Thursday, June 30, 2016

Are Guardians of Galaxy, TRON and Ratatouille Rides Coming to Epcot?

Is the future of Epcot looking bright again? The new Frozen ride is extremely successful and the new Soaring movie is another brilliant addition but according to several sources Disney may has big plans for Epcot and P_Radden posted on WDWmagic this summary of things to come, indicating what is already greenlit or not:

- Universe of Energy is getting a GotG ( guardians of Galaxy ) overhaul, green lit.
- Wonders of Life might get a GotG phase 2, not yet green lit.
- Communicore (outside of mouse gear and starbucks, possibly club cool) will be updated/overhauled, green lit.
- Mission Space will get a refurb/update, green lit.
- There are plans for Imagination, but not green lit yet.
- The Land and Seas pavilions as well as Test Track and Space Ship Earth will remain as is.

Now, according to a short article of WDWNT an "Epcot riddled by IPs may be on the way". More specifically a TRON attraction similar to the one at Shanghaî Disneyland Tomorrowland and a Ratatouille ride like the one at DLP Walt Disney Studios for, of course, the France area at Epcot World Showcase. 

It would make perfectly sense to have a TRON ride at Epcot Future World and it's may be even the ride that the park is waiting for to have its attendance rising spectacularly at last, though the new Frozen ride should help for that, too.

Same for the Ratatouille ride which would fit perfectly in the France area, but there is a bit more to say about this one. Although WDI Imagineers can do a "copy and paste" of the TRON ride which seems perfect as it is - though if they can make the ride a bit longer no one would blame them - some changes would be needed on the Ratatouille one to make it even more enjoyable. When the ride opened at DLP WDS everyone was under the charm of the stunning Parisian theming - indoor or outdoor - and so far guests like very much the ride, but ...all this and the huge amount of money spent on this mini-land didn't had the expected result in financial terms or even in attendance that the WDC was hoping for. 

What went wrong? The WDC generally always blame France and European economy for the poor financial results of the resort and they're not totally wrong, to be fair. But for Ratatouille it's a bit different. Re-creating a Paris area when you have the real one at 40 minutes from the park is not as exotic for the guests as another environment. It's fun, but it don't transport you in another world like Frontierland or Adventureland can do, for instance. At Epcot it's different because Parisian architecture is so far from Florida. And that won't have to build it as "France" is already built at World Showcase. Basically they need only a backstage show building to install the ride which will save a lot of money. Now, about the ride itself. First time i did it i liked it of course because the Imagineers work and theming is wonderful. But did i wanted to ride it again and again when i've exit? May be not, and that's indicates there was some thrills missing in it. I understand that the goal was to create a family ride which would fit for every age, and specially young children, but i think there is still some margin of improvements to make it more memorable while not too hard to ride for children. Some details can be also fixed easily. For instance the fact that you can see during the ride the bottom of the screens destroy a bit the feeling of immersion. Hiding the bottom of these screens shouldn't be the most difficult thing to do. 

I've even more concerns about the Universe of Galaxy overlay with a Guardians of Galaxy theme and the UOE pavilion could close as soon as Fall 2016. Though i'm happy to hear that WDW DHS Tower of Terror will be preserved i'm not really happy of this GoG version in UOE. I don't see them keeping the Dinosaurs scenes with a GoG storyline so i guess we can say bye-bye to them, which is a big mistake as kids love Dinos as everyone should know. After World of Motion and the beloved Horizons ride it will be one more original Epcot ride which will disappear. If they really don't want to pay for a new show building why don't they use the one of Wonders of Life which is closed since years, and just a few yards from the Universe of Energy pavilion? And by the way, if they really want to make Universe of Energy a more exciting ride while keeping the Dinos i've got a great Dinos ride concept waiting for them HERE which would fit perfectly. 

Of course, what they want to do is to use IPs in the hope it will attract guests to the park, but GoG is not Frozen and i'm not sure the IP attraction effect will last as long as they hope. As for a TRON ride which indeed could find its place better at Future World it's a different problem as this time the cost could be higher, except if they decide to get rid of the beautiful - but probably expensive to build - TRON canopy that exist at Shanghaî Disneyland. 

So far, all of these are rumors and of course must be considered like this until official announcements.

Pictures: copyright Disney


Anonymous said...

A Tron ride would be perfect, they can build a smaller canopy and remove the outdoor portion of the coaster, make it all indoors, because the world of Tron is actually inside a computer.

I don't get all these ideas about Guardians of the Galaxy - the first movie was nice, but it hasn't proven itself to be long lasting the way that Star Wars or even other Marvel properties have. The overlay idea for Tower of Terror in DCA with the Collector is weak at best.

A Paris area in Disney Paris - it's like having a park about California in California - what were they thinking? Also you can see the bottom of the screens in Ratatouille? Again what were they thinking?

They should keep the Dinosaurs in Energy, I know it's kind of boring, but maybe get rid of those slow moving theater vehicles, maybe put in a coaster type of track where you're flying like a Pteranodon. It may make it a shortet ride, but at least it has a little thrill.

Anonymous said...

They could use the wonders of life Pavilion to build the TRON coaster. I think they can easily use the dome of the pavilion for the coaster canopy, which would reduce costs quite a bit.

Brandon said...

Let's not forget Disney did build CA Adventure in Ca! I had a problem with that concept as a kid! Although now the improvements have been stellar!

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I'm glad that they're doing something with EPCOT which is probably the most outdated and boring Disney park in the world. I don't know if putting IPs everywhere is a good idea though.

The Dinosaurs at Energy are nice, but the ride itself is one of the most boring rides ever, completely outdated by now and way too long for what it is.

Can they use Guardians of the Galaxy at the Florida parks? If they do, that's probably why they're choosing them, as they can't use the more established Marvel characters there.

Anonymous said...

Ratatouille at the France pavilion would work, just as Frozen works in Norway. While rides based on Disney / Pixar films may run contrary to the original ethos of the World Showcase, at least they are inspired by the country or culture of that they are / would be located in, so there is some thematic consistency there.

On the other hand, having either Tron or GotG in Future World would more or less obliterate any coherence that this half of the park still has. For me, updating the Seas pavilion with a Nemo theme was a reasonable use of an IP. I also feel Universe of Energy is very outdated and wouldn't mind a major overhaul. But certainly not by being replaced with the Shanghai Tron ride, or some GotG ride.

My own ideas:

1. Bring back the original version of Journey into Imagination, with updates to ride technology and set pieces that freshen this brilliant lost ride, without fundamentally altering it. I feel that this ride, together with Spaceship Earth, represented the heart of this park, and it hasn't been the same since it has been gone.

2. I agree Universe of Energy needs a major overhaul. Besides the ride, there needs to be a more environmentally conscious message, focusing not just on traditional fossil fuels, but on cleaner energies, and on more efficient uses of the conventional fuels. I think trackless vehicles would work great for this ride.

3. Perhaps the Tron coaster ride system and track could be kept intact, but the theme changed to the old Body Wars? This would preserve the edutainment philosophy of Future World, while injecting some needed thrills.

- Tanzirian

Keith Mahne said...

My wife and I visit Epcot often, in fact we went yesterday and I was just saying how Epcot is in desperate need of reviving. I'm happy to see anything built so this would be great. As far as the TRON attraction goes, I believe it would be a perfect fit for the Magic Kingdom to replace the Tomorrowland Speedway and would look beautiful right beside Space Mountain. They have the space there and I've been hearing Disney has been looking at ways to get rid of the fume emitting, cast member injury prone speedway soon.

AJ said...

Ugh, I just really hate that they want to flood Epcot with IP attractions though. We can't have ONE park that's original concepts? That said, I wouldn't be opposed to Ratatouille in France and the Tron Coaster, because both go so well with their themes and both are rides I'd like to see at an American park. However, the old blue sky Japanese bullet train attraction really needs to happen. Would be an awesome and thrilling addition that I know would be a huge hit without having to resort to cheapening world showcase with IP attractions everywhere.

Jones said...

"probably the most outdated and boring Disney park in the world" - that is your opinion. For many others, including me, it was and still is a wonderful park, and the only reason why I used to fly to Florida every other year. If they take away what is left of the original park in favour of insipid Marvel nonsense, I will stop visting WDW, period. (Btw, is GotG not covered by the Univeral contract???)

Brandon said...

This was my thought exactly!!! Especially since it's a beautiful building just wasting away!