Epcot’s transformation was supposed to include a large three-story Festival Center that would be placed in World Celebration. The Festival Center was expected to become the focal point for events at Epcot, but budget cuts associated with the pandemic may have scrapped or altered those plans.
Various rumors and reports suggest Disney has shelved the original plan for the Festival Center for the foreseeable future. They’re reportedly discussing alternative plans, but haven’t formally decided on how to move forward with World Celebration. These rumors were supported by Disney omitting the Festival Center poster in their recent World Celebration poster release.
The Festival Center, which some Disney fans have compared to a coffee table due to its design, was expected to have a plaza level, an expo level on the second floor and a park level on the third level that would provide incredible views of Epcot’s nighttime entertainment.
It’s not much of a leap to assume Disney is evaluating all of their future construction projects at this time. They’ve already confirmed that the refurbishment of Spaceship Earth and the new Mary Poppins attraction have been postponed. The Festival Center would be a significant investment where a cheaper alternative might make more sense.
Unfortunately, the first phase of the demolition of Innoventions West was past the point of no return prior to the pandemic. In hindsight, redesigning that space and maintaining Epcot’s original layout may have been a better solution.
Stay tuned. Epcot’s future is yet to be determined and Future World as we currently know it may look very different compared to what was announced.