UPDATE January 15 - The only thing we are now missing is official confirmation. Everything is now pointing towards the formerly planned PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT having been canceled. Our last update was back in October when at the start of the EPCOT 40 celebrations the PLAY! Pavilion appeared on the commerative map and we then saw workers on the roof. This was quickly followed up by rumors that the project had been severely slimmed down or canceled completely.
Now, at the beginning of the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts presented by AT&T it is clear that PLAY! Pavilion has been deleted from the map all together. We now assume this is the end for this project and Disney will just continue to ignore its ever existence in the first place.
October 19 - I can hear you saying, "this is just getting ridiculous" and I don't disagree. The ongoing saga of whether PLAY! Pavilion is on or off seems to have been going on forever. After originally expecting to get an answer at the D23 Expo it was rumored that it would not be mentioned and sources were correct. Having then given up on the PLAY! Pavilion, we then saw workers on the roof in September and then PLAY! Pavilion appeared on the commerative map for EPCOT 40th Anniversary. We are certainly getting mixed messages.
It is now being rumored online that during a retreat to Walt Disney World that executives have now officially canceled the project. We had already heard that the project had been considerably slimmed down with those originally working on the PLAY! Pavilion having been moved to other projects. Having said that, there has STILL not been an official announcement on the fate of PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT. We will hopefully be able to finally bring you a confirmed answer in the near future so watch this space. Do you think PLAY! Pavilion should be canceled for good? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.
October 6 - It seems like it is the ongoing question which is never answered, is PLAY! Pavilion happening at EPCOT? Well, after there was no mention at all of the PLAY! Pavilion during the D23 Expo in Anaheim at the beginning of September, we thought this could be the end of PLAY! Pavilion for good. But, there were a couple of sightings of workers on the roof in mid September which has led to speculation that the project may not have been canceled after all and now there has been an interesting discovery this week.
On Saturday, October 1 EPCOT celebrated its 40th Anniversary and guests who attended this event were given a commemorative map and to many Disney fans surprise, the Future Home Of PLAY! is marked on the map! We are speculating that the project as rumored has been considerably scaled down but it certainly looks like we will see the PLAY! Pavilion come to EPCOT at some point in the future. We will keep you posted on further details regarding the PLAY! Pavilion here on Theme Park Tourist. Let us know your thoughts on this by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.
September 13 - Having heard a rumor last week that the PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT has now been cancelled, many fans were expecting an announcement from Disney on Sunday but this did not happen. The PLAY! Pavilion was not mentioned at all when discussing plans for the future which definitely leads us to believe that this project is now gone for good!
The rumor said “the pavilion has either been cancelled or severely scaled down.” with the people previously working on it having been moved to other projects. There has been limited details given about the project since being announced back in 2019 and for most it won't come as a surprise that we are very unlikely to ever see it come to fruition. We will keep you posted on any further confirmed updates regarding the fate of PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT on our news and Facebook page.
September 6 - Having heard back in July that a major permit had been filed for the PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT, fans inevitably speculated that the project which was originally announced back in 2019 was back on. Now it seems that there is a rumor online which has been reported by Walt Disney World News Today, saying it has been cancelled for good.
Apparently sources have said that the PLAY! Pavilion will not be mentioned at the upcoming D23 Expo which runs September 9-11 and that “the pavilion has either been cancelled or severely scaled down.” with the people previously working on it having been moved to other projects.
Now, as this is a rumor, this has not been confirmed or denied by Disney and we will keep you updated on any further announcements as soon as they are made regarding the fate of the PLAY! Pavilion at EPCOT. Let us know your thoughts by voting, Play or Stop in our poll below and by leaving us a comment.
July 15 - It is safe to say that most Disney fans had probably long given up hope for the PLAY! Pavilion to come to EPCOT as part of the planned transformation originally announced back in 2019. However, according to BlogMickey a major permit has been filed meaning it could open at EPCOT by late 2024.
The permit has been filed for a "General Contractor Package" by Walt Disney Imagineering for the PLAY! Pavilion. The permit will enable the transformation of the former Wonders of Life Pavilion.
The expiry date on the permit is listed as December 31, 2024 which is when all construction work on the PLAY! Pavilion would have to be completed. A date has been floated that the PLAY! Pavilion could open at EPCOT by late 2024, however, based on the current speed of Disney construction projects it could be much later than that.
The PLAY! Pavilion is described as being a space designed to look like an innovative indoor city that will come to life with interactive experiences, including ones that would include Disney characters.
When this project was first announced, creative portfolio executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, Zach Riddley, had this to say about the new "Play" pavilion:
“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot. Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”
There has been no word on the PLAY! Pavilion since it was omitted from the EPCOT transformation project press release in December 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. The filing of this recent permit has definitely come as a shock to many Disney fans We are expecting to hear further news about the future of the PLAY! Pavilion at D23 in September. We will keep you posted on all furtherdevelopments on our news and Facebook page.