Breaking news out of Walt Disney World Resort today has the internet ablaze with speculation.
This morning before Epcot opened, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) performed height balloon tests in Future World East, over the current site of Universe of Energy. Height balloon tests usually telegraph plans for a new building as the test is designed to test site lines. This mornings test site is no surprise considering how wildly unpopular the Ellen’s Energy Adventure attraction is with modern park guests.
Universe of Energy opened with the park in 1982, and was renovated into Ellen’s Energy Adventure in 1996…for those of you playing along at home, that’s 20 years since an update. The attraction was awesome the first time I saw it, cute the second, and now it’s only usefulness on a day at Epcot is as a time killer, or a way to get out of the sun for 45 minutes.
Epcot as a whole has been languishing as of late and with the exception of Frozen Ever After and Soarin’, hasn’t seen a major update in this century. The time is now!
It is widely believed that Universe of Energy will close at the end of this year to make room for a new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. That attraction was rumored to be taking over the Universe of Energy pavilion, with a gut renovation imminent, but today’s news calls that rumor into question. Could we be seeing a new building altogether? What other reason would Disney have to do a height balloon test over the current building?
Whatever Disney does with the south end of Future World East, it will be a welcome change. Wonders of Life is literally an empty shell of it’s former self, and Universe of energy is a giant solar air conditioner. While I will miss the “edutainment” aspect of Epcot…at this stage, anything is better than nothing. Bring on the wrecking ball!