Though plans are currently underway to transform Disney's Hollywood Studios from a half-day park to a full-day destination (thanks to Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land), it looks like the park with the next big update coming will be Epcot. We weren't sure about it before, but it seems like the new energy injected into this park by the opening of Frozen Ever After in the World Showcase's Norway Pavilion has given Disney decision-makers the confidence to go ahead and completely re-work Epcot in an effort to move away from science, technology, and cultural experiences, and instead inject familiar characters and IPs that will draw bigger crowds (the way Frozen has done).
While there are plenty of rumored changes in the works at Epcot, this week we got some pretty conclusive evidence that yet another non-fictional attraction is going to be closed very soon and will eventually be replaced by a character-based new attraction in the near future. But if you think this is going to be another situation like Frozen Ever After (which was a quick overlay that essentially used all the "guts" of the attraction formerly known as Maelstrom to create a surprisingly good, albeit familiar attraction), you might actually be wrong, as Disney's newest plan to bring a popular group of characters to Epcot looks like it will be more extensive than many originally thought...
Guardians of the Galaxy is almost certain to be coming to Epcot's Future World now, and it's going to be more than just an overlay
It was only a few weeks ago that we reported that Disney executives were reportedly considering a plan to gut the current Universe of Energy building in Future World (currently home to the truly dated Ellen’s Energy Adventure) and replace the insides with a new attraction featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy. While Disney has yet to officially confirm anything yet in regards to this project, it looks like this rumored new attraction has moved one step closer to becoming a reality. WDWMagic reports that height balloons (which are commonly used to test sight lines throughout the park while plans for new attractions are being drawn up and finalized) were seen yesterday at Epcot flying over various spots on and around the Universe of Energy building.
The presence of these height balloons strengthens the theory that this rumored new addition will involve making substantial changes to the Universe of Energy building, and won’t involve simply repurposing the existing attraction structure (like other recent attraction changes at Epcot like Frozen Ever After, The Seas With Nemo and Friends, etc.) We don’t know if the entire building is going to be simply modified or completely bulldozed, but it looks like Disney is at least looking into the possibility of doing some major construction in this space to make room for this new attraction.
Of course, it is important to remember that nothing about this new attraction has been confirmed by Disney yet and it is technically still not too late for Disney to change their minds on this project (Disney has cancelled plenty of projects at the last minute, after all). However, with height balloon testing now happening inside the park, it looks like things are moving in a very positive direction for this still-unconfirmed new attraction. While we might be months (or perhaps even longer) away from an official announcement confirming a Guardians of the Galaxy ride for Epcot, we would be surprised if a closing date for Ellen’s Energy Adventure isn’t announced in the very near future as the park gets ready to move on this project.