Rumor StatusIn Development
While it is confirmed that Epcot's Future World will soon be undergoing a significant overhaul, many of the details of the overhaul are still up in the air. For that reason, we are classifying this rumor as "In Development".
The overall budget for all Epcot related projects is rumored to be $2 billion.
New structures are expected to be built and an increase in foliage and landscaping is expected for the area. Another rumor has the outside of each Future World and World Showcase Pavilion updated with different gardens. The idea for each of these is a display outside the pavilion that would be highlighted by a Disney character that's relevant to that pavilion.
The rumored internal project name for the Future World updates is "Project Gamma".
Individual attractions and pavilions will also be receiving updates and additions that will be tracked in separate rumors:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Rumor Tracker
- Space Themed Restaurant Coming to Future World
- Mission: SPACE Updates Rumor Tracker
- Changes Coming to Innoventions.
- Proposals for The Land Pavilion and Imagination Pavilion - currently no budget for either project.
- Spaceship Earth to Receive Updates?
- Wonders of Life to reopen?
- Changes Coming to The Seas Pavilion?
- Ellen's Energy Adventure had it's last day of operation on August 13, 2017
November 16, 2018: @Attractions Magazine on Twitter reported that at Tomorrow's "It All Started with a Mouse" presentation, Bob Chapek (Chairman of Parks, Events and Consumer Products) is expected to reveal the names of the two Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge attractions as well as additional details on the future of Epcot.
October 14, 2018: On Episode 183 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa discussed that one of the concepts for the updated Illuminations would result in a "Spine" of fountains that extend from Showcase Plaza into Future World. The idea would be to create a kinetic movement of water reminiscent to the jumping fountains at the Imagination Pavilion and/or World of Color.
October 11, 2018: WDWNT.com is reporting that Spaceship Earth will undergo a 2 year refurbishment beginning in 2020. The attraction is rumored to close in early 2020 and reopen in the second half of 2022. Rumored
The article also references the internal project name for Future World updates as "Project Gamma".
August 14, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the updates to the "Central Spine" of Future world are now targetted for a 2023 completion date.
February 5, 2018: BlogMickey.com has posted photos from the Southern Florida Water Management District that showcase development at the front of Epcot. These photos show the creation of a new pond, an extension of the existing parking lot and the likely location of the rumored Epcot resort. The plans also feature the label, "Epcot World Center" directly on Spaceship Earth, indicating a hint at a potential name change to Future World or the park itself.
The photo above best represents these changes with the greenish section in the top left the location of the new pond. The yellow section at the front entrance of the park is the expected location of the new resort with the blue grid lines potentially a parking lot expansion.
The remaining photos offer closer looks of the area with the final photo showing the location of the resort.
Februray 4, 2018: @Epcyclopedia on Twitter is reporting that the Southern Florida Water Management District is working to approve Disney's plans for an Epcot resort, new lake feature for the waterfront resort and shifting Epcot's parking over to accommodate the new construction. A photo of the potential layout is in the tweet linked above.
January 25, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the original timeline for a Future World redesign has been pushed back from 2020 to 2023.
January 24, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Wonders of Life as a pavilion "isn’t totally dead. Life support more like." He elaborated that he has heard of some early plans for revitalizing the pavilion in some capacity.
December 5, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that he knows the "Gardens of Wonder" name to be for part of the updates related to the center (central spine) of Future World. This could be related to the removal of Innoventions.
December 4, 2017: WDWNT.com is reporting that as part of the changes to Epcot, one possibilty is to add a "Garden of Wonder" in front of each pavilion in Future World and World Showcase. The idea for each of these is a display outside the pavilion that would be highlighted by a Disney character that's relevant to that pavilion.
October 24, 2017: On Episode 138b of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill discusses that the $2 billion budget to redo Epcot may be modified to facilitate the construction of a hotel.
They discussed two possible locations for the hotel. One would be South East of the current Wonder Parking Lot, and the other is near the Bus Parking area.
October 13, 2017: WDWMagic.com is reporting that Disney is conducting "Exploratory Geotechnical Borings for Epcot NW Pond". While this is exploratory, it indicates a potential new large scale project North West of Epcot.
August 29, 2017: WDWMagic.com user roj2323 is reporting that one consideration for changes to Future World would include entering The Land Pavilion on the lower level as well as the Imagination Pavilion being redesigned.
August 13, 2017: Ellen's Energy Adventure had it's last day of operation.
July 15, 2017: At the 2017 D23 Expo, Disney confirmed that Epcot's Future World would be undergoing a significant redesign. Disney shared a piece of concept art for a newly designed Future World. The artwork shows the removal of the Innoventions facilities in favor of foliage and other structures.
Disney did not release this concept art with today's press release resulting in the image being taken from the Parks and Resorts presentation.
In addition to the removal of Innoventions, the exterior of The Seas Pavilion appears to be modified and other smaller structures can be seen throughout the area.
July 5, 2017: On the July premium episode of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill discusses that the changes to Future World will be viewed as Future World 3.0. He described the view of the new center spine of Future World as being sleek and smooth, similar to an Apple Store.
June 29, 2017: BlogMickey.com is reporting that Siemens employees have been notified that their contract with Disney will not be renewed after it expires at the end of 2017. Siemens currently sponsors Spaceship Earth and Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot. It is unknown what change (if any) this will have on those attractions.
June 20, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that a final design for Innoventions has not been determined but he expects the project will be completed in the middle of 2020.
June 1, 2017: On the latest episode of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentions that a version of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! is expected to be created for Florida, on or behind the existing area for Ellen's Energy Adventure. He did not specify whether or not this would be a drop tower similar to the one found in Disney California Adventure, but he did specify that the Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios does not appear to be the destination for the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.
May 31, 2017: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that he has heard the replacement for Ellen's Energy Adventure would be based on an intellectual property that isn't Marvel, Tron, or Big Hero 6.
May 26, 2017: On the latest episode of the Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill discusses the permit for work taking place behind the Ellen's Energy Adventure Pavilion and describes it as the first move of a $2 billion investment into Epcot. The project is expected to take at least 5 years extending beyond 2021.
May 15, 2017: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 is reporting that Disney has filed a permit with the South Florida Water Management district that re-routes canals and creates two new retention ponds near the Universe of Energy Pavilion. The permit reads:
"The applicant wishes to reconfigure the existing canal to provide a more-contiguous area for possible future changes to parking capacity and back of house areas. A spur of the existing canal is proposed to be filled so that a more developable area is provided."
It also says:
"The possible future impervious areas were estimated based on manual take-offs of the input received by the applicant. The area where the construction laydown is to be located is assumed to have paved roadways into the area, a number of construction trailers as impervious, and the remainder of area to be gravel."
May 11, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that with regards to a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction replacing Ellen's Energy Adventure, "Internal, management level and technical problems have slowed development. If they'll be enough to stall or even scrap the proposal time will tell."
May 9, 2017: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 is reporting that the Marvel plans for Walt Disney World are in flux, and Disney is rethinking the placement of Guardians of the Galaxy in Epcot.
May 6, 2017: WDWNT.com is reporting that Disney is conducting surveys of Epcot guests about the popularity of Figment.
March 21, 2017: WDWMagic.com user MagicFeather is reporting that the expected likelihood of projects taking place in Epcot is as follows:
- Mission: SPACE update/refurbishment
- Ratatouille attraction in the France Pavilion
- Guardians of the Galaxy attraction replacing Ellen's Energy Adventure
- Small attraction addition to the United Kingdom Pavilion
- First new country in World Showcase (Likely Brazil)
- Living with the Land/The Land Pavilion refurbishment
- Second new country in World Showcase (Likely Spain)
November 19, 2016: At the D23 "Destination D" event Bob Chapek, the Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts said that major changes are coming to Epcot. A tweet from @DisneyParks cites Bob Chapek telling Imagineers to, "Dream Big" when it comes to Epcot changes. As part of this discussion, Bob Chapek also referenced an increased presence for the Society for Explorers and Adventurers which has been part of the backstory of several Disney attractions and areas throughout the world.
Chapek also emphasized that the changes would maintain the original vision of the park.
November 10, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 summarized additional possibilties for the Innoventions area:
- New name for Innoventions with a remodel.
- New store replacing Mouse Gear
- Possible expansions to the North East and North West
- Possible expansion to Starbucks
- Electric Umbrella space to be consolidated but remain a restaurant.
August 29, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 summarized all of the various proposals for Epcot's Future World. These included:
- Guardians of the Galaxy inspired ride coming to Universe of Energy
- More eating options in Future World
- Innoventions mostly gutted and re-purposed. New interior layouts. Possible expansion here and there.
- New landscaping, place making and "feel" to Future World central spine - the area from the entrance, around Spaceship Earth, through the fountain area and out towards showcase.
- Proposals for The Land and Imagination, with nothing confirmed nor budgeted for as of yet. Proposals for additions and updates at various places around Showcase.
- Proposed new night time lagoon show in 2-3 years time.