Though we know that some big changes are rumored to be on the way in the next few years for the Future World half of Epcot (including a controversial replacement of the current Universe of Energy attraction), some more immediate, smaller changes are happening now in the World Showcase area of the park. From some shuffles in the entertainment lineup (including an unfortunate and unexpected exit) to some exciting new menu additions at popular eateries, and even some cuts in one of the park's most popular pavilions, here are all of the changes happening right now at Epcot's World Showcase that you might not have already noticed:
1. Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro makes an unexpected exit from the Italy Pavilion
In an unexpected move, it has been revealed that Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro, the Italian flag waiving entertainment act that debuted in this area almost exactly two years ago back in 2014, will no longer be appearing at Epcot's Italy Pavilion, effective as of last week. This group previously performed intricate traditional Italian flag waving routines accompanied by live music during a 10 minute set that took place in the center of the pavilion several times daily. While it wasn't the most popular entertainment offering at Epcot, it still drew a reasonable-sized crowd, and actually got guests without dining reservations into the Italy pavilion, which was definitely a good thing.
Though the master juggler Sergio is still performing regularly in this pavilion, it does not look like a replacement for Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro is currently in the works, which leaves this section of the park with only one entertainment option five days a week (and no entertainment at all two days a week) for the foreseeable future, which is definitely a disappointing development for this pavilion as we head into the holiday season.
2. Bodh’aktan moves into the Mill Stage for a late fall and early 2017 engagement
Epcot's Canada Pavilion welcomed Bodh’aktan, another guest musical group, earlier this month to the Mill Stage for a very limited engagement that will see this group performing six sets a day, five days a week from October 9th until the end of the month. The band will then take a short hiatus during the holidays (we're guessing to make room for the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, which will likely return in November for Epcot's Holidays around the World festival), after which Bodh’aktan will return again for just over three weeks in January 2017.
This group's music is described as combining elements of celtic, trad-Quebecois, polka, punk, Irish folk, Breton and Maritime music, and definitely makes for a very unique addition to the World Showcase's entertainment lineup.
3. Mexico Pavilion returns to regular operating hours for the fall
Earlier this year when Frozen Ever After burst on the scene Epcot began wisely began opening the nearby Mexico Pavilion (as well as the Gran Fiesta Tour ride) at 9:00 AM to help dissipate heavy crowds rushing through the World Showcase every morning to get to (and from) the Norway pavilion. However, now that fall is here Disney has decided to switch the Mexico Pavilion back to a normal operating schedule, with guests now only able to enter this pavilion beginning at 11:00 AM every morning.
Though the nearby Frozen Ever After attraction as well as the Royal Sommerhus meet and greet will continue to open early every morning at 9:00AM, it looks like Norway is the only area of the World Showcase that will continue to be open in the morning into the fall. And speaking of scheduling at the World Showcase, there's another cut that may be a little sad for early risers looking to get their day started with a little bit of flavor...