The glory days of Epcot’s Future World has come and gone, but I will never doubt the creative abilities of Disney Imagineers, and I truly believe if they have the opportunity they can bring Future World not only back to its prime, but better than it has ever been.
1) The Wonders of Life Pavilion Needs Life Again
Closing in 2007, the Wonders of Life Pavilion has only been used for the International Flower and Garden Festival, and the Food and Wine Festival in recent years. What was once an instructive experience on health and the human body has become a utility building for extra space.
Why not bring it back? Epcot’s intent has always been to inspire and to inform. But Epcot is losing its ability to inform by taking away educational pavilions like the Wonders of Life. Healthy living is becoming an increasingly worse problem, and the Wonders of Life Pavilion could serve to educate children and their families in a fun and interactive way. With Pixar’s recent release, Inside Out, I think it might be the perfect time to gear up the Wonders Of Life Pavilion once again! Inside Out is a film focused on the emotions of a young girl, which could play perfecting into the goals of the Wonders of Life Pavilion. This film would rejuvenate this semi-abandoned pavilion.
2) Innoventions Needs to Inspire
With reported changes coming to Innoventions we can all hope that Disney Imagineering shows us what they can still do. When the Walt Disney Company gives its full support and lets Disney Imagineers do what they do best it’s almost always a surefire success, but if there is only room for half-baked ideas then this change could turn out to be a bust. Before the update, Innoventions reminded me a lot of a convention center, and I hope with proper imagination from Imagineering it could be so much more. When Imagineering does what they do best, I can envision a place where children and adults can be inspired by technology in the way the Walt Disney wanted to inspire the world with technology. I would love for Innoventions to constantly change. I believe the key to the success of Innoventions will be if it is interactive enough to encourage curiosity in children and adults alike.
3) The Imagination! Pavilion Lacks Imagination
The attraction that was once Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter’s masterpiece has fallen into mediocrity. In the Journey into Imagination, Figment and Dreamfinder once inspired children and adults alike to feel imaginative. The tandem of both Figment and Dreamfinder together gave this attraction the “it factor.” By that I mean it had something about it that felt authentically Disney about it.
In 1998 the ride underwent renovation. Usually I am a huge fan of renovations, because as Walt himself said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” But, in the case of the Journey to Imagination there was one major flaw. It stripped away the attraction of Dreamfinder, which has left the attraction with an apparent void. The renovation backpedaled, draining most of its “it factor.” Walt Disney World fans and locals are especially big fans of Dreamfinder and would love to see him come back.
Also housed in the Imagination Pavilion was ImageWorks. ImageWorks was an interactive space to play. This space was similar to the existing ImageWorks – The “What If” Labs, but different in that the original was much more creative and imaginative. The original ImageWorks that was located on the second floor of the pavilion was a true testing ground for a child’s imaginative abilities. Children and adults alike would ride The Journey to Imagination and feel so inspired that they felt an urge to go test their imagination skills at ImageWorks. If Disney Imagineering can bottle that type of spirit and bring it back to life in Epcot then they have the opportunity to make Future World better than it has ever been.
4) The Universe of Energy Needs To Pick Up The Pace
I love Walt Disney World and almost everything about it, but The Universe of Energy, or Ellen’s Energy Adventure, needs to be gutted. The idea that a family can have fun and learn about energy is a great idea, yet this 45-minute attraction is lackluster. Personally I believe the ride system is lacking the energy it is supposed to be teaching the guests about. While I am grateful the attraction actually educates the guests I believe the current ride system is just too slow. 45 minutes of a slowly moving attraction becomes more of a boring classroom atmosphere than a fun educational experience. Some rides age better than others, but unfortunately Ellen’s Energy Adventure, which hasn’t been updated since 1996 needs more…well, energy. Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye are still very relevant choices for this attraction, but in order for a complete overhaul Disney would need to bring them back and start from scratch.
Sponsorship of this attraction has fallen off because it is no longer an attraction that sponsors can be proud of backing. Reinvesting in this ride could possibly bring back interest to oil, solar, or wind companies, which could be a source of revenue that could continuously update the attraction.
5) Mission: SPACE Never Took Off
After Horizons closed in 1999, guests set their expectations high for what could possibly replace such a loved attraction. When rumors arose that the new attraction would cost $100 million the anticipation grew even more so. Then the attraction opened. The simulation of Mission: SPACE while it was innovative when first opened it has made many guests feel very sick. Thirteen years later Mission: SPACE now just seems to fill the location of what was once a loved attraction. Even Disney recognizes how much Horizons is missed, and they release special merchandise for Horizons frequently. Mission: SPACE won’t be renovated or replaced anytime soon, but here is to hoping that when it eventually get taken down that we get an attraction that was loved as much as Horizons was.