After spending the morning and early afternoon touring Future World, and running into the occasional construction wall hampering our efforts, we’ll now focus on “the progress” that you can currently expect to see inside and outside the Park.
We’ll begin outside, where work continues on the new tram loop and bag check areas.
It’s relatively rare to see so much work going on during the day, but the Epcot entrance project is a substantial one that Disney seems keen on finishing. With so much construction going on inside, it makes some sense that Disney wouldn’t want the entire place to “feel” like one big, walled-off construction zone. Of course, all of this is happening during the Food and Wine Festival, which is reliably the busiest 11ish week period of the year for the Park. Below, it certainly looks like this will be the new bag check area, which will pull security further away from the entrance tapstiles. A similar project was recently completed at Hollywood Studios and projects are also underway at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Bag check on this side may largely be relegated to guests arriving on the monorails and buses.
Here on the other side, we may see bag check for guests arriving on the tram or their own vehicles. That’s the tram loop turnaround on the top left of the screen.
Here’s that tram loop, and the new walkways to the parking lots, in all of their glory. These pictures are taken from the walk up to the monorail. The old tram turnaround is behind me, so Disney is pushing the loop a considerable distance further out, probably in part to ease crowd flow, but also to increase the security perimeter.
Here’s a wide look at the construction on this side, including the current path around all of the walls that you’ll take to the entrance if you’re parking on this side. It’s quite the detour.
Almost everything you see, other than the walls themselves, is hidden unless you walk up the monorail platform. Here’s a look down at the current bag check area on this side.
And a wide look at the tram loop from the monorail.
The walled-off area stretches out quite a distance from the entrance.
A better look at the path from the parking lot to the main entrance, should you wish to take it.
These people beyond the expansive swath of construction are walking towards Epcot’s entrance, which is out of view on the right.
While we’re up here, we can take a quick look at the state of construction at the Transportation and Ticket Center.
Here it is.
Along with an aerial view of the path that you’ll take around it. Potentially, all eyes are on the 50th anniversary of the resort, coming up in almost exactly two years. Things are pretty rough in spots at the moment, but at least the spots that used to be rough largely are no longer.
Arriving at Epcot via the monorail, you’ll see the construction, but it won’t alter your path down to the entrance.
Here’s the view from the top looking down.
Construction continues out towards the bus stops.
A look back.
A look forward.
I thought that I had somehow taken a wrong turn, but the walkway makes a turn here at the end and empties us out just a few steps from the current bag check setup.
Those heading to and from the buses will follow the regular path with just the single wall blocking all of the construction.
We’ll reenter Epcot and then take an aerial view over the top where applicable. Here’s another look at the wall that runs from the left side of the main entrance all the way up to and around the fountain that used to sit in front of Spaceship Earth.
The stroller/wheelchair/ECV rental area is still accessible, but to exit, you’ll need to walk around to the left.
The Leave A Legacy monoliths have…left the entryway.
As I recall, about six weeks transpired between the time that Leave A Legacy was pulled out of this side, and when work began pulling up the structures on the other side.
They’re certainly all gone now. This is a look over the walls that we just saw. The Leave A Legacy photos that used to adorn the monoliths inside are expected to be moved out in front of the Park entrance in a different display, while the area here inside becomes planters and other green spaces.
We’ll push further inside.
The old Camera Center is closed. PhotoPass has set up temporarily at Pin Central behind Spaceship Earth and sort of even with Electric Umbrella. The FuelRod kiosk has moved across the way into Gateway Gifts. It’s expected that the old Camera Center will become the new Pin Central in time.
Walls line the walkway to the left leading up to Guest Services.
A look in the opposite direction.
You can see just how close Guest Services is to the Guardians building behind it with the orange stripes.
Walls circle the old Fountain of Nations, as well as the old entrance to Circle of Life and Fountain View Starbucks.
Here’s a closer look.
And from the air.
It wouldn’t surprise me if these walls were up for 18 months, with the demolition and eventual construction of new buildings. I’m sure the Property Brothers will come in and identify some leaks in the walls, delaying things further.
The walls are becoming more colorful, at least, with an Asics-esque stripe pattern and the new logo.
Similar color is being splashed on other walls around Future World, along with the addition of some classic Epcot logos.
We saw these walls leading to Coral Reef in a previous update, but we’ll remind ourselves that they’re here. Fortunately, once you get past Character Spot on this side, there isn’t much walled off other than this pathway, which you would only use if you were headed to the restaurant.
There is quite a bit of work on the other side of Future World.
These walls, on the side of MouseGear, are located in what should be “World Celebration” in New Epcot.
It looks like landscape work to me.
These walls, in what will be World Discovery, wrap around this planter and line the walkway to the bathrooms outside Test Track, which are still open.
Here’s how things look from near Test Track’s entrance.
Across the way, the old entrance to Innoventions East is simply walled off.
As recently as last month, you would have been able to walk up almost to the entrances to the old Universe of Energy and Wonders of Life/Festival Center buildings. Now, the area is completely behind walls.
Just the top of the old Universe of Energy building is visible from the ground.
The monorail provides some additional views:
This last view shows the proximity of the walls to Mission: SPACE there at the top right of the screen.
Here’s a better look at the buildings that make up Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
The roller coaster should launch backwards from one building to the next.
There’s another look at the Guardians buildings in the distance and the Park entrance clearing going on just underneath us.
How much of the construction you run into on your visit depends on the paths that you take and then how much attention you’re paying once you’re inside the monorail or walking down from the platform. Inside the Park, there are quite a few walls lining various areas in Future World, but they are a sign of the progress that Disney is making. Fast forward two years, or about 24 more construction updates, and we’ll be in business.
Until then, things are going to continue to be pretty ugly.