Keep, Change, Close: Rides in Epcot

Three down, one left to go! We’ve hit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, now it’s on to the park full of the hope and promise of the future. It’s time to Keep, Change, and Close in Epcot.

Spaceship Earth at Night
Spaceship Earth illuminated at night as guests walk by in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/50mm f/1.8, 1/60s, f/3.2, ISO 2800, EV 0.

Same drill as the first three: we thought it would be fun to take a multi-part look at rides, restaurants, and shows around Walt Disney World and break down IF WE HAD TO CHOOSE which would we keep as long as possible, change to make better, or close altogether.

And now the disclosure for all those who disagree: we get it; our opinions are most definitely not everyone’s! One person’s favorite must-do ride is likely on many others’ least favorite list and vice versa. We’re trying to look at this as objectively as possible, but each person’s tastes will vary. Proceed with caution 🙂

Cards on the table — we love Epcot. We’re totally those diehard OG Epcot fans that still sing “Universe of Energy” to ourselves and refer to Innoventions as the Communicore. Soooo go into this knowing where our heart is at. We’re SO excited for all the changes coming to Epcot over the next few years (we’ll be one of the first to jump in line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind!), but we also remember and appreciate what made it great.  Don’t hate on an old EPCOT Center fan! 🙂

Keep

Frozen Ever After

We were MEGA bummed to see the Maelstrom close in 2014 (throwback to the announcement here!).  We loved the ride, from feeling like our boat was going to fall out the hole in the waterfall all the way to sniffing Laila perfume in the gift shop after (well, you can still do the latter!). But we were surprisingly on board when Frozen Ever After opened in 2016.

Frozen Ever After

The animatronics are fantastic…when they’re working. We’ve ridden just as many times with one or more characters down as we have with them all operational! But the ride was a great progression of the old Maelstrom track. Does the queue take for-ev-er? Yes. Yes, it does. Maelstrom was never made to handle Anna and Elsa-level boarding! But the ride is solid, whether you like Frozen or not!

Frozen Ever After

Now before everyone attacks us in the comments — Spaceship Earth is already set to undergo its own change soon, as it has a few times in the past, but we adore this classic ride. We will always be ride or die for Spaceship Earth, even with each new incarnation. The only reason it wasn’t our keep choice is because it’s changing whether we all like it or not!

Change

Journey Into Imagination With Figment

We are big fans of that “royal purple pigment” little mischievous dragon, Figment. The bizarre 2002 rendition of this classic ride…not so much. We grew up singing along with the Dreamfinder and his lovable creation taking you through a literal journey into the imagination. So when the ride was changed, many fans were heartbroken.

Journey Into Imagination

We somehow went from a lighthearted classic dark ride with a catchy song, classic Disney animatronics, and even a fun post-ride experience in ImageWorks to…Eric Idle as a moon slapsticky singing along with the iconic “One Little Spark” as you exit and Figment farting in your face. Ugh.

Just No, Please.

Kids used to look forward to this ride! Adults as well! Now it seems banished to “that ride you go on because you already spent your top tier FastPass.” That’s a shame. Figment deserves better. WE deserve better!

Rainbow Corridor in ImageWorks in the Mid 80s

Are we saying bring back the original? Maybe? (We certainly wouldn’t fight it!!!) Make a NEW version in the same vein as the original? Sure! Bring it on! But the current version gots to GO! Every time we ride this ride we shake our heads in sadness and go to a happy place clanking coconuts learning how sound foley is created and journeying through that downright MAGICAL Rainbow Corridor. Imagination survived the Epcot transformation announcements so time will tell! Figment is being used more in the parks as an unofficial mascot for various Epcot festivals, so maybe one day he’ll be back in the high life again?

Close

Mission: SPACE

Bring back Horizons. Mic drop.

But in all seriousness, we almost forget this ride is in Epcot because it was just not something we wanted. We LOVE the idea of a space-themed attraction. The queue and exterior are gorgeous. But that’s where our love for this ride ends.

Mission: SPACE

The fact that, soon after opening, they introduced the Orange and Green version of the ride is telling — this ride isn’t so much fun as it is a test of physical endurance. We’ve ridden it many times and each time asked “WHY did we do that?!” immediately after. Then we enjoy the rest of our day with a pounding headache. Not fun.

Mission Space Control Room
Mission Control inside Mission Space in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Barf bags shouldn’t be required in a ride, guys! Centrifuges have no place in Disney, only carnivals (and even then, WHY?!). We’ve hit the point we skip this ride altogether now. It’s just not worth it. Plus…they got rid of the one reason worth (almost) riding with the removal of Gary Sinise. He’s just cool. 😉

#notmysinise

Especially with Space 220 coming, this will likely be going nowhere anytime soon, which is a shame. Bring back Horizons…for realz.

What do you think? Totally agree with our assessments or totally ready to fight? Let us hear it in the comments!

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Do you agree with any of our choices? Not so much? Let us know in the comments which rides YOU would choose!

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6 Replies to “Keep, Change, Close: Rides in Epcot”

  1. We’ve been going to Epcot since 1984. Remember IO? Space Ship Earth, Horizons and World of Motion were three history rides in a row, often repeating the same stuff. We started skipping Horizons and World of Motion years before they were retired.

    Two attractions we still miss are the entire Wonders of Life pavilion and the old Imagination Pavilion when it had a whole pavilion worth of cool interactive stuff to do.

    Close the current Nemo Ride. Keep Crush.

    Keep Soarin

    Close Imagination.

    Keep Space Ship Earth.

    Keep Mission Space. We also go last thing – haven’t had any problems. Those that can’t take Orange do Green. And the hands on stuff is cool. Granted, breakdowns are not fun.

    Keep Gran Fiesta Tour. Not everything has to be new, tied to movies (which the Three Caballeros actually are) or thrilling.

    Keep Frozen. My grandmother spoke Norwegian until the first grade. I LOVED the movie after Maelstrom. That said, Frozen works.

    Keep all the movies: China, France and Canada.

    UPDATE the presentation at American Adventure. (Sorry, forgot its name) Watching an animated horse (under George) and old Ben climb stairs is not enough of a draw any more.

    Keep – the lighted sidewalks.

  2. Close- any and all rides and attractions that have Disney movie characters in them. EPCOT was not built as a kiddie park and of your kids can’t enjoy themselves in the mature educational aspect of EPCOT without a cartoon fix then stick to the the other three parks and leave EPCOT to the mature kids.

  3. Keep: Soarin this ride is awesome and keep updating the film every so often. Living with the Land,

    Change: Nemo so Boring, Imagination open second floor back up, Test Track make cars so that my knees don’t dig into dashboard. (I’m only 5’11”)

    Close: Tres Caballeros the seats in this boat are the worst. And when they slam into each other at the end it kills your back.

  4. I’d ridden this ride 3x on the intense side with no problems
    but the last time we sat there for almost 5 minutes just waiting for it to
    start & then 3 minutes into the ride, it shut down. We sat there another 3-4 min.
    waiting to be let off & i was getting close to freaking out. Longest 10+ min.
    of my ENTIRE life. I’d actually liked it okay prior to this last confinement but probably will NOT be riding it again. Especially with no Gary Sinise 🙁

  5. If the author is such a big fan of Horizons they should be screaming to bring back the best ride in all of EPCOT. World of Motion. Tear down the one dimensional Test Track and return the entire history of transportation back to the people.