Hello and welcome back! I can see we have some returning guests and for those of you that are new, welcome to the tour!
Today we will look at all that is new in EPCOT. We will travel to the future to check out new technologies that await us in Future World. We will put on our thinking caps at Innoventions, talk about a possible “reFURBishment” to the Imagination pavilion, and Herbie and DJ explore new Test Track.
All that and more awaits you on the best tour of all. Where does this tour start you ask? Meet Me on Main Street!
Welcome to EPCOT!
Look a giant golf ball!
The Main gate at Epcot is still undergoing changes as the middle section is now behind walls so that more of the RIFD turnstiles can be installed.
Do you know how many triangles make up Spaceship Earth? 11,324
It was a very nice, hot day in EPCOT. I always wonder if anything will ever happen to the Leave a Legacy stones that are at the front of the park. I have never really taken the time to look at all of them, but there are some pretty funny pictures on there.
Want a faster way to time travel?
Spaceship Earth now has a Fastpass+ side to it. Will the attraction really ever need it? I don’t know, but do to the Fastpass+ initiative coming full force soon, all attractions are now getting Fastpass+ entrances. Since this is the first attraction most guests see when entering the park, long lines can form early in the morning, but have no fear, it usually moves very quickly.
FUTURE WORLD WEST:
Revenge of the Nerds!!!!
Over in Innoventions West, IBM has recently opened up there new exhibit entitled THINK.
Great minds think alike!
The exhibit features motion capture screens that reveal images and information about our global community. As you walk up to or by the screen, part of the image is revealed and with every new step or motion more is revealed.
NO, Great minds think for themselves!
Inside the exhibit there is a short presentation room that runs about every 15 minutes and more motion capture screens displaying information from computer processing, imaging, and digital mapping. The exhibit replaces IBM’s other exhibit in which you turned yourself into a video game character by the use of green screen technology and then played through a Mario Bros. style game with yourself being the character.
Just keep swimming
When this awening was installed a few months ago, I knew it probably was not just to give the Cast Members some shade. In fact like I stated before, every attraction is getting a Fastpass+ line and Nemo is no exception.
Finding fewer wait times?
The wait was 5 min at the time of this picture at about 10 in the morning. Although at the same time Soarin’ had a 70 min wait and a Fastpass+ return time of 3:30-4:30PM.
Mine! Mine! Mine!
After a few months of no talking allowed, the seagulls are back claiming there property in front of the attraction.
Grab the handrails so you don’t LAND on your butt!
Over at the Land Pavilion, the escalator on the right side is still being worked on. The other escalator is also shut down, but can still be used as stairs.
With the escalator being shut down, they opened up a detour on the bottom floor of the Land Pavilion that will take you out at the back of the Land Pavilion towards the Imagination Pavilion.
Time for a ReFERBishment!
Speaking of the Imagination Pavilion, rumor-mill has the area being closed in early January for a full blown refurbishment. No official word or press release has been said about it, but much is speculated that characters from Phineas and Ferb will overtake the area. Will Figment remain? Most guests hope he does.
The Magic Eye Theater will also be shut down and Captain EO will be removed. It was nice to have it back, but after seeing it once, I was done. Again, no word on what will be replacing it, or if the theater will be torn down. Most rumors have a Phineas and Ferb meet and greet going in this location.
Stairway to Imageworks
Thanks to some unofficial and banned videos on the internet, we do know that some of the items that were once accessible in the upstairs Imageworks still are there like the rainbow tunnel. What is to become of this area during the refurbishment? Will it ever see a guests eye again?
Create an Agent P?
If the new characters do overtake the pavilion in the future, what will happen to our favorite purple dragon? Will he become a figment of our imagination? Now that the Kodak sponsorship has ended is there really a need for Imageworks at the end of the attraction? Only time will tell, but it might be time for one last visit to the Imagination Institute.
These guys are some real characters
Gawrsh! Goofy somehow managed to find Dr. Salinsky’s Shrink Ray machine and got himself shrunk to 3 inches. He wanted to come by the newly redesigned Character Spot though to see some of his friends.
The line was only about 15 minutes when I went by, but as you can see it could be much longer.
Mickey had a quick chuckle when he saw Goofy had his accident. I assured him Goofy was ok. New to the Character Spot is the Epcot themed backdrops. Notice the Communicore logo on the TVs on the right side.
Pluto said Bark! Bark! and let out a he he when he saw Goofy. This backdrop has futuristic transportation tubes as well as the Monorail and Soarin’ gliders.
Minnie just shook her head and said oh well! This backdrop has the EPCOT park on the FL map. Although the actual park entrance is on the north side so the image should be reversed.
Starbucks at EPCOT!
The Fountain View restaurant (which once served Edy’s ice cream) is finishing up its transformation into a new Starbucks location.
A few leaked pictures shows the inside having a more futuristic looking shop which will go with the theme of the area.
FUTURE WORLD EAST:
Boo to You!
Halloween time is coming to the parks in its early fashion as normal. The first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts Sept. 10th. Most of the merchandise is available property wide, but there are some specific items that are mainly found in larger shops like Mouse Gear.
Creepy Wallpaper everywhere!
New this year is the singing busts ornament set and shot glasses.
With Halloween comes more Villains stuff. Im hoping we will see these and more at the Trade event in September.
We are the good habit heroes!
Over at Innoventions East across from Sum of All Thrills is the new Habit Heroes exhibit. Originally tested and opened in early 2012, the exhibit closed due to fan backlash concerning bad habits being considered villains like being obese, smoking, and depression. The attraction re-opened almost a year later with a new premise and deleted the villain aspect of it and it is pulling in some good wait times.
Yo Mr. Herbie, Hello Mr. DJ
With the new Test Track being open for almost a year, the fan community is split down the middle on it. I thought why not take a classic car like Herbie and a newer car like DJ and take them around the attraction to see the recent changes.
The attraction still has its stand by, single rider, and Fastpass+ lines. Gone is the crash-test dummy motif of yellow and black. The que now has colors of neon blue and slim line graphics of concept cars and cars of the future.
The car of the future
The next part of the que has you entering the design phase of the attraction where you can design your own car, truck or compact car using the 4 elements of the attraction which are: power, efficiency, capability, and responsiveness. You then ride the attraction and “tests” are done based on those 4 characteristics.
After the ride is over, there are multiple showrooms to explore. The first is a screen that shows the overall best design of the day and the best designs in each category. Tap your Magic Band or card that was given out to see how your creation did.
Test Track 500
Another extra after the ride is a figure 8 race track that you can upload your concept car and race against other guests designs.
Like a rock!
The final showroom has Chevrolet cars and trucks that you can sit in an look at much like the old Test Track showroom. The stages that used to have curtains opening up every few minutes to reveal cars is now gone and in its place are picture spots. You can either take pictures with a real Chevy car like a Camaro at an exotic location, or your vehicle that you designed against a green screen.
Overall the ride itself is the same, with new scenery and audio. I prefer the old Test Track ride, but I do love the new look of it and the interactivity the design element brings to the attraction. What are your thoughts? Comment below!
Sadly, that will end this portion of our EPCOT tour. Don’t worry, next week we will travel the world as we embark on a world showcase. As always I hope you enjoyed the tour and please comment below on what you liked, didn’t like, or what you would like to see more of. You can pick up the tour next week on the #1 street in the world:
Meet me on Main Street!