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Vote of the week: What should Disney do with Epcot?

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Published: April 12, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Did you know that it's been 25 years since Disney added a new attraction to Epcot's World Showcase?

Epcot's World Showcase
The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase

Yep. Norway's Maelstrom, which debuted in 1988, was the last attraction added to the back half of Epcot. Since then, we've had some swaps -- new films for China and Canada, new versions of IllumiNations, and a new themed overlay for Mexico's boat ride -- but nothing added to the mix. No new nations, and not even an additional new ride or show in an existing pavilion.

Let's put that into a broader perspective. In the past 25 years, Disney's added zero nations to World Showcase, while the United Nations has added 38 nations to its line-up of countries. When Maelstrom opened in 1988, the Soviet Union still existed and the real Germany was still divided. The world has changed over the past generation. But you'd never know that from annual visits to World Showcase.

Perhaps that's the nature of sharing a park with a section dubbed "Future World." The future has this nasty habit of becoming the present, forcing designers and managers to keep changing attractions on that side of the park to keep it looking futuristic. That tends to suck up whatever budget Disney might "earmark" for Epcot improvements. (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.)

Not that's Disney's in the clear over there, either. Disney threw in the towel at SeaBase Alpha, changing the Seas into a Finding Nemo-themed ride. Ellen's Energy Adventure remains stuck in a 1990s' world view. The Imagination pavilion remains a narrative mess, according to no less a source that Imagineering's own Tony Baxter. Wonders of Life opened, then closed.

Millions of fans continue to pack into Epcot's World Showcase each year, and they're not all just spill-over from Future World. Many fans come to the park just to enjoy World Showcase's abundant food and delightful scenery. Perhaps that's why when Disney does add something to World Showcase, it's a restaurant, such as the new Moroccan waterfront restaurant the park will get later this year.

But… 25 years? Really? Is it time for Disney to add a new pavilion -- or at least an attraction -- to World Showcase, or is the company better off focusing its attention elsewhere in Walt Disney World's second most-popular theme park?


Let's hear your wish list for Epcot, in the comments. And, as always, thank you for reading Theme Park Insider, and for telling your friends about the site.

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Readers' Opinions

From Sean Huckel on April 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Everything besides "Nothing it's fine"
From 98.82.101.221 on April 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM
I believe Future World to be in FAR worse shape than World Showcase. I chose to "revamp one of the Future World pavilions", though I think at least 3 or 4 need major help...
From Dominick D on April 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Whatever's possible, but Future World needs some help the most.
From Anon Mouse on April 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM
In light of how they are treating the rest of WDW, why does it matter? Epcot is a Worlds Fair type theme park. In a fair, they have a rides section (Future World) and an International bazaar section. They pretty much kept to that concept. Besides, they are still shoring up the weakest sections while still neglecting many sections.

My feeling is why try to improve it if it messes things up. The Imagination pavilion was horribly messed up. Despite the big debut of Space, no one talks much about this new marque attraction. Test Track is ho hum. It re-opened with a Tron-like overlay to a What? reaction.

The rides at the World Showcase is deteriorating. I guess leaving things alone, while an excellent idea, means leaving things alone to rot.

I will be surprised, but not really, when the attendance of DCA surpasses Epcot. This is expected and long overdue.

From 199.249.176.251 on April 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM
I'm okay with them not adding a World Showcase country, but I do wish there were a few more attractions that weren't just restaurants being added.

However, I'm okay with World Showcase if they fix the issues in Future World. They need to revamp Imagination and Energy as soon as possible. They also should use the Wonders of Life building for more than special events. If they fix those three issues, I could even stomach the fact that Mission Space is still there.

From 166.216.162.186 on April 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM
I really would like to see Russia, Australia, and/or India get a pavilion.
From 85.150.173.168 on April 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM
As long as guests are stupid enough to pay top dollars for some tired pavilions and eat at insane high prices in the shopping mall that's called World Showcase, Disney is going to milk it.
But Disney could earn more by cutting the park in two. One will be World Showcase. Each pavilion will get a cheap ride, max $40.000 each. Universal can put a e-ride ticket like Transformers in their park for that price so Disney could come up with something decent. You open the park in the morning where all restaurants will offer the insanely popular and profitable character breakfasts. They could ask full price for it and guests will pay it.

Then the other park, the cripple Future World. The whole theme doesn't work anymore, it's old and unpopular with healthy minded kids.
How to change it in the new number 2 park?
Hero's and Villain's park. They'll change the pavilions into different franchises. Think Marvel (buy it back from Universal) taking up the Seas, Land and imagination pavilion. Use what their is and re theme it. The middle part will be Star Wars themed. The rest will be Disney Villains'. It's very much boys orientated you will say but Magic Kingdom is getting pretty much girl oriented and teens have even no place to go. Of course they'll offer the queen Amidala makeover and some awesome female hero's from the Marvel universe. Think about the merchandise Disney can sell from that park with a few well placed e-tickets and the reuse of the other ride systems.

But Disney being Disney they'll milk this cow dry and then some more without any mayor investments.

From Matt Babiak on April 12, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Test Track isn't Star Wars, folks. It isn't that much different from the original, but Disney never intended it to be. Yet people bashed it because it was too similar.
From 131.123.155.127 on April 12, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Soaring was added, was it not? However, I do agree that some new life could be added to World Showcase.
From Nick Orlando on April 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM
I would love to see a recreation of Russia's Saint Basile created for a new Russian pavilion. It would also be incredible to have Disney build the once scrapped Mt. Fuji coaster for Japan. Personally I find Illuminations to de dated beyond belief- I can not watch the show. Disney could also update the lagoon for a new version of Illuminations inspired by DCA's World of Color- complete with glow with the show ears!
From Marie-Eve Landry on April 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM
A new Pavillion would be nice. How about Egypt? India? Russia?

Don't get me wrong, I think Future World is great... but World Showcase is the s...!!

Also, after seeing Wishes and Fantasmic, Illuminations seems a little boring.

From Brian Bauer on April 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM
What about Kim Possible Missions/Agent P World Showcase Adventure?
From Fred Roy on April 12, 2013 at 1:46 PM
Years ago the was a sign between China and Germany announcing that a Switzerland pavilion was going to be added. It was suppose to have the Matterhorn ride. I wonder what happened to that idea.
From 108.81.19.86 on April 12, 2013 at 1:48 PM
I'm surprised you didn't consider the October 1, 1999 opening of Millennium Village. It represented 24 countries including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Sweden Scotland, Chile, Denmark and even Eritrea. It didn't have traditional representation of architecture from those countries but it did provide a cultural experience of their history, people, art, music, technologies, foods, customs and artifacts.

Perhaps it should have remained open for more to experience.

From 66.87.125.168 on April 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM
I'll like to see Spain ! Mexico is okay but we need a second Spanish country!
From TH Creative on April 12, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Anon Mouse writes: “I will be surprised, but not really, when the attendance of DCA surpasses Epcot. This is expected and long overdue.”
I respond (): “Expected?” By whom?

Referencing the most recent edition of the TEA/AECO report on theme park attendance (2011): If Epcot experienced a 20% drop in attendance, its numbers would still be 8.48 million people. If DCA experienced a simultaneous 20% increase in attendance the numbers would rise to just 7.56 million. This seems to mean that in the event of an unprecedented (and highly unlikely) circumstance wherein Epcot lost a fifth of its business while DCA increased its numbers to record levels … EPCOT would still outpace DCA.

So … whatever.

- - - - - - - - -

As for the question posed on this thread: Brazil. Brazil. Brazil.

Plenty of live entertainment -- performed on a stage and on the streets. Restaurant and lounge, Attraction: 4D film/theater Amazon River experience. The number of South American visitors would skyrocket.

By the way, does anyone else here believe that the reason Disney has not added a new country in 25 years is because the venues at the existing countries would not be happy to see the added competition?

From Rod Whitenack on April 12, 2013 at 2:33 PM
I think one of the problems with the whole Epcot concept is that it's supposed to be "educational" and not fantastical, and folks on vacation are generally looking for an escape from reality. I'm sure it's a tough to sell to spend $100 million on an attraction that has a goal other than thrilling its audience. I can only imagine what the scores look like when Disney does marketing research asking its customers if they'd rather ride an attraction where giant robots are smashing things or if they'd rather ride through an attraction warning them about the effects of global warming.

It seems the only thing to do that will attract vacationing crowds is to do the same thing the Learning Channel and the History Channel have learned to do. One word: Bigfoot.

Or The Science of Ghost Adventures.

From Jonah Sirota on April 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM
Imagination was the beating heart of EPCOT when it first opened. I find it's current state so upsetting, not necessarily because it is so bad (although it's pretty bad), but because the original ride was SO good. The amount of time, effort, creativity, and fun that went into that attraction was amazing. It's hard to remember now, but the effects on that ride, the use of colors, laser light, on-ride photography (the first use!), animatronics. There was SO MUCH to look at. You could ride again and again and always find new things to see. I've said this before--to me, EPCOT will not be EPCOT again until an overhauled and vastly improved Imagination pavilion is restored. I think that WDI and some of the new brass could really get this done in a beautiful way. I found the redo of test track to be very encouraging. If you are in a position to make this happen, and you are reading this, then please, I entreat you!
From Anon Mouse on April 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM
@THC: Here's something you missed.

http://micechat.com/26081-disneyland-tron-monsters/

"When the annual unofficially-official (but extremely accurate) attendance numbers are released late this spring by the T.E.A. amusement park industry trade group, the calendar 2012 attendance for DCA will peg somewhere north of 9 Million for the year. And with the very busy spring break numbers that have just come in, DCA continues to build on that stunning turnaround from 2012. Barring some unforeseen drop in attendance for Anaheim, the 2013 numbers for DCA will head above the 11 Million mark and likely surpass Epcot as the third most visited theme park in North America this year."

This is not about EPCOT dropping in attendance, but DCA surpassing EPCOT in performance.

I don't know if this can be trusted to come true; however, I do expect DCA to continue to build up its momentum for several more years while EPCOT remains stagnant. Besides, with Disney Studios getting much needed attention with Carsland or Star Wars Land, and Animal Kingdom getting Avatar, who knows if these parks will surpass EPCOT one day.

From TH Creative on April 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM
@Anon Mouse: Thank you for identifying the "who." Although I am sure you would agree that the one blog post you reference is a prediction. I mean the writer at MiceChat is claiming that DCA will almost double its attendance over a three year period.

Of course with the TEA report due in the near future we will quickly find out if DCA's numbers reach 9 million -- as your link predicts.

All things considered (based on the 2011 numbers posted in TEA) if DCA's numbers reach 9 million that increase would be unprecedented. The addition of Harry Potter to IOA saw the attendance in that park jump by 1.75 million between 2010 and 2011. For DCA to reach 9 million it would have to experience a jump that would be almost a million people larger.

So when the report drops ... we shall see.

From Luke Dunsmore on April 12, 2013 at 5:38 PM
I think you said all we need to know in the article. Epcot is WDW's second most visited Park. From what I can see, Disney are taking a, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' approach.
From Gabriel Schroll on April 12, 2013 at 6:30 PM
It's too bad WDW doesn't implement parking garages, as DLR does. Yes, "Disney Springs" will include garages, and it will open up a lot more space for shopping. But the parking lot at EPCOT is absolutely gigantic! If Disney could simple add some 4 story garages (with rooftop parking), they theoretically expand the park. Of course, it would logistically be an expansion of Future World, but it needs help too. EPCOT is what it is though. For me, it's a place to enjoy the food and global architecture.

In the end, I truly believe it will take something catastrophic, such as one of the Universal Orlando parks to surpass ANY of the WDW parks in attendance before really innovative and ambitious changes are made.

From M. Ryan Traylor on April 12, 2013 at 7:41 PM
Build a structure that no can enter and call the new land North Korea?
From Jack Curley on April 13, 2013 at 2:08 AM
Epcot is such a hard park to fix. There are so many like me who love it soooooo much because we allow our nostalgia to overwhelm what we're actually taking in through our senses. Epcot was the park that I didn't want go to when my family visited WDW for the first time in 1984, but once I walked in for the first time, I didn't want to leave. I loved everything about it, except for the boring countries (which I would eventually love on my second visit, a mere 16 years later).

Obviously, we'd all like to see new pavilions and attractions in the World Showcase. Get rid of the Outpost between China and Germany and put in something new there. Whatever you do, don't bring back the Millennium Pavilion. That place, while ambitious, was just sad.

I'm going to say something that might seem a bit controversial here, but I think the front half of Epcot is unfixable to my generation. Whatever they choose to do with Journey Into Imagination will never be as good as the original to me, even though I barely remember the original version. The Seas with Nemo is a kiddie-friendly attraction that devotes too much space to characters, and not enough to the intended message of conservation. Test Track (I haven't ridden since the revamp) is fun, but the theme doesn't really live up to what I expect from Epcot. Correction: it lives up to what I expect from Epcot, but not what I expect from EPCOT.

The danger of having a Future World is the same as having a Tomorrowland; it eventually just looks like a campy, retro version of what people thought the future would look like decades ago. I'd love to see Future World get a huge overhaul, and I'm sure it will eventually. I'm just afraid that every fix is removing something flawed, but beautiful, that made me love the park so much when I was 8.

From 75.9.140.71 on April 12, 2013 at 8:36 PM
World Showcase needs a new country!

I hope Disney doesn't ask for money from a prospective country like they have in the past. If thats the case than there goes the North Korea pavilion project.

From James Rao on April 12, 2013 at 10:48 PM
TH, the attendance boom at DCA is unprecedented. It just goes to show that when Disney puts forth the effort to build something wonderful, when they knock an expansion out of the park (so to speak), people come in droves. Which makes me wonder why in the world they don't set up construction schedules so that something amazing is added every year at WDW, in a four park rotation? At least then you would have a new attraction every four years at Epcot instead of every eight years (Soarin' was the last major addition back in 2005, unless you count the Nemo ride added in 2007, or Sum of All Thrills added in 2009).

As for this poll, my preference would be for a major new attraction at one of the existing World Showcase pavilions. But like Sean Huckel noted, anything on the list would be fine except to do nothing.

From 120.148.84.174 on April 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Hey World,
There is a place called Australia that might be worth a pavilion. Something different and a place Nth Korea likes!!
From Caroline Davis on April 13, 2013 at 1:03 AM
I would love a new country, especially Greece. Good food, so much interesting history and beautiful architecture. You could argue it's already too Europe heavy, but I still think it's a good idea. Especially if they put in a Hercules ride.
From 72.197.30.46 on April 13, 2013 at 3:25 AM
Ratattouille seems like a no brainer for the Paris pavillion. I understand EPCOT purists hate seeing Disney cartoons invading Epcot, and personally I agree with them, its destroying Epcots uniqueness. But Disney has already started that trend with nemo, and the three amigos in Mexico. If they're going that route and need attractions then I think ratatouille is a good choice and a US park will finally have a trackless attraction!
Soarin over the world is also a no brainer and should be unique to Epcot, and should include a similar finale with an ending scene in Epcot!
As for pavillions, I think Russia is a great choice. A truly unique culture and incredibly undiscovered by most Americans. Brazil (Jose carioca anyone?) second choice. No Australia that would go better in AK and no Matterhorn/Switzerland you already have Everest, that's your Matterhorn! Fix it already!
From Daniel Smith on April 13, 2013 at 4:29 AM
I think at the minimum, all CONTINENTS should be represented. Why isn't South America, Antarctica or Australia represented? haha and don't even get me started on Disney's embarrassing "Australia" that I just witnessed on Hong Kong's It's a Small World :P ..putting the statues from Easter Island (off the coast of South America and a territory of Chile) in the Australia section with koalas hanging off them with a big sign "Australia". Oh dear. Epic geography fail Disney. So perhaps an Aussie representation in Epcot is much needed!! But maybe Disney think anything south of the equator is on one continent? :P
From Rob Pastor on April 13, 2013 at 6:06 AM
James Rao; Your comments are right on.
From Anthony Murphy on April 13, 2013 at 8:28 AM
I wouldn't call World Showcase completely neglected. They have updated Canada, The America Adventure, Tequila Bar, and now there will be a new Moroccan place/
From 184.91.153.153 on April 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM
How about just giving us the resources to maintain what we have to the standard to which it was designed? No major attractions have been added, and what was there has been reduced over time. I need some light bulbs, please.
From 70.125.26.125 on April 13, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I read a year or two ago that Disney was doing a survey in Epcot on what new country you would most like to see..."showcased"...at the World Showcase and I believe the selections were South Africa, India, Brazil, Australia, and Russia.

If you look at satellite images of the World Showcase on Google Earth, there is enough unused land to fit as many as four new country pavillions and if you were to take out the old Millennium Village building and African Outpost, you could have an additional two new pavillions. Side note: if any of these new pavillions were to have a new, large ride, such as EPCOT's first roller coaster (it's the biggest and most visited amusement park on Earth without one) the space behind the African Outpost would be the best choice. That area is HUGE and it is not being used for anything! So, hypothetically, Disney could add every one of the countries in the survey. This might be a bad idea, though, as adding all of these would make it almost impossible to see everything at Epcot in one day, so let's break down which of these countries should get a new pavillion at World Showcase and which should not:

South Africa: No.
Reason: it is already indirectly represented by the Africa section in Animal Kingdom.

India: No.
Reason: it is also already indirectly represented by the Asia section in Animal Kingdom.

Brazil: No.
Reason: I think it would be more interesting to see Brazil indirectly represented in Animal Kingdom in some new South America section. Open up the space between Yak & Yeti and the Africa section where the train to the Conservation Station begins, add one or two rides such as a copy of the Raging Spirits roller coaster at Tokyo DisneySea with an ancient Inca theme, and make that the new South America section. They could have even more space to add things if they closed the Conservation Station train completely, which would mean they would have to close the Conservation Station itself as well. The Conservation Station is kind of "meh" anyway in my opinion, and definitely not worth that weird out-of-the-way train ride it takes to get there.

Australia: No.
Reason: same reason as Brazil. I think it would be more interesting to see the "natural" aspects of this country than its cultural aspects. Kangaroos, koalas, and wombats anyone? Also, they could tear out the lame, unfocused, and uninspired Camp Minnie-Mickey area and replace it with the new Australia/Oceania/South Pacific area.

Russia: YES!
Reason: two words: vodka bar! As an adult, the best things about World Showcase given that there are no real rides are the international alcohol selections that literally allow you to drink around the world! They already serve cocktails at the Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom, tequila shots at la Cava del Tequila Bar in Mexico, and sake in the very back of the Mitsukoshi department store in Japan, so adding a vodka bar in a new Russia pavillion would not be a new concept for Epcot. In the late 1980s they were actually considering adding a Soviet Union pavillion, but then the Soviet Union collapsed and they abandoned that plan, so there is a small precedent in place for adding a new Russia pavillion. They could make it indoors like Mexico with snowing effects, make the outside look like the red wall of the Kremlin in Moscow, and include an indoor roller coaster themed to the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Furthermore, the whole Eastern European region has no representation directly or indirectly in the entire Walt Disney World property, so adding a new Russia pavillion at the World Showcase would fix that.

From Eric G on April 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Robert- I say this with respect, but this article infers that you don't understand the World Showcase, the setup and how it came to be.

Your 25-year claim is only partially true. Disney however has updated attractions in World Showcase like the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride in the Mexico pavilion in 2007 and the CircleVision film O Canada! in the Canada pavilion in 2007. Disney also updated the primary entertainment of World Showacase, Illumninations: Reflections of Earth in 1999 and featured a unique parade Tapestry of Nations from 1999-2001.

It's not exactly Disney's fault that no additional countries have come forward to sign-on to World Showcase.

Regardless, Disney has done plenty to keep EPCOT fresh and relevant, but that investment has come in the area of the park that is about rides and attractions- Future World. New attractions are also welcome, but I don't think EPCOT is in dire straights at all.

From Chad H on April 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM
Close it for a year. Then give it a full proper refresh , reboot, and Rethink.

EPCOT is a bit stuck in that when I was doing the Apprentice last year I couldnt quite understand what the park was - Is it an Educational Park? Is it Parents Island?... Maybe a new, coherent direction could help

Chances are your average person isnt going to WDW just for Epcot anyway (except its numerous, hard core fans, who have been there already). There's nothing wrong with being "The park you go to when you also visit Disneyworld cos its right there anyway".

But, with rethinking and retooling, Epcot could perhaps be an attractor in its own right, appealing to a different audience; rather than have every park try to be "All things to all men".

So, the first thing I would do... Remove Classic Disney. The classic animated characters are out. There's plenty of other parks just a short trip away that do that already.

Epcot's new direction under new management isn't unfamilar to Disney - its still very much a classic part of it. The new concept is about "deaming", but grounded in a little more reality; Future world and World Showcase are safe, but retooled.

The New World Showcase keeps the existing stuff, but adds more to it, with new desinations (Yes Disney, that means pulling your wallet out of the pocket, and not waiting for some other country to pay for it for you) based on places people dream of visiting. Rides an attractions are still unique. More cultural demonstrations. More "Experiences" that you could only get by visiting these places.

Basically, its World Showcase, as you know it, but more of it.

Future World is always going to be a pain, for the same reason Tomorrowland is a pain - Tomorrows only a day away, a week later your park is last week. Future World takes on the Stark Exposition theming - but Iron Man is not in sight (Tony Stark might be). Rides are themed around the big technologies that always seem to be "close", but never actually happen - Flying Cars, Jetpacks, Holograms, The Space Elevator, and on scientific discoveries.

As a counterpoint to the current Wine and Food Festival (Which again, is staying around), there's a new festival each year celebrating Innovation and Invention. Inventors come to show off and demostrate their goods in this supersized "Sharks Tank". Innovators come to sell goods (if they're in a position to) or win a cash award/investment. Cross promoted with the TV show with Mark Cuban and the other sharks making an appearance.

Well, maybe thats all a bit much.

From 66.87.129.196 on April 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM
My vote is for a new pavillion (indeed russia would be nice), and a new ride to go with that pavillion
From 71.178.217.74 on April 13, 2013 at 3:36 PM
So they updated the Tequila bar? Of course, b/c alcohol is a huge profit margin.
Disney will not upgrade anything until attendance so suffers it affects shareholder value. That seems to be the only things Disney cares about these days. I don't think Disney is taking a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it stance"; I think they are taking a "if people still come no matter the condition, why bother spending on upgrades" position.
From Daniel Etcheberry on April 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM
Add Freedonia.
From mike sitzer on April 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM
Since the Epcot concept is essentially a permanent world's fair and the fairs seem to have become too expensive to hold, Disney should devote expansion space at Epcot for major cutting-edge corporations to sponsor long-term temporary world's fair style exhibitions. Several exhibitions by the world's most significant science/technology companies that would be designed to once again showcase an exciting future.

Development costs could be negotiated between the Disney Company and the sponsoring company -- with Disney benefiting from increased park attendance and the sponsoring company gaining priceless exposure.

The run of any given exhibition would theoretically end after a set number years and be replaced by a new company, allowing for new attractions and reasons to visit well into the future. Truly successful exhibitions could be considered for permanent status.

From 122.108.90.66 on April 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM
In my humble opinion, because health and well being is an important theme in the arena of Future World, I guess it is sentimental and rational to give the Wonders of Life pavilion a much needed rehab, restoration and its return far deserved. Buzzy would as well deserve a chance to have his job back anyhow.
From 153.136.5.100 on April 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM
love epcot but took a group of Japanese friends with me thier this past March and they were dissapointed with Japans pavillion not have more, they thought China's was better in fact

Id love to see some semi thrill ride with Samurais and Ninjas , something going through Japans history or something would be cool, but not another boat ride, something that has a little thrill if not a lot

From 76.112.206.203 on April 14, 2013 at 10:23 AM
First off... a bit of triage for WS: Replace the oh-so-dated film in the Norway pavilion. It's very stuck in the 80s.

As for a country, I think the visual iconography of a Taj Mahal makes India a fascinating prospect. As well as the opportunity for some good dining establishments. But I also feel that if WS is going to add a country, they need to go big -- and place the new country in the large expansion pad between China and Germany and add some sort of e-ticket attraction to go with it. Not sure if India would be the best selection.

Maybe a combined Australia/New Zealand pavilion would work.

From 99.18.69.76 on April 14, 2013 at 9:36 PM
I believe the next thing that should be considered is converting the old Body's Pavilion into something new. Maybe a cyber-world/digital age pavilion. Feature attractions from Tron and tie in video-games like Wreck-It-Ralph and Kingdom of Hearts into it.

I do miss the Millenium Village. I hear that the Swiss Mini-Golf booth still exists.

From Mike Saperstein on April 15, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Can't believe that nobody mentioned this yet, but over the years Epcot has become MUCH better for younger kids!

My kids have been at WDW multiple times between the ages of 2 and 7. Things at Epcot they really enjoy, all of which are relatively-new include:

- Kidcot stations in future world
- Kim Possible cell phone game in future world (now Phineas and Pherb I think?)
- Innoventions Pavillion, including lots of hands-on stuff
- The new Spaceship Earth with the video screen, and the post-ride hands-on stuff
- The 3 Amigos being added to the Mexico pavillion ride
- "The Land" boat ride, seeing the huge vegetables and plants
- The new Nemo pavillion, including "Turtle Talk with Crush"

I think Disney HAS put a lot into Epcot, it's just mostly gone toward making people under 10 years old happy. The main difference there from other Disney parks IMO is that a lot of the stuff geared toward the little-kid set is mostly not-that-enjoyable for adults.

From Tony Webb on April 15, 2013 at 5:19 AM
they re not going to add anything new to future world since they just finished up a major refurb/redesign of test track
From 24.98.27.182 on April 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM
SOMEthing - ANYthing! What is happening with Imagination? Now that Kodak is gone, who is going in? I could see Dreamworks, Apple - even Samsung. Let's get it going!

Would love to see the Rhine river ride in Germany!

From Eric G on April 16, 2013 at 8:19 AM
"Close it for a year. Then give it a full proper refresh, reboot, and Rethink."

World Showcase as a whole isn't broken. The author has only suggested that it possibly needs a new attraction, not a complete overhaul.

Regardless, shutting it down in its entirety for a refresh will never happen. Doesn't doesn't shut down parks or such a significant portion of one to refurbish. A closed World Showcase would be a disaster for the park in the interim period.

Furthermore, the addition of the Disney characters to the attractions like the Mexico boat ride have been a welcome change by most, even die-hard EPCOT fanatics. The original version of that ride sucked! A return to the past would be simply repeating the mistakes of the past.

The Pavilions in the World Showcase are from what I understand supported and were largely funded by their respective nations. New nations would be added not because that nation is cool, but because that nation would be interested in partnering with Disney on the project.

As far as I can tell (guest perspective) World Showcase seems to me like it is performing as intended and remains very popular with EPCOT guests.

From 72.190.115.103 on April 18, 2013 at 10:39 AM
I would add a Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli attraction to Japan. Preferably Spirited Away or Castle in the Sky.
In Germany I would add a Brothers Grimm dark boat ride. Guests are sent on a quest through a dark fantasy forest and encounter characters from the Brothers Grimm stories.
Of course its probably been mentioned but it would be great to have the Ratatoullie ride cloned here pending its success in Paris.
Last a coaster like Big Grizzly I'm Canada. A large mountaim facade could be constructed and officially obscure the Soarin' building from World Showcase.

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