Thursday, June 30, 2016
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