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.
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.
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.
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.
Perhaps it should have remained open for more to experience.
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.
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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?
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I do miss the Millenium Village. I hear that the Swiss Mini-Golf booth still exists.
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.
Would love to see the Rhine river ride in Germany!
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.