Shannon S. (NDM#174) (5 Posts)

Shannon Sullivan, creator of MeltdownFreeDisney, is an early intervention specialist for children with special needs and writes about assistive technology, parenting and education by day (or whenever the house is quiet). She has 2 young princes (or pirates) and lives in the metro DC area. She is NDM # 174.

Not too long ago I was on sitting at my computer watching some Disney World videos when I suddenly got very tired and fell asleep. Strangely when I woke up I was in Stitch’s Great Escape! It must have been the chilidog burp that aroused my senses and awakened me. Well, I reacted quickly and ran out of the theatre, down Main Street USA and left the Magic Kingdom. I hopped on the monorail and made my way to Epcot.

As I entered Epcot I saw some familiar sights but something about it was different. I noticed there was no line for Spaceship Earth so I decided to go on. It felt great to be back on one of my all-time favorite attractions. The narration to Spaceship Earth started but it wasn’t Judi Dench’s voice. The voice sounded familiar but it took me a moment or two to realize the narrator was none other than Russ Leatherman the voice of Moviefone. What really gave it away was when he said “press 1 to see the Greek Math Teacher, press 2 to see the Roman Road Network.” Other than the narration the attraction was pretty much the same as I remembered. After the ride I found out that Project Tomorrow: Inventing The Wonders Of The Future was gone. I guess it was walled off for some new attraction to be built in its place? I thought that was a little odd because it wasn’t there for very long.

When I exited the pavilion I spotted a man holding a park guide the size of a telephone book. I asked if I could look at it for a moment. The man was kind enough to hand it to me. The title read ‘The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World 2020’ and the cover picture was a roller coaster I don’t ever remember seeing in the parks. So, I asked the man if the year was a misprint. He politely said “No it’s 2020.” Then I asked are you sure? Again, he politely said “it’s 2020.” So, I asked once again if he was really, really sure. He grabbed his book and told me he would get security if I didn’t get away from him. So I walked away scratching my head and thinking this couldn’t be possible. Did I fall asleep for 10 years? Seeing a cast member walking by I asked her what the date was, she said “February 16, 2020.” Now, in total shock I just turned away and started walking aimlessly thinking where have the last 10 years gone?

That’s when I happened upon what was Innoventions whose name was changed back to Communicore. I started to go in and then I stopped myself. Again, I tried to enter but I just couldn’t move my legs which were starting to shake at the knees. What was I going to find inside and how much has changed in the last 10 years? Finally, I got up the courage and went inside and the first thing I noticed was a huge section with a giant apple. The sign above the apple said “Green to the Core.” It was an environmentally friendly Apple electronics exhibit that included 3D Mac computer screens.

From there I went to Ellen’s Energy Adventure except it was now called Miley Cyrus’ Energy Star Adventure. It had an amazing musical interactive pre-show. The Dinosaur attraction was just how I remembered it but with an updated energy story as told by a grownup Miley and her dad Billy Ray. After going on this attraction I went over to Mission Space. Finally, an attraction the way I remembered it and still so much fun. Then it was on to Test Track. This great attraction is even better now with an updated video and new ride vehicles modeled after futuristic GM automobiles.

I was having so much fun as I made my way over to the Imagination pavilion. I was glad to see that Journey Into Imagination with Figment is still there and even happier now that the original Figment has returned.  Also, there’s a new film, the Muppet Avengers in 4D (based on Marvel Comics Avengers). The film casts the Muppets as super heroes out to save the world from evil forces trying to pollute the atmosphere and destroy the planet’s ozone layer. This was definitely an E ticket attraction and worth the wait on a very long line.

Then it was onward to The Seas With Nemo and Friends and I have to say this themed pavilion has withstood the time and is holding up very well. The kids and adults alike still love Turtle Talk with Crush and everyone loves the aquarium. Oh, I almost forgot, the Coral Reef Restaurant is gone. There is still a seafood restaurant but it’s called The Pirate and Princess Treasure Cove.

So, now I get to The Land pavilion and the Sunshine Seasons food court has been remodeled with some new menu items. The Garden Grill is still there and now it serves both breakfast and dinner. The Living with the Land attraction is still the same but there is a new film starring Wall-E where the Circle of Life used to be. The biggest change however, was at Soarin whose name was changed to Soarin Over America. It’s still the same great ride and music but before the ride begins the guests get to pick their flight by using an electronic device installed next to each rider’s seat. The choices were California, Florida, New York, and Hawaii. When I went on the majority of passengers chose Hawaii.

I kept walking through Future World and I observed a lot of construction going on where the Wonders of Life Pavilion used to be. I asked a cast member if this was a Wonders of Life Refurbishment. The cast member said “didn’t you hear it’s going to be the New Horizons pavilion.” I cannot tell you how happy and excited that made me feel as Horizons was one attraction I sorely miss seeing at Epcot.

Still full of energy I couldn’t wait to see what’s in store for me in World Showcase. As I crossed into World Showcase almost everything looked the same by its outward appearance but I noticed something over at the Japan pavilion, why it’s the same roller coaster that’s on the cover of ‘The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World 2020.’ I raced over to the attraction and it looks incredible. Very well themed and the name of the roller coaster is Mount Fuji. This coaster has been rumored for years and years and now it’s finally been built. Another noticeable change to World Showcase is the addition of a new country, Russia. I never thought I’d see the day it would be added but, here it is and the food is pretty good too.

I can’t believe I made it around the whole park in one day and I still had time before the newest version of the Illuminations fireworks show was to begin. My legs were starting to get a little tired from all the walking so, I decided to take a break and sit down on a bench. I guess I dosed off because when I woke up I was back home still sitting at my computer.

Who knows what Disney has planned for its parks over the next 10 years? One thing I do know is that the Imagineers are always dreaming up new and exciting adventures to bring to the parks.

Contributed by: Stuart S. (NDD #47). Stuart is a contributor to the Disney Driven Life and is the author of the Disney Geek Dad blog.

4 thoughts on “BACK TO THE FUTURE – EPCOT 2020

  1. I did the same exact thing and woke up yesterday!!! Now it's 2010, and people are asking me about some show called mainstreet…… hmm…..mainstreet something…. I don't know what they're talking about!

  2. Stuart, these ideas are so fantastic. Some of them are really great concepts. Wish I could have taken that trip with you into the future.

  3. Stuart, these ideas are so fantastic. Some of them are really great concepts. Wish I could have taken that trip with you into the future.

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