With all eyes on the D23 Expo coming in a few weeks, the rumor mill is buzzing about what Disney might announce at this bi-annual event. Over the past few months, we’ve focused a lot on rumors about a new ride coming to Epcot, potentially themed to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, coming to Future World in the area currently occupied by the Universe of Energy. However, even though we’ve been seeing some permits related to this project filed in recent weeks seemingly confirming this development, over just the past few days some other permits have been filed that seem to suggest that the back half of this park could also be getting a new attraction in the near future as well. And though nothing is definite, here’s what we know for sure about this incredible rumor…
The mysterious World Showcase permit
Just last week a permit filed by Walt Disney World surfaced online that has fans buzzing about what could potentially be the biggest project for the World Showcase since the addition of the Norway Pavilion in 1988. Officially titled Epcot France Back of House Modifications, this permit outlines a plan to add an “impervious surface” to a 5.70-acre area that covers the expansion pad between Epcot’s France and Morocco pavilions (an area that is currently empty save for storage).
With such a large area covered by the permit, many are hoping that Disney is potentially going to be constructing the first truly new attraction (not a re-theme of an existing ride) to the World Showcase since the addition of Maelstrom in 1988. And while this permit on its own might not be enough to confidently say with 100% certainty that Disney is indeed going to be adding new ride to the World Showcase, it does lay the groundwork for such a development, which would make sense, as Epcot has been bleeding guests in recent years, and may be looking to reboot itself in the near future in the same way that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now.
While we’re very much so squarely still in rumor territory here, we do have some ideas about what could potentially be coming to this area…
Is the rat from Paris ready to make his World Showcase debut?
One of the most popular theories regarding this new permit is that Disney is going to clone one of the most popular attractions at the Disneyland Paris Resort and bring it to Epcot: the Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy ride. This Ratatouille-themed 3-D dark ride uses trackless technology to “shrink” guests down to rat size so they can get a close up look at Remy in action inside his restaurant’s kitchen. However, as you might expect, what starts as a simple cooking demonstration becomes a frantic adventure through the kitchen and the restaurant’s dining room where guests will avoid close calls with members of the kitchen staff as well as diners who (understandably) want to keep the restaurant rodent-free. You can check out a full video of this attraction here.
While Ratatouille hasn’t exactly had the cultural relevance that other Pixar films like Toy Story or Up have had in the past decade, this addition would make sense in the context of the France pavilion, and since the attraction already exists at the Disneyland Paris Resort, Disney could save time and money by building a copy of a pre-existing attraction here rather than building something new from the ground up.
However, even though this seems like the most likely option right now, there’s another possibility as well…
The transportation project
Though unannounced, we know that work has begun to bring an elevated gondola transportation system to Walt Disney World, connecting Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and three different resorts. And while we know what parks and resorts will be serviced by this new transportation option, we don’t know exactly where Disney is planning to put the gondola stations around the resort, which is where this new permit might come in.
Based on everything we know so far about this project (and the overall geography of Walt Disney World), it seems very likely that the station that will service this park will be erected near the International Gateway, which just so happens to be located in between the UK and France pavilions. Now while the area that the permit covers is quite large for just a gondola station, Disney could be needing to lay some foundational work in this area as well to make way for this new transportation system.
While we would certainly love to see a new ride come to Epcot’s World Showcase, it’s important to remember that there is a second possibility for this permit. Then again, this permit could be covering something completely different as well. At this point, we’re all just going to have to hurry up and wait for mid-July, when Disney is expected to finally make some big announcements regarding the future of Epcot.
Would you like to see Disneyland Paris’ Ratatouille ride come to Epcot? Or would you rather see something else in this space? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
-From Theme Park Tourist, June 26, 2017 by Amanda Kondolojy
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