Disney Calls EPCOT Transformation “Complete” Despite Many Unfinished Plans

Disney has declared that the multi-year transformation of EPCOT is officially complete. Kartika Rodriguez, the VP of EPCOT, provided the update on EPCOT’s status in a recent post on the Disney Parks Blog. The statement may catch some Disney fans by surprise given several announced plans have yet to be started.

Below is the full quote about EPCOT’s status.

It’s a very exciting time to be at EPCOT – after years of creative vision, innovation and dedicated work, I’m thrilled to share that the historic transformation of our park is complete.

The construction walls have come down around World Celebration, and CommuniCore Hall, CommuniCore Plaza, and Mickey & Friends will open to all starting June 10!

EPCOT VP Kartika Rodriguez

Disney highlighted the many completed projects that have opened at EPCOT over the last few years, including Connections Cafe, Creations Shop, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and others. The opening of CommuniCore Hall & Plaza appears to be Disney’s final touch on the transformation.

Concept art for EPCOT's CommuniCore Hall & Plaza.
Concept art for EPCOT’s CommuniCore Hall & Plaza.

Apologies in advance for the incoming rant, but we feel it’s deserved given EPCOT’s current state.

We’re going to look past the semantics that EPCOT is never really “complete” and Walt Disney himself even said it would always be in a state of becoming. And, we have to point out the transformation is very much still ongoing as Test Track is set to close for a significant update.

But, our bigger issue is the number of EPCOT projects that were announced that have yet to be started or completed. Or even mentioned.

Spaceship Earth refurbishment project
Concept art for Spaceship Earth’s refurbishment.

Remember the proposed update for Spaceship Earth? Or even the new Mary Poppins attraction for the UK Pavilion that was announced by Dick Van Dyke himself? Disney did state these two projects were postponed in 2020, and then hasn’t mentioned them again.

They appear to have fallen by the wayside despite Spaceship Earth’s reported need for a refurbishment, specifically for a new track.

Concept art for the Mary Poppins addition to World Showcase.

The Mary Poppins plans were admittedly pretty underwhelming based on the leaked plans. However, new capacity at EPCOT and a new ride for all ages would’ve been a nice addition to World Showcase.

What about the PLAY! Pavilion that was supposed to take over for the vacant Wonders of Life Pavilion? COVID seems to have axed the idea of interactive exhibits.

Concept art for Disney PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT.
Concept art for Disney PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT.

That’s just a few of the announced projects that Disney has quietly shelved.

Disney’s decisions here are quite puzzling. Spaceship Earth is in desperate need of a significant refurbishment. World Showcase, and EPCOT as a whole, would benefit from another kid-friendly attraction in Mary Poppins. The PLAY! Pavilion is perhaps the most take-it-or-leave-it decision of the bunch, but we can all agree the Wonders of Life building should have something.

And, of course, there’s the ongoing need for an update to the Journey into Imagination ride with Figment. Disney continues to feature Figment prominently in marketing and promotions, and yet the attraction is in a sorry state. Maybe we can hope for a Figment announcement at D23?

Calling EPCOT’s changes complete is disappointing. The park still needs a lot of love and attention. We hope Disney’s comments are more a slip of phrase rather than a representation of a lack of plans moving forward. Time will tell.

Keep visiting NotesFromNeverland.com for the latest Disney news and information.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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