Winds are blowing every direction! Is the wind blowing the right direction for Mary Poppins to return? Outside of the new World Showcase countries coming to Epcot, the most talked about rumor is a Mary Poppins attraction. It’s hard to keep track of whether or not the historic Disney character will get an attraction in Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion or not. Well, the winds always tell the tale of Mary, so let’s grab our favorite umbrella and see where the wind takes us!
Winds Blow East
Is east good or bad? We have no idea. Serena says, which way is east again? What we do know is Disney Imagineering has been working on a Mary Poppins themed area for the United Kingdom pavilion for many years. How many years? Long enough to know better than to answer that question. The plans have shifted over the years, both more elaborate and scaled-down.
At its peak, the Mary Poppins themed area consisted of multiple attractions. The focal point would be the dark ride attraction using the building between the Canadian and United Kingdom pavilions. Originally used for the Millenium Village from 1999 to 2000, Disney Imagineering envisions reusing the space for the attraction with the entrance being directly behind the new Skyliner station for Epcot.
Passholder Insights: The UK pavilion’s Rose & Crown is a great place to watch Illuminations before the nighttime spectacular ends in September 2019.
Still Blowing East
Expanding on the dark attraction concept, according to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, Disney Imagineering has plans for two more additions for the area. The first being an expansion of the hedge maze in front of the stage for the British Revolution that would include character meet and greets within the maze. The hedge height would be increased to the standard British height (~8 feet).
The crown jewel (pun intended) would be a meet and greet with Mary Poppins herself. Meeting Mary Poppins in the parks is a rare thing, we’ve only seen her at Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic events. The meet and greet would include a recreation of Cherry Hill Lane and Mary Poppins would not be alone, as she would be joined by Jack. Yes, Jack from Mary Poppins Returns, not Bert.
With all-new Disney related attractions, everything hinges on the overall success of the Intellectual Property (IP) at the box office. For Mary Poppins the pivotal point was the release of Mary Poppins Returns during the 2018 holiday season. Overall the movie had a decent run in the box office, however, it came up short of Disney’s expectations.
With the box office not quite meeting expectations, plans around a Mary Poppins attraction have shifted like the wind. According to Jim Hill, the plans have been downsized to the point where the dark attraction has been tabled for the moment. However, we could still see Mary Poppins have a larger presence in the United Kingdom pavilion in the form of a carousel similar to the one within the Mary Poppins Returns movie.
Passholder Insights: If you’re looking for an adult time out in United Kingdom pavilion head into the Rose & Crown bar, as the lines tend to be shorter than the outside cart.
Is This A Tornado?
Rumors around what could be announced or not announced at the upcoming D23 event (Disney’s conference) are swirling all directions. We’ve heard everything from the dark attraction still being on the table, to everything being tabled for the moment. With all the recent IP explosions in the World Showcase, from Ratatouille in France, and the rumors around Coco in Mexico, adding Mary Poppins to United Kingdom pavilion seems like a natural fit. With the wind blowing in every direction we’ll have to wait a few more weeks to find out if it’s going east or west. Which is the right direction again?