Theme park attractions come and go all the time, and even though we’d like all our favorite rides and shows to stick around forever, the sad fact is that we have to say goodbye to at least a few every year.
Though we've gotten used of closure after closure hitting Disney's Hollywood Studios as this park prepares for its total reboot, it is Epcot that will be seeing the most closures in the near future, with three attractions confirmed to be closing at this park in the next six weeks. And while most of these closures were expected, the confirmed replacement for the first endangered attraction our list has us scratching our heads a little...
1. Captain EO
Status: Going Extinct December 6, 2015
Though we've been reading the tea leaves for awhile now in regards to this attraction's future, it looks like the long-running Captain EO Tribute at Epcot is finally going to be closing for good early next month. Though Disney didn't confirm the news at first, a poster featuring text that mentioned a "farewell mission" for Captain EO on December 6th was found at the Imagination Pavilion early Friday morning, with Disney confirming the closure several hours later via their official parks blog.
Interestingly, Disney has already gotten a replacement ready for the space currently occupied by Captain EO, announcing that in just a few weeks, the Magic Eye Theater will play host to the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. As you might expect, this attraction will feature three shorts from Disney and Pixar, along with "behind the scenes" footage and special "4D" effects that have yet to be revealed. It hasn't been confirmed which shorts will be included in this "new" experience, (though we'd wager that recent hit Frozen Fever will be among the film lineup), but we should know soon as more details become available ahead of this attraction's December launch.
Though it seems like Disney has Captain EO's replacement all set, what remains to be seen is whether the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival will just be a temporary replacement meant to boost DVD sales, or something more permanent. In the past, it was rumored that a new, original film could be coming to the Magic Eye Theater in the future (possibly based on either Guardians of the Galaxy or Inside Out), but considering the Imagination pavilion's lack of a sponsor, these rumors may never come to fruition. While we don't know how much of a draw a new showing of old shorts will be for Epcot guests , if Disney doesn't want to move forward with a completely new film for the Magic Eye theater without a sponsor, this film collection may be taking up residence in Captain EO's former location for a long time.
2. Paul McKenna Band
Status: Going Extinct November 20, 2015
Scottish folk group the Paul McKenna band made their Epcot debut this past March, and while it's only been a few months since they hit the scene, it looks like this acoustic group will be wrapping up what turned out to be a very brief stay in the UK pavilion on November 20th. While this four-piece group from Glasgow, Scotland did have its fans, it never quite garnered the same popularity as some other recently retired World Showcase acts. No replacement musical performers for the UK have been announced yet.