Spaceship Earth, Dreamers Point and Walt Disney Statue Rumor Tracker

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    TIMEFRAME

    Announced Refurbishment begins May 26, 2020
    Potentially delayed or cancelled

    RUMOR STATUS

    In Development

    Disney initially announced that Spaceship Earth will undergo a significant refurbishment beginning May 26, 2020. However due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the refurbishment will be delayed and possibly modified. As such, we have re-categorized this rumor as “In Development”.

    The details below are based on the original announcement, made prior to the pandemic:

    Spaceship Earth will still be a “voyage through time” with the focus now being on the power of storytelling and how it unites the human experience. A new narration and new musical score will be added.

    Concept art was shared during the presentation showcase a magical “story light” that appeared to illuminate certain scenes and follow along with the ride vehicle during the voyage through time.

    Additional details were revealed on the scene updates:

    You’ll visit Egypt, which is part of the current version of the attraction, but it will be an Egypt like you’ve never seen before, transformed through the power of light.

    Throughout the attraction, you’ll hear new narration and see how light plays a central role in our shared human journey, coming to life in dynamic ways in a celebration of the magic that’s possible when we all come together. 

    As part of the Spaceship Earth updates, a new exit area called Dreamers Point will be constructed. The area promises to offer views of World Showcase and will feature a new statue of Walt Disney.

    The attraction is rumored to close in early 2020 and reopen in the second half of 2022. Rumored updates to the attraction include:

    • An updated name: Spaceship Earth: Our Shared Story
    • Track replacement and extended track layout
    • New load and unload
    • Replacement to the post show area
    • Refreshing of all scenes up to Industrial Revolution (Printing Press)
    • Wholesale changes to all scenes following the Industrial Revolution

    RUMOR TIMELINE

    June 21, 2020: The Disney Parks Blog confirmed that the refurbishment for Spaceship Earth will be delayed and the attraction will re-open in its previous form on July 15th.

    June 1, 2020: WDWMagic.com user t3techcom18 as well as other outlets are reporting that the refurbishment for Spaceship Earth has been postponed and the attraction will re-open with the rest of EPCOT on July 15th.

    According to the Local 362 Union, the union responsible for representing attractions, stated in a Zoom meeting that the Spaceship Earth refurbishment has been pushed back and it will reopen with the rest of the park.

    May 26, 2020: DisneyWorld.com now lists Spaceship Earth as closed for refurbishment. Spaceship Earth is not expected to re-open when the parks re-open.

    May 5, 2020: On Disney’s Quarter 2 Fiscal Year 2020 earnings call, Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy stated the company’s plans to reduce capital expenditures during the Covid-19 pandemic. McCarthy stated that capital expenditures for the parks and resorts would be reduced by $900 million by way of pausing refurbishment and construction projects.

    Details of specific projects that may be subject to delay or cancellation were not stated, but construction on all ongoing Walt Disney World projects was suspended shortly after the park closure in March.

    May 2, 2020: WDWMagic.com user A Noble Fish is reporting that the Spaceship Earth refurbishment has “shelved indefinitely”.

    March 15, 2020: @Epcyclopedia on Twitter reported a rumor that the Spaceship Earth refurbishment may begin early due to the Coronavirus closure to the parks.

    February 26, 2020: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that it is unlikely that the load/unload area will feature significant track changes.

    February 25, 2020: The Disney Parks Blog announced that the refurbishment for Spaceship Earth will begin May 26th.

    Additional details on the refurbishment include the following:

    You’ll visit Egypt, which is part of the current version of the attraction, but it will be an Egypt like you’ve never seen before, transformed through the power of light.

    Throughout the attraction, you’ll hear new narration and see how light plays a central role in our shared human journey, coming to life in dynamic ways in a celebration of the magic that’s possible when we all come together. 

    February 25, 2020: The Disney Food Blog is reporting that Disney filed a notice of commencement back in January for work on Spaceship Earth.

    February 5, 2020: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the refurbishment to Spaceship Earth may not be as extensive as first thought and may not include re-routing of the track for load and unload.

    October 1, 2019: At The Epcot Experience Center posters and the presentation room indicated a new subtitle for Spaceship Earth, Spaceship Earth: Our Shared Story.

    September 2, 2019: On the latest episode of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentioned that a piece of concept art shown at the D23 Expo for the Spaceship Earth redo did appear to feature a Moana scene.

    August 25, 2019: During the Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2019 D23 Expo, Bob Chapek confirmed that Spaceship Earth will undergo a significant refurbishment. It will still be a “voyage through time” with the focus now being on the power of storytelling and how it unites the human experience. A new narration and new musical score will be added.

    Concept art was shared during the presentation showcase a magical “story light” that appeared to illuminate certain scenes and follow along with the ride vehicle during the voyage through time.

    As part of the Spaceship Earth updates, a new exit area called Dreamers Point will be constructed. The area promises to offer views of World Showcase and will feature a new statue of Walt Disney.

    August 19, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 Expo (scheduled for August 25th) is expected to be Epcot heavy and include the following updates:

     

    July 25, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the timing of the Spaceship Earth updates are fluid, but he expects it to remain open, “way past October”.

    February 7, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Spaceship Earth will be undergoing a substantial refurbishment that will be grander in scale than the last two updates and may close before the end of the year.

    Subsequent posts (Post 1, Post 2)indicated that the attraction is expected to be closed for most (if not all) of 2020 as well as 2021 and include changes to the queue, pre-show and post-show,

    October 26, 2018: ThemeParkInsider.com (Robert Niles) is reporting that Disney has ordered the installation of LED panels for the South side exterior of Spaceship Earth to be used as part of the new nighttime show at Epcot.

    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 updates to the attraction include:

    • Track replacement and extended track layout
    • New load and unload
    • Replacement to the post show area
    • Refreshing of all scenes up to Industrial Revolution (Printing Press)
    • Wholesale changes to all scenes following the Industrial Revolution

    The article also references the internal project name for Future World updates as “Project Gamma”.

    September 2, 2018: Spaceship Earth closed unexpectently today with water visiblly leaking from the exterior of the attraction near the queue. @Blog_Mickey is reporting that the leak is affecting the Greek scholars scene in the attraction.

    The water began leaking from the attraction between 10:00 – 10:30 AM, prior to any rain for the day. While unconfirmed, this points to an internal issue as opposed to an issue with the attraction’s gutter system.

    August 28, 2018: WDWNT.com is reporting a rumor that Spaceship Earth could see updates in the near future. The article reports that scenes leading up to the Industrial Revolution will receive a “refreshing”, with scenes following the Industrial Revolution receiving changes on a “grands scale”. The article also indicates that the 180 degree domed top where guests currently see the Earth will receive significant projector updates. No timetable was given for these updates.

    August 8, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that a 5th version of Spaceship Earth should happen in the “next half decade or so.”

    August 2, 2017: WDWNT.com is reporting that Siemens has abandoned the corporate lounge inside Spaceship Earth ahead of the conclusion of their contract.

    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.

    PHOTO GALLERIES