When it comes to Walt Disney World, EPCOT is the park receiving all of the attention at the 2019 D23 Expo. The Disney Parks Pavilion, “Imagining Tomorrow, Today” revolves around EPCOT, with gorgeous new attraction posters for past, present, and future Epcot attractions. In this post, we’ll take a look at those 38 posters, plus new concept art and other stuff.
In essence, there are two halves of the Disney Parks & Resorts booth on the show floor at the 2019 D23 Expo. The larger area is devoted to EPCOT (with a few props and other models, including the Tokyo Disneyland expansion and ‘bigified’ Hong Kong Disneyland castle). The other side is dedicated to the Avengers Campus Marvel Land that we covered here yesterday.
On our first day at the D23 Expo, we spent way more time in the Epcot area than anywhere else, poring over the model, watching the new concept art video loop, and taking photos of the 38 EPCOT attraction posters. I’ll admit, the booth filled me with a sense of optimism and hope about the future of EPCOT. I really must be a sucker…
If we’re all being honest with ourselves, anyone who knew EPCOT Center until the mid to late 1990s and remains a fan of the current park is a sucker to one degree or another. The original EPCOT Center imbued in us all such a sense of optimism that we clutch what remains of that incarnation of the park, and stay steadfast in a hope that it’ll return to its former glory.
It should be patently obvious at this point that beloved attractions like Horizons, World of Motion, Universe of Energy, Kitchen Kabaret, etc. are never coming back. Disney character infusions will not cease. EPCOT will continue to change in ways that have little to do with its original mission statement.
I realize I was won over by those attraction posters and a presentation that had been engineered to stir my emotions and nostalgia. Taking a step back, I realize it’s all style and no substance; retro-inspired logos and pretty new posters for a lot of extinct attractions. Nothing that reflects the current–or even future–reality of EPCOT.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but be heartened by the EPCOT booth. First, because I am a sucker (see above). Second, because in talking to people working the booth and seeing the art and designs they’ve put together, it also becomes patently obvious that there are still people working at Disney that hold the same reverence for EPCOT as I do, and some of them are putting that passion into a better future for the park.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the transformed Future World will be exactly what longtime EPCOT fans have been pining for. I don’t think it’s really a secret that EPCOT has people who “get it” working on its projects, and loyal fans even within the company (including a couple of really big names in powerful roles).
There are also plenty of people within Disney who don’t “get” EPCOT, and that’s why the park has ended up where it is today. Passion, caring, and getting it only matters to the extent that it influences or guides important decisions and the substantive future of the park.
All of this is a topic well beyond the scope of this post, which is basically just intended to be some photos of the cool EPCOT displays and attraction posters.
I’ll quit (most of) the commentary and just let these gorgeous posters speak for themselves…
I think there’s about at least a 75% chance the “Revealing Sunday” poster above is for the long-rumored Brazil pavilion, which ranks highly in our 2019 D23 Expo Predictions for Walt Disney World and Beyond.
This pavilion is expected to be built between Germany and Italy (where the model train currently operates).
I’m far less confident about the “Revealing Sunday” poster on the other side. As covered in that predictions post, I really want it to be Figment and Dreamfinder, and I think that would make a lot of sense.
However, Figment and Dreamfinder already have a poster up here, and other reimagined attractions (like Test Track) don’t have multiple posters on display. This could simply be for dramatic effect (and truly, Figment & Dreamfinder deserve two posters), or it could be because the Imagination pavilion is getting a totally new concept. Or it could be for something totally different entirely, like the big reveal of that crepe stand’s poster.
Here is how much of a sucker I am: that Millennium Celebration poster in the upper left? I actually like that!
I hated the wand and was incredibly glad to (finally) see it go, but that celebration also gave EPCOT some cool things.
The Land’s poster is my personal favorite.
I’m biased towards the Imagination one, but I just think the Land’s design is better. There are so many details, layers, and clever nods here–and yet, it’s still a fairly elegant, beautifully composed, and clean poster. I love it.
The Imagination poster is likewise gorgeous, perfectly capturing the whimsy and sense of discovery of the original Journey into Imagination.
In addition to these posters, there’s a video loop of animated concept art that plays at the back of the EPCOT booth. There’s actually a lot of new art in this, which I assume will be released on Sunday. Nevertheless, here are a few photos of the art I found most interesting:
Overall, the booth is quite effective in getting guests hyped up for the past and future of EPCOT. It certainly worked on me; I even knew exactly the aim, and still couldn’t resist its siren song. I just really hope that what we hear announced on Sunday vindicates all of this hope and excitement, rather than letting us down (again). When it comes to EPCOT, Disney has toyed with fan emotions for too long–it’s time to finally deliver.
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What do you think of these EPCOT attraction posters and new concept art? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!