Podcast No. 0025: Exciting changes coming to Epcot!
This month on Dispodopolis, we discuss the significant changes coming to Epcot. We are very excited about the many refreshes coming to the many areas of the park. The new layout and renaming of Future World are welcome. We all love Epcot and love all the exciting and fun special events that happen here, but we love the reimagining of Future World and the IPs coming to World Showcase. It is time for a new direction and a new renaming. Not much has changed at Epcot in the last six years except for the revision of Malestrom to the new Frozen ride. Why six years, because Ryan hasn’t visited Epcot for six years.
To start our exploration of the changes, let’s check out the new logo. The logo has been reimagined but has kept the look that we have come to love. It is bold and flows well from letter to letter. It is a simplified and cohesive version of the logo that represents the theme park. Fiona is a big fan of the logo.
After the logo, let’s move into the renaming of the front sections of the park. It is so difficult to aim for the future in a theme park. Technology is moving too fast, and the technology in our pockets far exceeds what anyone could have imagined when Epcot was built. Architecture like technology is a moving target, and once it is introduced, it moves in a different direction. The three new areas of Future World are World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature. The names were chosen for the newly christened areas of the park work well, and tell a more accurate story of Epcot. It has slowly moved in this direction for the last ten years.
Starting with World Celebration, we see a beautiful transformation of the entrance with lush plantings and a rainbow of colors. It will be opening into a welcoming area that beckons a cool climate. The removal of the large slabs of concrete is well overdue, and they were such a jarring visual that closed off the area. It brings a year-round influence of the International Flower and Garden Festival to the park. Spaceship Earth is also receiving a more interactive experience, a new soundtrack, and a new narrator. I will miss the phrase, “Thank the Phoenicians,” and Dame Judy Dench’s voice. The changes continue as you exit Spaceship Earth and enter the new Dreamers Point with a terraced landscape, a Walt statue, and a new three-tiered building. Gone are the structures that housed Innovations, and they are in their place will be an environment that awakens your imagination as you experience nature all around you.
To the right of Spaceship Earth, which was once Future World West, will be the newly named World Nature. It will build on the themes of the Land and Sea pavilions. They will be adding the Journey of Water that embraces Moana and her connections to the oceans and the islands. Kids will not only learn about the water cycle, but they will also get to interact with it. There will be one small addition to the Land, “Awesome Planet,” which is a movie inspired by Walt Disney’s True Life Adventure movies and Disney’s joint efforts with National Geographic.
Heading over to World Discovery we will see the addition of a new E-ticket adventure starring the Guardians of the Galaxy. The new roller coaster will be called Cosmic Rewind, will blast you in reverse through the cosmos and will rotate you 360 degrees. Can’t wait for this thrilling ride but I also can’t wait to taste the food 220 miles above the earth in the new Space 220 restaurant. To start your journey, you will enter an elevator that traces your path as you climb to the restaurant. Once there, you will be able to see the earth from space. One last change to World Discovery is the transformation of an underused facility in Future World. They will be reusing and recycling the building in the renamed Future World East to become the PLAY! pavilion. This will be a digital metropolis that will connect you with Edna Mode on her journey to rid the world of poor taste, and there will be a water-balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby. It sounds like there is a lot of fun and energy coming to this area. Also, this will all be inside and out of the Florida heat.
Heading off to World Showcase, much of which will stay the same, a new attraction inspired by Mary Poppins greets you in the England pavilion. There isn’t much information about this experience, but we know we get to walk on Cherry Tree Lane. As we head to France, we get to explore the World of Ratatouille in Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which will be opening this coming summer in 2020. There will also be a crêperie opening called La Crêperie de Paris, which will have a table and quick service option.
Three pavilions will be receiving refreshing new films. France will see the introduction of a Beauty ad the Beast sing-a-long. In Canada, they will have a new 360 Circle-Vision film, “Canada Far and Wide,” in January 2020. It looks like we will have to say good-bye to Martin Short in Canada. China will have a brand new film, “Wondrous China,” presented in a seamless format in 360 degrees.
To top off all the new and exciting changes to Epcot, a new late-night entertainment production is coming. A much beloved night time spectacular, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” will be retired and a new temporary show, “Epcot Forever,” will replace it until the new permanent show, “HarmonioUS” is in place. “IllumiNations” will be closing at the end of September and “Epcot Forever” will start running in October and will continue into 2020 until the release of “HarmonioUS.” The new shows sound fantastic and will be a great way to celebrate the changes coming to Epcot. “HarmonioUS” is supposed to be the most diverse and technically advanced imagined night time entertainment presentation that Disney has ever presented at the parks.
After our talk about what is to come in Epcot, we discuss all the live-action movies to be released by the Walt Disney Studio. We also dive into the rumor mill. This is a request but forth by Fiona. She is really enjoying the reimagined versions of the classic animation features. She always enjoys a refresh of something old. Another factor is the release of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil that replaced the release of Artemis Fowl.
Maleficent did great at the box office, and it will be curious to see if this does as well or better. It will all be determined by the storyline and whether it is strong enough to pull in the crowds. Also, the pushing out of the release of Artemis Foul begs the question of the production of this movie. Is there something wrong with the outcome of this movie? The last film that was live-action and an originally developed IP for Disney was A Wrinkle in Time, and there were some definite holes in the plot.
We also discuss the release of Lady and the Tramp on Disney+. Will this movie add subscribers to the service or just be a nice addition. Also, we talk about next year’s release of Mulan and the future release of Cruela DeVil and the Little Mermaid. Mulan is the only movie with a close date set for March 27, 2020. Just in time for spring breakers. Mulan should be a fantastic live-action movie filled with well-choreographed martial arts fight scenes. The other two films are looking at a release well into 2021 and 2022.
After we jump into our discussion of Epcot and the up and coming live-action remakes from Disney, we ask ourselves the question, what spirit jersey would you like to see or like that you have seen? This question is in honor of my middle child that loves those spirit jerseys. Fiona also likes the fit and style. Another inspiration is the ten emails I received from Disney about the new color release of Arendelle Aqua. To complete the look, you can purchase the spirit jersey ($64.99), the ears ($27.99) and the backpack ($90.00). In every direction, you see this coordinated look in the US parks. The pre-teens to college-age girls are leading the movement. Previous popular colors have been: Briar Rose Gold, Potion Purple, and Millennial Pink.
We would love to hear from you and your family. If you have any comments, questions, or fun and fancy-free thoughts for us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please enjoy our latest podcast, Dispodopolis.
This month on Dispodopolis, we discuss the changes coming to Epcot. The changes are profound and surprising, and we can’t wait for 2021. We also review the live-action remakes that are coming to the theaters and Disney+. We focus on Maleficent, Mulan, and the Little Mermaid. Before we discuss One Hour in Wonderland, we ask ourselves which spirit jersey would we like to see or like that we have seen? Recorded to release on September 20, 2019.
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