World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature Updates Rumor Tracker

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    TIMEFRAME

    2020-2022

    RUMOR STATUS

    Confirmed

    Epcot’s Future World will soon be undergoing a significant overhaul that will see the single land split into three distinct neighborhoods.

    • World Discovery (Former Future World East)
    • World Celebration (Former center of Future World)
    • World Nature (Former Future World West)

    Disney has officially confirmed that the main entrance to the park will be updated. The entrance will see new pathways, a reimagined fountain and “fresh takes on classic elements”. The Leave A Legacy photos will move to a new setting outside the park’s gateway in an attempt to have the main entrance pay homage to the original park entrance.

    A new Experience Center will open in 2019 in The Odyssey. The Experience Center will showcase the future plans for Epcot in engaging and interactive exhibits.

    Announced changes include the following:

    • Mouse Gear – To be relocated to a temporary location while the current location is reimagined.
    • Electric Umbrella – To be rethemed
    • Club Cool – Last day of operation September 7, 2019. Expected to be incorporated into a new area in the future.
    • Fountain View (Starbucks) – Last day of operation September 7, 2019. Expected to be incorporated into a new area in the future.
    • Innoventions EastTaka a Nanooze Break, Colortopia and all of Innoventions East – Last day of Operation September 7, 2019
    • Innoventions WestEpcot Character Spot was relocated to a new entrance on The Land Pavilion side of Innoventions West. The breezeway Jewelry Cart had its last day of Operation on September 7, 2019
    • Art of Disney and Pin Central – Expected to close in Fall 2019.
    • Camera Center – To close and reopen in early 2020 with products from Pin Central
    • Heritage Manor – To close and reopen in early 2020 with products from the Art of Disney
    • Rosewalk pathway expansion – The pathway between the Imagination! Pavilion and Showcase Plaza will be widened and a new restroom added.
    • Future World East pathway widening – Pathways along Future World Wast will be widened.

    The rumored overall budget for all Epcot related projects is $2 billion.

    New structures are expected to be built and an increase in foliage and landscaping is expected for the area.

    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, all other Future World Rumor Trackers can be found here.

    Completed Changes

    • Ellen’s Energy Adventure had it’s last day of operation on August 13, 2017
    • Innoventions East and West, including Colortopia, Take a Nanooze Break, Epcot Character Spot, Fountain View and Club Cool had their last day of operation on September 7, 2019.

    RUMOR TIMELINE

    October 5, 2019: Heritage Manor Gifts at the American Adventure Pavilion had it’s last day of operation to be converted into an Art of Disney location.

    September 9, 2019: Construction Walls were put up overnight around Future World and BlogMickey.com posted photos of the walls.

    September 8, 2019: The Fountain of Nations had its last day of operation.

    September 7, 2019: Innoventions East and West, including Colortopia, Take a Nanooze Break, Jewelry Cart, Fountain View and Club Cool had their last day of operation. The Epcot Character Spot entrance relocated to a new entrance on The Land Pavilion side of Innoventions West.

    August 25, 2019: During the Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2019 D23 Expo, Bob Chapek officially confirmed that Future World would be divided into three distinct neighborhoods:

    • World Discovery (Former Future World East)
    • World Celebration (Former center of Future World)
    • World Nature (Former Future World West)

    The most significant changes will take place in World Celebration where a New Pavilion to host events will be constructed as well as other entertainment and interactive offerings. Other new offerings include Journey of Water, Dreamers Point and a new statue of Walt Disney.

    August 22, 2019: At the media preview of the D23 Expo, Twitter user @carlyewisel shared photos of many of the displays.

    Highlights included the following:

    • New pavilion logos while older logos were also displayed like Imagination, Spaceship Earth, and World of Motion
    • Attraction posters with two that will be revealed later (one for World Showcase, one for Future World)
    • An all white model of different areas of the park with a focus on the Future World redesign
    • Journey of Water attraction poster presented by Moana (this is a water maze, not a ride)

    Additionally, Disney released pieces of concept art for the Journey of Water exploration trail, The Epcot Experience display going into The Odyssey and the new Future World concept art layout.

    Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” at Epcot will be the first attraction inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water. (Disney)
    Guests will be able to visualize the exciting plans for Epcot when doors open Oct. 1, 2019, for Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. They will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy, and excitement driving the park’s future. (Disney)
    Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is undergoing a historic transformation, bringing the next generation of immersive storytelling to life through a plethora of new attractions and experiences. Epcot will be unified with four neighborhoods that take guests to new destinations where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, hands-on wonder and the magic of possibility. (Disney)

    August 20, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 gave details on the changes coming to Innoventions and the rest of Future World:

    The west building will be razed. In its place will be two main buildings and a collection of simple, smaller ones. One main building will be where M&G will be located, the other an unusually shaped (think egg) multi level facility for festival operations, events and entertainment. It will indeed include an upper level bar / cafe type environment.

    The much talked about water element will be an IP tied water maze near the Seas pavilion as has been discussed earlier.

    There will be lots of winding pathways and foliage in this area. There is a proposal for a fountain feature where the existing one is. This may be the same or a replacement.

    Circulation will be concentrated around the edge of what is currently the central area as opposed to walking in a straight line. Think of pathways following the current inside perimeters of east and west. And yes, there will be alcoholic beverage seating outside roughly where the current Mousegear rotunda is.

    The east building will stay pretty much as is with a lot of cosmetic work. Merchandise will be where it is now, whilst the north east quadrant will become solely food and beverage.

    The walkway(s) to Showcase will remain as-is albeit with the west addition widened and new landscaping on the central pathway. Lakes will remain as-is.

    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:

    August 10, 2019: OrlandoParksNews.com is reporting that work on Future World East pathways will begin on August 12th. The pathway that extends directly to Test Track will remain unchanged while pathways branching off that pathway towards Mission: SPACE and The Odyssey will be widened. The graphic below shows the affected area in yellow. The expected guest travel area is represented by the dotted green line.

    July 2, 2019: Disney has announced several locations around Epcot that will close later this year in anticipation of the park’s transformation.

    • Mouse Gear – To will be relocated to a temporary location while the current location is reimagined.
    • Club Cool – Closing and expected to be incorporated into a new area in the future
    • Fountain View (Starbucks) – Closing and expected to be incorporated into a new area in the future
    • Art of Disney and Pin Central – Expected to close September 8, 2019 (Last day of Operation September 7, 2019)
    • Camera Center – To close and reopen in early 2020 with products from Pin Central
    • Heritage Manor – To close and reopen in early 2020 with products from the Art of Disney
    • Innoventions EastTaka a Nanooze Break, Colortopia and all of Innoventions East will close on September 8, 2019 (Last day of Operation September 7, 2019)

    June 10, 2019: MiceChat.com is reporting that the center “spine” of Epcot will be referred to as Epcot Center and a Doctor Strange show will be added to this space.

    June 6, 2019: Disney announced that the D23 Expo Parks, Experiences and Products presentation will take place on Sunday August 25th at 10:30 AM PST and details on the transformation of Epcot will be announced.

    June 4, 2019: The Rosewalk pathway between the Imagination! Pavilion and Showcase Plaza is closed to guests so that it can be widened. According to WDWMagic.com, work on this area is expected to be completed by August 29, 2019.

    May 29, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog teased fans with an announcement today that Epcot updates would be announced at the D23 Expo. The Expo will be held from August 23-25th at the Anaheim Convention Center.

    Details were limited, and largely in line with previous announcements of the park’s evolution. Of note was the mention of new pavilion icons in the style of the classic Epcot pavilion logos.

    Also of note was the specific mention of items flanking Spaceship Earth. The article also referred to Epcot as the “foodie park” potentially giving an indication that the Festival schedule will not be changing.

    May 17, 2019: WDWMagic.com is reporting that construction walls will go up this weekend at Epcot’s entrance. This work will be to remove the Leave a Legacy tiles and work on the entrance redesign.

    April 8, 2019: WDWNT.com is reporting details on several of the expected changes coming to Epcot’s Future World as part of Project Gamma. Details include the following:

    • The center area of Future World (formerly Pin Central, beyond Spaceship Earth) will become a garden
    • The Fountain of Nations (the fountain in front of the walkway to World Showcase) will become a permanent Beer Garden)
    • Innoventions West will be replaced with several items including the “Journey of Water” trail/maze the “Festival Canopy” and “Character Meet and Greets”
    • Club Cool and Fountain View / Starbucks will be replaced with a new Festival Center

    The expectation is that these will be announced at or before the 2019 D23 Expo and completion is expected to be by 2022.

    WDWMagic.com user marni1971 reported that while placement of specific items on the map created by WDWNT may be slightly off, the general points are correct.

    February 21, 2019: Disney revealed details and concept art for the new entrance to Epcot. The entrance will see new pathways, a reimagined fountain and “fresh takes on classic elements”. The Leave A Legacy photos will move to a new setting outside the park’s gateway in an attempt to have the main entrance pay homage to the original park entrance.

    Additional redevelopment will take place between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade and details of those changes will be announced at a later date.

    In addition to the changes at the park entrance, a new Experience Center will open later this year in The Odyssey. The Experience Center will showcase the future plans for Epcot in engaging and interactive exhibits.

    Show 2018 and Earlier

    December 17, 2018: WDWNT.com is reporting that construction walls are up in the Image Works area of the Imagination Pavilion in anticipation of meet and greets moving into this location. The article states that the Innoventions Meet and Greets including Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out are expected to move to this location in preparation of the Innoventions buildings being removed as part of the Future World overhaul.

    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.

    Hide 2018 and Prior

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