’t out of order.
Finally, with the Olympics having just finished, I was struck by the Gold, Silver, and Bronze babies on the Baby Care Center sign at EPCOT. Now that’s a vision of the future.
What is your wish for EPCOT?
I first went to EPCOT on October 3, 1982 and have been back at least once each year since. Where World Showcase has retained its charm and even improved in some cases with events like the Food and Wine Festival and The Flower and Garden Show, Future World has taken several steps backwards from its original incarnation. The ride in the Imagination Pavilion pales in comparison to the original Journey into the Imagination with Dreamfinder and Figment. The post ride area has become worthless real estate. Although it is a kick to see Captain EO back for an encore performance it is time for a real imagination mind blowing 3-D movie experience worthy of Disney and this pavilion. It is time to update the Circle of Life movie. Soarin’ should get a film that ties this great attraction more closely to the intended theme of this pavilion. Spaceship Earth use to be grand with a great symphonic score and an inspired narration. This incarnation is trite and the personal video ending is already dated. Universe Of Energy is another that use to be big, grand and exciting musically and in story. With all of the new develops in energy that are in development this attraction needs to be brought up to date as well. I am a big fan of Mission Space, both green and orange sides are terrific. The old World of Motion also fit the theme of how we evolved in transportation. I like the idea of a thrill ride in Future World but I never understood how Test Track fit the intended theme of this land. A good friend of mine who is a retired property developer from Chicago recently returned from taking his grandchildren to Disney and his comment was “Disney is no longer CUTTING EDGE”. They had a great time in a clean, safe environment with the family but the “WHOA” factor really has gone. My hope would be that one pavilion at a time, Disney brings Future World back to the future theme and blows us away in ways we never dreamed.
Horizons had such a hopeful vision of the future; they could have updated it instead of replacing it with a Gravitron.
I think they just need some fine-tuning of FUTURE WORLD.
Living Seas is fine. SOARIN’ needs a new film, the rest of the LAND is okay, other places need more care. IMAGINATION is fine with the ride, they really do need a sponsor for the post-show area to showcase some amazing imagination exhibits. CAPTAIN EO–while I really like the film and the redo w/ effects–should be replaced with a 5D show of some sorts, perhaps redo MAGIC JOURNEYS.
SPACESHIP EARTH is sufficient–I am not really a fan, but it is what it is, and the exhibits/games in the Future Port are a nice addition.
ENERGY–needs updating very much. It is so outdated, still effective for entertainment and even fun, but very outdated. MISSION SPACE, as much as I liked HORIZONS, is a good attraction. My 5 year old and 11 year old love it. TEST TRACK will be good when it comes back, just not sure why the money had to be spent on such a popular ride when there was little need. It was great already…but it will be fine.
WORLD SHOWCASE, I disagree and believe it needs some new life…the long awaited RUSSIA and BRAZIL would have perfect, along with the long proposed “bullet train” ride for JAPAN. Some little fine-tuning on eateries and live experiences would help.
I love EPCOT, but just noticed on my last trip (8/11-8/19, 2012) that it was showing its age more than I had noticed in the past. And it really hurts not having TEST TRACK there.
Just got back from a week at Disney, and I agree with most of the sentiments here.. I still love the world showcase, but it only has a few rides for my younger kids (although, my 8 year old daughter loved the shopping).
One trend I see that I am liking, and hope will expand is the unique little areas for adults (that is, the tequila bar and the wine bar). I could see this concept expanding to most/all of the countries. For example, I know there is a little Saki counter in Japan, but how about a Saki bar? How about a hookah lounge in Morocco? (I know, sounds crazy, but I never expected a tequila bar, either).