According to Theme Park Insider and reporter, Amanda Kondolojy, for providing this information today on new construction at the Walt Disney World Resort!
Right now there is already a lot of construction going on at Walt Disney World, with the finishing details being put on Toy Story Land, work on Star Wars Land progressing, and demolition happening inside the former Great Movie Ride. However, while most of the work right now around the resort seems to be happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a number of projects have kicked off in recent weeks inside another park that is getting ready to go through its own transformation: Epcot.
1. Demolition behind the Universe of Energy building has been completed in anticipation of the Untitled Guardians of the Galaxy Ride
Thanks to the concept art that was released earlier this year, we know that much of the new, as-yet unnamed Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Epcot will be housed in the former Universe of Energy building. However, it looks like plans for this attraction, which still has not been detailed at all, stretch far beyond just this building, as WDWNT reports that Epcot has carved out an expansion area for this ride, whatever it ends up being, right behind the Universe of Energy building.
It seems odd that Disney has released concept art and storyline details for this ride, but have not said whether this new attraction is a dark ride, roller coaster, or some combination of the two. However, given the fact that Disney is clearing a large swath of additional land for this attraction beyond the current show building, we’d guess that there will be a high speed component to this attraction, especially as the Universe of Energy building is already quite large.
Though pretty much everything about this ride is still shrouded in mystery, it seems like Disney is ready to start construction on this attraction as soon as possible, as they are likely hoping to have it open before Star Wars Land makes its debut sometime in 2019. And with work starting already, it looks like they are well on their way to achieving that goal, potentially eyeing a 2018 opening. Though details are scarce at the moment, we’d imagine that Disney will announce more about this upcoming attraction soon.
And while Guardians of the Galaxy may be still shrouded in mystery, there’s another project that has gotten underway as well that we actually know quite a lot about…
2. Backstage construction begins in the France Pavilion for Ratatouille attraction
Though you won’t be able to see it from the World Showcase walkways, Orlando Parks News reports that Walt Disney World has confirmed internally that construction has gotten underway in backstage areas of the France pavilion at Epcot in preparation for the new Ratatouille attraction that was announced earlier this year at the D23 Expo.
As mentioned previously, this new attraction will essentially be a copy of Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris’ Walt Disney Studios Park, and will allow guests to “shrink” down to the size of a rat and go on an adventure that will take them across Gusteau’s restaurant. You can check out a full video of the Disneyland Paris attraction here.
While development time on this attraction is basically non-existent thanks to the ride already existing at another park, because Disney will be constructing the show building from the ground up (instead of re-purposing an attraction building) we could still be looking at a lengthy construction timetable here, with this attraction opening in late 2018 at the earliest. Of course, Disney has not announced any concrete release windows for this attraction yet, but we’d guess that the rush will be on to get this attraction (much like the still-untitled Guardians of the Galaxy ride) open before Star Wars Land in 2019, so that Epcot can help draw some of the crowds away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios during what is sure to be a record-breaking year.
Though Walt Disney World has been criticized in the past for moving too slowly when it comes to construction, it looks like the resort is wasting no time getting the ball rolling for two of its most-anticipated projects at Epcot. And while nothing has been announced as far as opening targets for these two attractions, we at least know that work has actually begun, which is definitely a good thing. Are you excited for these two rides to come to Epcot in the next few years? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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