Epcot Reveals Big Plans For Its Future, But Something Is Missing
Today's big Epcot news is not what was said, but what was not.
Walt Disney World’s Epcot has been going through a massive transformation for the last couple of years, and while we’ve seen a lot of new additions, like the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure dark ride, and the soon to open Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster, there’s a lot more yet to come. Today, Disney World released a trove of new details and images, of what the brand new Epcot will look like and what sorts of things we’ll see when this renovation is done, but what’s most interesting is not what we’re being shown, but what was left out. Where is the Play pavilion?
Back in early 2019 Disney World announced plans to transform the former Wonders of Life pavilion into a new location called the Play pavilion. While few details about what would actually be in this new space were given, it was said the area would be full of “first of their kind” interactive experiences. Epcot dropped a ton of new information on the press in the form of lots of pictures, video, concept art, and more, but the Play pavilion is not mentioned in any of it.
Today Epcot confirmed, and showed off new concept art for, a lot of things we already knew were coming. We saw new artwork for the upcoming Moana: Journey of Water attraction and the planned Dreamer’s Point statue of Walt Disney was reconfirmed, though with no more idea when we’ll actually see it. We also got new information about what is now being called Communicore Plaza and Communicore Hall, new areas that will become central hubs for the nearly year round festivals that take place at Epcot.
And to be sure, the new additions that Epcot has received, and will receive, are pretty great. As somebody who loves the various Epcot festivals the new Communicore spaces sound like something that will be a lot of fun. It will have a stage for live music, a meet-and-greet area for Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, and more food and drink, one of things that makes Epcot great.
But of all the things that have come to Epcot in the last couple years, and all the things that are on the way, the renovation and redesign of Epcot was supposed to be even bigger. At one point there were plans for a Mary Poppins themed attraction in the World Showcase’s UK pavilion. We were also promised a major renovation of Spaceship Earth that would have resulted in a significantly different attraction. However, following the pandemic closure of Walt Disney World, those plans were officially “postponed.” More realistically, they appear to have been cancelled as there do not seem to be any current plans to make them happen.
One now has to wonder if the Play pavilion has suffered the same fate. The fact that it has not been referenced when discussing the future of Epcot, at the very least, indicates that it is further out than anything else that was discussed, but you would still expect a mention that the Play pavilion was coming, assuming that it was. The Tron Lightcycle Rower Run roller coaster, that still has no opening date years after construction started, at least gets mentioned now and then so that people don’t forget it’s coming.
Considering that we were never given much detail on the Play pavilion, its loss, if we have in fact lost it, is maybe not that great. Hopefully, however, if that idea is gone, something new has taken its place that we will learn about soon. The space is there for Epcot to use and it should be used for something that will entertain guests.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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