Paging Doctor Strange! Doctor Strange, your help is needed with the Epcot spine. In 2017 at D23 Bob Chapek made an announcement that sent shockwaves through the Disney community. What was the announcement? Bob announced that major renovations would be coming to Epcot’s Future World. Since that epic day, we’ve learned more information about the transformation for the Epcot spine. We’ve got our scalpel in hand and are ready to delicately peel back the layers around everything we know!
What Is The Epcot Spine?
Any good doctor knows, the backbone to any theme park is the major thoroughfare that connects a park’s entrance to the rest of the park. The Epcot spine runs from it’s entrance through Future World and ends at the beginning of the World Showcase. Currently the area includes the following:
- Spaceship Earth
- Character Meet n Greets – Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy
- Club Cool – The Coca Cola Experience
- Electric Umbrella
- Fountain View – Starbucks
- Pin Station
- Leave a Legacy
- Two water Fountains
Additionally, there’s a variety of open spaces with flowers and green areas. Please note that we review the potential updates for Spaceship Earth in the following article.
We’re ready to begin our procedure. On Thursday February 21, 2019 Disney announced a new pavilion coming to Epcot’s Future World, the Play Pavilion. As part of the announcement, Disney included the concept art of a reimaged Epcot entrance. At first pass any Disneyphile would notice the Leave a Legacy monuments have been removed, and a fountain that’s similar to the original from opening day has been added.
Originally part of Epcot’s millenium celebration, the Leave a Legacy monuments gave guests an opportunity to have a picture of themselves etched into metal square mounted to one of the monuments. As part of the the Epcot spine update the monuments will be moved to an area just outside the park entrance.
By removing the monuments it will create a more open flow to the park’s entrance. Disney World plans to add a variety of green spaces to the area that will include permanent topiaries for photo ops. Say cheese, Mickey!
Moving to the second layer of the Epcot Spine update brings us to the area previously known as Innoventions. Originally designed as an area for guests to experience the technology of tomorrow, the area is now home to character meet ‘n greets, Club Cool, Fountain View, MouseGear, and the Electric Umbrella. Based on the March 5th construction permits Disney filed it looks like the west of side of the Innoventions building will be removed. The permit does not have a set end date, which in Florida means all construction needs to be completed within 1 year.
The removal of the Innoventions West is just the first step, as according to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, all of the Innoventions buildings will be removed, excluding MouseGear. MouseGear will remain and has a facelift as part of the project. Disney will be relocating the character meet ‘n greets, Fountain View, and Club Cool, while the updates happen.
Moving A Fountain
Transplanting anything is the hardest thing to do, ask any doctor. As part of the major update to the Epcot Spine, Disney plans on moving and enlarging the fountain between MouseGear and Fountain View. The fountain would move closer to the World Showcase. The moving of the fountain would make for a more grand entrance to the countries, but is definitely not a small undertaking.
When All Is Said and Done
We’re in for a long recovery, but it will definitely all be worth it. All of these changes will be happening over time with some being complete in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary and others wrapping up in time for Epcot’s 40th. Overall, according to Jim Hill the goal of the updated Epcot spine is create more green space throughout park. With the additional green space Disney plans to extend the festival booths into the new area, bringing the party to all of the park.
Overall, the updates coming to Epcot are good. If Disney Would utilizes the same design concept as in the new entrance up through the rest of the Epcot spine the end result will be breathtaking. It’s time to get prepped for surgery, Epcot, Doctor Strange is waiting.