While Epcot was initially conceived by Walt Disney himself as a city called the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” the Disney company scrapped that plan after his death but kept an educational focus, dividing the park into two main areas, Future World and World Showcase, a constellation of pavilions representing the food, architecture and history of nations like Japan, China, Canada and France.
In 2015, the park hosted about 11.98 million guests, ranking it the third-most-visited theme park in North America and the sixth-most-visited theme park in the world. But lately, that’s just not enough. And Disney is now announced a series of changes and improvements to the theme park.
As the NYT reported: Bob Chapek, the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, hinted last November that major changes were coming to Epcot, which sprawls across 300 acres as part of the four-park Disney World complex near Orlando, Florida. He announced the details for the updates at this weekend’s three-day D23 Expo, a biennial convention for Disney fans.
A major new ride — themed to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the hit Marvel movie series — is planned for Epcot’s front section, where a simulator attraction, Mission: Space, will be updated and expanded. A ride based on the Pixar film “Ratatouille” will be added to the park’s World Showcase area. And Epcot will serve as a stop for a new gondola system called Disney Skyliner connecting various hotels and parks.
Also coming to that resort will be a luxury hotel designed to make guests feel as if they are staying on an actual “Star Wars” starship.
Let’s face it: Epcot is old and outdated. Current rides include slow-moving vehicles that take passengers on extended rides through the history of fossil fuel, oil, natural gas, and coal. Another ride showcases the history of agriculture.
For a theme park whose main facility looks like a spaceship, there is clearly need for a reboot. It seems the plan to improve Epcot is a plan to bring the park into the present era and even the future. Technology, space, and immersive environments are all part of the renovation plans.
Frankly, we’re fans of the international vibe Epcot has offered over the years. But we also understand the need to reboot and improve with consideration to the future. It’s that thought process and design process that informed our decisions regarding our expansion and new customized office space.
If you come visit, we think you’ll agree. Here at Workville, one of NYC’s Midtown coworking spaces, we’re designing for the future.