Epcot's new space-themed restaurant will open this year

May 10, 2019, 9:16 AM · The Walt Disney World Resort announced this morning that Epcot's new space-themed restaurant will open later this year.

Under construction next to Mission: Space in Future World, this as-yet-unnamed table-service restaurant will simulate a meal on a space station — albeit one with artificial gravity. But if Disney's Imagineers can find a way to make my food float in front of me, I would 100% pay extra to experience that.

The restaurant will be operated by Patina Group, the Los Angeles-based restauranteurs that run Via Napoli among other restaurants at Walt Disney World and Disneyland's Downtown Disney. The kitchen will be overseen by Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger, who moves over from Maria & Enzo's in Disney Springs. No word yet on a specific opening date this year or menu items and prices.

Replies (10)

May 10, 2019 at 12:18 PM

AWESOME NEWS! EPCOT is going to be on top of its game by the fiftieth!

May 10, 2019 at 10:02 AM

I'm envisioning tabletops made from the former Luigi's Flying Tire attraction: especially made plates are able to float in front of the diners! Diners would of course have to be admonished to eat carefully enough to keep their plates from leaning and therefore sliding off the table. It'd be a great leap forward for balanced meals!

May 10, 2019 at 1:21 PM

Disney intends to have guests obey the law of gravity at the new operating participant restaurant. After all, "Elsa" isn't allowed to be "Defying Gravity" while she works Epcot, that's an IP she features off property due to "Wicked" legal restrictions, so gotta "Let it Go.";)

May 10, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Will we or won't we.....hear Test Track zipping by next door??

May 10, 2019 at 6:26 PM

Wouldn't it be cool if one of the Mission Space ride centrifuges was how diners reached this restaurant. That was always one of my biggest peeves with Mission Space - we get launched into space supposedly on a real mission, then at the end of the ride - we're just back on Earth. Wouldn't it be great if they changed the destination for one of the four centrifuges so when the ride was over, we were now at the restaurant. Half the cabins could be for those going to eat. The other half could bring you back to Earth. Perhaps - not a great idea on a full stomach.
Otherwise - how are we going to get to the restaurant in space?
A re-purposed Adventure's through Inner Space ride cabin?
A space Hydrolater?
Swinging Door?

May 10, 2019 at 6:40 PM

@Rob: I’m pretty sure that the story behind Mission: Space is that riders are just training for a flight to Mars and not actually going there.

May 13, 2019 at 11:53 AM

The more I read about this, the more it sounds like Mars 2112, the failed themed dining concept in New York. That restaurant lasted a little over 12 years, but the time we ate there about 6 years before it went belly-up, it was already a dead zone. Patina obviously has a strong pedigree, backed by Disney's success, so hopefully it will last, because Future World definitely could use some more sit-down dining options.

May 13, 2019 at 12:44 PM

@Rob, you've just given them an idea for an upcharge dining package! I'm only kidding....they already thought of it.

It's interesting to me how Disney likes to test its technology in less risky places before they bring it to a headline attraction. Tron effects on Test Track prior to at Shanghai for example. This seems like a dry run for the Star Wars hotel tech more than anything.

May 13, 2019 at 12:56 PM

@Russell - Any restaurant that last 12 years must have been doing something right. That's a lot longer than many places.

May 13, 2019 at 1:38 PM

@Rob - Yeah, but as I noted, about halfway through their lifespan when we last visited they were already running on life support. They were running very aggressive specials and coupons throughout NYC, and the dining room was frequently reported as empty with indifferent staff - we walked right up without a reservation on a Saturday night before a show, which is unheard of in the Theater District. Mars 2112 survived on its novelty for its first few years, but was an extremely expensive place to run (right on Broadway, directly across from the Winter Garden and a couple blocks from Times Square). The novelty eventually wore off, and as the restaurant tried to trim costs, they started skimping on staffing and training, which cheapened the experience and further eroded the customer base as servers and management gave up on maintaining the conceit of the experience that made it unique. It had basically turned into a special events space before finally going out of business in early 2012.

I hope this new restaurant has some legs, and that Patina and Disney looked at Mars 2112 and the Star Trek Experience as case studies to form the basis of how this new restaurant should be run. I know Disney can slap their name on virtually anything and get the Drones to pay through the nose, but I'd really like to see a concept like this be successful and not simply for the novelty it.

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