35 To Epcot 35: Day 1 – The Future of Epcot

"Blue Sky" artwork of the re-imagined Epcot Future World from D23. (Disney)

Epcot Center 35th Anniversary on October 1, 2017

Today, October 1, 2017, Epcot celebrated its 35th anniversary. And with that, we’re posting our last article celebrating thirty-five years of Walt Disney World’s second theme park. But instead of looking backward, let’s look forward to what Epcot will become in the future.

Disney marked the occasion this morning with a ceremony in front of the Fountain of Nations. The ceremony was hardly a nostalgia-fest, as Disney executives were more focused on what was still in store for Epcot.

(Notably absent was Dreamfinder and Figment, and we’re hoping that’s not a portent of things to come.)

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With the 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in full swing, the food kiosks celebrated with blue champagne, reportedly only available today.


The Future of Future World

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This year’s D23 was full of some exciting announcements leading up to the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021. Many of the most exciting announcements were for Epcot, which will see new attractions including Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy. Also officially announced was a new space themed restaurant, a new resort called the Riviera and a Gondola system that will tie the Epcot area parks and resorts together.

“Blue Sky” artwork of the re-imagined Epcot Future World from D23. (Disney)

One of the most intriguing things that were shown at D23 was some “blue sky” concept art for Future World. In it we saw the location of new attractions, and a much cleaner central spine — one that will apparently see the eventual removal of Mouse Gear and Innoventions. Several smaller buildings dot the more open park, likely stores and quick service locations. But there are also some other buildings that have not yet been explained, meaning that there is likely more announcements in store for Future World before 2021.

For now, we can only speculate.

The Future of the World Showcase

Aside from the announcement of the long-rumored Ratatouille attraction, there has been very little unveiled for the World Showcase. However, insiders point to new pavilion being close to announcement (the leading contender being Brazil) and at least one more new attraction (most likely in the UK.) Another persistent rumor indicates that The Three Caballeros boat ride in the Mexico pavilion may be re-themed as Coco in the near future.

For now, those are just rumors and it’s likely that Phase II of Epcot’s re-imagining will focus more on the World Showcase.

The Epcot Legacy

With all of the changes coming to Epcot, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the park will no longer be the “edutainment” focused EPCOT Center of 1982. With more and more IP being integrated into attractions, many old school Epcot fans are worried that Disney will jettison the core values of what made the park so special in its early days.

Whatever the case may be, Epcot in some form will live on for decades to come. We can only hope that the focus of the re-imagined Epcot still attempts maintain the same wonder for generations to come that it had for people in 1982 on opening day.

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I've loved Disney as long as I can remember. As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney online. I'm also the co-host of a Disney fan podcast called 'Pirates & Princesses.' Opinions mine.


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