RUMOR – Disney’s Spaceship Earth Closing for Over Two Years for a Massive Refurbishment?


Could Spaceship Earth, the icon of Disney’s Epcot, soon be getting a much needed refurbishment? And could that project be a much more massive overhaul than a simple change in narrator?

According to WDW News Today, information has allegedly been passed to them that indicates Spaceship Earth will be taken offline for a massive overhaul beginning in 2020 that may see the attraction being closed for over two years.

The rumored project would include a completely re-imagined ending sequence and the removal of Project Tomorrow, as well as new construction and track replacement.

From WDW News Today…

“the ride inside of Spaceship Earth will see a refreshing of all scenes leading up to the Industrial Revolution portion (where newspapers are being printed as a young boy sells them steps away), with changes on a grand scale coming to every scene following that, all the way to the end of the ride. Sources also indicate that the scene in the dome at the top of the attraction where guests look back at Earth from space will be drastically reimagined utilizing the latest in projection mapping technologies.”

If true, this is a much larger project than a simple narration change and re-working of the descent.

While it doesn’t sound like the attraction will be completely gutted, it’s worth noting that Disney has looked at radically re-theming the attraction before. In the 1990s, Disney considered changing the ride into “Time Racers” as part of Project Gemini.

But Why Will it Take So Long?

If this proves to be true, 2+ years for such a radical re-imagining isn’t a ridiculous amount of time for a project of this scale. Remember it took Disney almost two years to convert the Maelstrom into Frozen Ever After, and that was basically just an overlay with new animatronics.

This sounds like a much, much larger project.

Why Would They Close Spaceship Earth During WDW’s 50th Anniversary in 2021?

The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World is actually the 50th Anniversary of Magic Kingdom. The rumored timeline would see the refurbished Spaceship Earth open in time for Epcot’s 40th Anniversary in the Fall of 2022.

Also remember that both Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille will both likely be online before they take down Spaceship Earth.

But is it TRUE?

WDW News Today’s report is unsubstantiated. However a refurbishment has been long rumored. Other well-known insiders from the WDW Magic forums seem to think that there may be a kernel of truth to this, as plans for Spaceship Earth have been kicked around for quite some time.

How Will This Change Spaceship Earth?

Hopefully for the better. Many Disney fans are very protective of their “golf ball,” as it’s been the heart of Epcot since opening day and is one of the few opening day attractions that is still operational in its (mostly) original state.

When we told our teen-aged son about the rumors, he said “I just hope when it re-opens it’s still Spaceship Earth and not something like ‘Mickey’s Exploration of the Cosmos.’ They keep getting rid of classic rides for IP.”

Spaceship Earth is an iconic attraction for Disney fans of every generation, and hopefully Disney recognizes that and improves upon it, without completely replacing it.

Meanwhile, Journey Into Imagination with Figment continues to draw the ire of those same Disney fans, with the return of Dreamfinder being something Disney has teased for years, but has yet to announce.

For more history, information and pics of Spaceship Earth, click here.

[Source: WDW News Today]


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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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