PHOTO - New design for Epcot's main entrance revealed

Feb 21, 2019 in "EPCOT"

Posted: Thursday February 21, 2019 11:!2am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Changes are coming to the Epcot main entrance, where the plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain.

This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements. As part of this new entry experience, Leave A Legacy photos will move into a new setting just outside the park’s gateway. While the photos will be staying, the granite columns will not be part of the new display.

“Epcot has always been, and always will be, an optimistic celebration of the real world that is brought to life through the magic of Disney,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort. “The exciting plans we have on the horizon will honor Epcot’s rich legacy of creativity and innovation while continuing to exceed the expectations of our guests for decades to come.”

Additional significant redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade. Disney has said that more details about the transformation of this area will be announced at a later date.

Work is planned to begin on the new entrance Spring 2019, with construction taking place in phases.

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lazyboy97oLess than a minute ago

Shifts in management, not a problem with the park, especially the idea that it was a financial failure. None of his issues of aesthetics or costs are being addressed either.

Brenthodge7 minutes ago

Mistake was probably not the best choice of words, but I get what he is saying. EPCOT center was an attempt at reconciling a visionary dream of Disney with a reality that could actually happen. I feel like it was a project that needed to happen and Disney changed because of it, but shifts in management thinking since it’s inception no longer align with its ideals.

lazyboy97o18 minutes ago

You don’t use the imagery and iconography of a mistake to sell something “new”.

Brenthodge7 hours ago

Well stated. I was lucky enough to have experienced that “mistake”, and loved that “mistake”, but am clear headed enough to realize that yes, it was an experiment, experience, and product, not of even it’s time, but of about a decade before. It was amazing, but our world has changed. I do think there are more elements of its original ideals that could be included in its reimagining, but I totally see the why they are doing what they are doing.

lazyboy97o8 hours ago

Go on continuing to ignore that EPCOT Center was profitable and helped keep the entire company in the black.

MisterPenguin10 hours ago

OR... they thought the original sponsors would shell out a hundred million dollars or more every 10 years to keep the ride fresh just so they can have their name on the attraction. Over in World Showcase, sponsorship worked because sponsors were running restaurants and shops and making money. In Future World, sponsorship was very very expensive passive advertising.

sedati10 hours ago

There's a reason the original proposal for World Showcase (at the TTC) had over thrity countries and EPCOT Center opened with eight. The fundamental financial structure for this massive undertaking had proven deeply flawed before a single shovel hit the dirt. Of those eight, only three had attractions. Of those, only one had a proper ride and that was scaled down and screen dependant. Shops and resturaunts did abound however- Paul Pressler learned his dirty tricks somewhere after all. But surely once the park was open and everyone saw the great success and value of those investments, others would be eager to join in. Surely... The park was a glorious mistake. If you were lucky enough to see it in it's early days, treasure that mistake, but stop expecting it to happen again in a similar manner. Expect greatness- insist on it, but you're not ever getting 1982 back. IMHO

UNCgolf13 hours ago

They probably do -- haven't watched any of them recently. I think the most recent one I watched was World of Motion but it was several months ago.

HauntedPirate13 hours ago

Right, I knew what you were referring to. :) Martin's videos on the original EPCOT Center rides usually make mention of the ability to replace content, IIRC. :)

UNCgolf13 hours ago

Oh sure. I only meant actually replacing the ride or completely overhauling its content.

HauntedPirate14 hours ago

I’d have to think they they planned for the ride systems to be maintained as well. Or at least I hope they did. 40 years for SSE’s Omnimover is at least 10 years too many.

UNCgolf14 hours ago

I assume a lot of that was for the pavilion overall rather than the rides themselves. I think most of the original rides would work fine today other than maybe needing to change the last scene or two. They certainly wouldn't have needed to change the vast majority of World of Motion (which was a vastly superior ride to either incarnation of Test Track), but the whole post-show would have needed an overhaul. On the other hand, closing World of Motion did give us a few more years of Horizons!

marni197114 hours ago

They did. Life expectancy was up to ten years.

bpiper15 hours ago

I find it hard to believe that the designers of Epcot didn't know that their attractions would need periodic refreshing. I would be shocked if they didn't even have a chart projecting what the refresh cycle timeline would be and what parts would need to be changed as they aged and what the projected costs would be. I sure would want to know these things before greenlighting them. The difference is that MGMT at that time understood that its part of the cost of doing business. Just like a local amusement park knows that they need to do a major ride every few years and do small attractions in the off years. If you stop investing, people stop coming. The problem became that the new MGMT, (starting with later Eisner and continuing with Bob Igor) didn't want to do the investment because they just wanted to keep using WDW as the Disney ATM machine. If you have to put back a $20 for every $100 you take out, your not maximizing your withdrawals. When the attendance started to dip, they created the festivals to get people to keep coming. Painting over the rotten wood that was growing. It wasn't until the festivals weren't cutting it anymore, did they realize that they need to put back into the ATM some of those twenties. Compounding the problem is that the type of park that the Imagineers created as Epcot, demanded periodic updating. Magic Kingdom, not so much. Mainly just maintenance and capacity increases. I would say that the studios is similar to Epcot, while AK is more like MK. If you look at what they are putting into IPcot, you can see that its attractions with staying power so that they don't have to replace or highly rework them periodically. I would argue that they have done the same thing at the Studios, but still have some more to do.