We knew that Siemens was ending their sponsorship of Spaceship Earth and Illuminations, but now we seem to have an idea when they’ll be pulling out.
Siemens has already packed up their VIP Center (located behind Spaceship Earth) and employees’ last day was July 31. This is far ahead of the planned date of September 30, 2017. Disney will be taking over the space immediately, but there’s no word on what their plans are for it.
Blame it on the Monorails?
According to WDW News Today, Siemens was unhappy with Disney turning down an offer for a new fleet of monorails. As the story goes, Siemens’ logo would’ve featured prominently on these new monorails and Disney wasn’t thrilled with the prospect.
As someone who was recently trapped on an aging monorail, it seems odd that Disney would turn down a “free lunch.” However, it may clash with whatever they have planned for the monorails in the future — hopefully that includes some replacements!
What’s the Future of Spaceship Earth and Illuminations?
With Siemens ending their sponsorship this fall, it’ll be interesting to see how Disney handles that on Spaceship Earth. Since a proper refurbishment was not announced at D23, a temporary fix may include just removing Siemens logos from the ride until Imagineering decides on what’s next for the venerable attraction.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t include movie characters.