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Disney theme parks are always changing or evolving. It’s rare that there’s a moment in time that some park somewhere isn’t undergoing a major overhaul. Before the massive theme park closure, the park getting the biggest update was Epcot. The entire front section of the park, Future World, was getting largely redesigned with new attractions, new pavilions, and more. However, Epcot reopened to the public today, and with that came an indication that two of the major changes we were expecting, a completely renovated and redesigned Spaceship Earth, and a new Mary Poppins attraction might not be happening after all.
A Disney spokesperson has confirmed that the company has decided to on these attractions at this time “postpone development.” No new time frame has been given.
In advance of the “new Epcot” the park opened something called Epcot Experience, which was a sort of presentation/walkthrough attraction designed to show guests what Epcot would look like when all the work being done is completed. However on Epcot’s first day open to the public, the presentation has been changed from what it was before the closure, and the new Spaceship Earth and the Mary Poppins attraction that were previously included are now no longer mentioned.
While these changes no longer being mentioned almost certainly means something, it’s difficult to say exactly what that is. It seems likely that this means these changes won’t be done as part of the major renovation. What’s unclear is if this means the changes have been canceled completely or just significantly delayed. Alternatively, we could still see these changes happen, but in some sort of scaled back manner.
This is more than a little disappointing, but it isn’t all that surprising. The closure of the theme parks has been a massive financial strain on the parks and so the realization that this would likely mean that future changes, even those already announced, might not happen in order to save money, was something we all saw coming.
Spaceship Earth was scheduled to go down for renovation after the Memorial Day Weekend, but by the time we got there, Epcot was already closed to the public. Its fate was in limbo for a while before it was confirmed the ride would open with the park. With that, we already knew this particular change was delayed, which, for those who love the ride as it is, is actually quite good news.
The loss of the Mary Poppins attraction is a bit more unfortunate as it wasn’t replacing anything and would have simply been an addition. As it stands, we didn’t even really know what this attraction was going to be, and now one wonders if we ever will.
I’m certainly hoping that we see these changes down the road and we’re dealing with a delay and not a complete cancellation. If the money’s not there to get everything Disney World wanted to be done on the original schedule, that’s understandable and unavoidable.
Of course, it also wouldn’t be the first time that ideas were completely scrapped for financial reasons. Maybe it’s a good thing and it all just means that in the future we’ll get something else that’s even better.