It’s not a secret that huge changes are coming to the Epcot park we’ve known for a while (whether we “know AND love” is subjective however), and some of those changes have already been implemented. Many of the monoliths in the front of the park, containing 1000s of Leave a Legacy pictures, have already been removed and/or relocated, opening up a big walking area in front of Spaceship Earth.
Yesterday, Disney wasted no time giving us some of the next round of changes, announcing a handful of removals, closures, and relocations of attractions/experiences.
First up, The Electric Umbrella, a counter service across from the large gift shop MouseGear, will close permanently. I personally have never been a fan of Electric Umbrella, as there are better options for counter service nearby (Sunshine Seasons!!), and there are many who met this news with a shrug. MouseGear will also be closed this winter for a major (needed) overhaul, and a pop-up shop will open up to help sell you shirts, autograph books, and those princess ears you never knew you needed.
One location I’m not happy about, however, is Pin Central, the Disney pin trading area in front of the fountains and close to Starbucks. It will close on September 8th, but fear not, pin traders, it will actually be moved and re-opened where the Camera Center is now, which itself will be closed. Not far from Camera Center is the Art of Disney, which will close (though reportedly the fine art and collectibles found here will be moved to the American Heritage Manor in World Showcase at a future date… of which the Heritage Manor is reportedly closing and/or changing).
Speaking of the fountains, or the Fountain of Nations, it will also be closed down. That’s right, the majestic water fountain that has shows during the day set to music will be closed and removed. It’s final waterdance will take place on September 7th.
Innoventions continues its long and slow demise, as the Innoventions East will finally be closed for good. East, with it’s sister building, Innoventions West, once contained a dozen or more small educational areas featuring various activities, experiences, and even a roller coaster simulator ride, The Sum of All Fears (which was an excellent attraction by the way), but everything has slowly been taken away over time — currently, only Colortopia and Nanooze Break remain. If you don’t know what those are, you aren’t alone, and it won’t matter soon, as they will be closed completely on September 8ths
Club Cool, the famous Coke area featuring the line of Coke flavors from around the world (including the infamous Beverly flavor) will be closed soon, as will the Starbucks nearby. Though we can imagine they’ll reopen a Starbucks somewhere else (perhaps close to the front of the park), there seems to be a temporary location going into the Odyssey Building, which itself is becoming an Epcot Experience Center. Walt Disney World has indicated that “elements [of Club Cool — likely the tasting station, including Beverly] will be incorporated into new offerings as part of Epcot’s evolution”.
And finally, the Epcot Character Spot will be closed, and it’s characters relocated to various parts of the park. Really just a fill-in spot, the Character Spot has become a great place to meet the Big Cheese (Mickey), his best gal Minnie and his pals like Pluto, Goofy, and Donald, along with nearby Joy & Sadness from Inside Out and Baymax from Big Hero 6. These characters seem to be on their way to another place:
- Minnie Mouse moves to the World Showcase Gazebo
- Daisy Duck goes to The American Adventure
- Mickey & Goofy will find a temporary home in Innoventions West, though reportedly, Mickey will find a home in the Imagination Pavilion. Goofy will appear somewhere in the park.
- Joy & Sadness will reportedly be relocated to a new location
- Winnie the Pooh, who was found in random places, will make his return to the United Kingdom pavilion in Christopher Robin’s bedroom (which is where he and friends met for a long time, and where he should be!)
- Baymax will be… nowhere. It’s likely that his meet n greet run at Disney World will be over.
All of these changes in September, which adds to the final performance of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth which will be on September 30th.
September 8th seems to be the target date for most of these closings, but as always Disney can change anything they choose without telling anyone until it happens!