3 Rumored Closures Set to Hit Walt Disney World in 2017By Amanda Kondolojy, Friday, December 23, 2016 07:05
2. The Universe of Energy (Epcot)
Earlier this year rumors surfaced that seemed to indicate that the Universe of Energy (which houses Ellen's Energy Adventure and has to be one of the least traversed corners of any Walt Disney World park) was going to be demolished to make way for a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed thrill ride. The presence of height balloons in the park just days after this rumor surfaced seemed to confirm this development, but just like with the Wreck-It Ralph attraction mentioned previously, budget issues have been holding this project back in its current development phase, and the future of the entire project is now in doubt. Fan backlash against the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT attraction at Disney California Adventure may also be to blame here as well for this stalled project.
However, just when we thought this pavilion might be safe from being shuttered, well-sourced rumors started circulating again this past week about a possible early 2017 closure of the Universe of Energy, in relation to the confirmed total reinvention of Epcot that has been confirmed to be in the works.
While the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction may or may not happen at this point (at least inside Epcot) it looks like something is coming soon to the Universe of Energy Pavilion, and that something probably won't involve Ellen DeGeneres, Alex Trebek, or dinosaurs.
3. Innoventions (Epcot)
Over the last two years, the Innoventions attraction has been steadily shrinking. What used to span multiple exhibits over two buildings, has now become a single exhibit in one building. With the closings of the Sum of All Thrills as well as StormStruck, Innoventions has become Innovention, and as a result guest levels inside this building have evaporated overnight.
While Disney is likely contracted via a sponsorship deal to keep Colortopia around for at least a little bit longer at Epcot, it seems likely that once Disney's deal with paint company Glidden comes to an end, this final exhibit will be moved out and something else will come to this building.
While we don't know exactly what might happen with this space, it is worth noting that Disney has actually found great success on the other side of the park converting the former Innoventions West building into an expanded Character Spot, featuring recent favorites including Baymax from Big Hero 6 as well as Joy and Sadness from Inside Out. It wouldn't seem unreasonable for Disney to expand the Character Spot across the causeway, but one has to wonder if there is an upper limit to how many characters Disney can stuff into one park. And even if more characters did come to Epcot via an additional expanded Character Spot, would that just be a placeholder until the as-yet unknown new vision of Future World can debut?
Unfortunately there is a lot of uncertainty around this particular rumored closure, but the good news is that hopefully we will have answers about the future of this part of the park soon. Disney has promised updates on its major confirmed projects (including the reinvention of Epcot) later in 2017, and we're excited to hear what the future holds, not only for this park, but all around the resort.
Are you going to miss any of these attractions if they do indeed close as rumored? Or are you hoping one or two will be saved at the last minute?