"The Land" News: Soarin' Expands, Circle Theater Updates

The Land pavilion at Epcot (undoubtedly one of the most popular pavilions at the park) has received some interesting changes and improvements that will definitely please many of our Readers. Some of the things we will showcase are elements that stopped working many months ago and that have now been restored, while others are regular refurbishments (including the major expansion that Soarin's is in the process of receiving). Let's take a look around together:

First of all, the water feature at the entrance of the pavilion has finally been restored. It had been not working for multiple months, but started working again just a few weeks ago. We are glad it's back!:

That looks refreshing. It's small details just like this one that make Disney Parks what they are today:

Inside, we have to report quite a few news around the Circle of Life area. First of all, the pre-show video is NOT working at the moment. The park had a power outage test on the night of September 11 (they have one every year), but after the power was restored throughout the park, it left behind a mess in some areas, including here. The pre-show audio works, but nothing is shown on the monitors. We have been told that it could take up to a couple of weeks to fix the problem.

But that's not all. In fact, the Circle of Life theater just received a lot of minor but important changes:

First of all, the green fabric on the sides of the theater (the panels are actually just made of fabric that is stretched and held into place) has been completely replaced with new, gray material. It looks good:

Also, the entire front row of the theater has been covered over and now looks like a permanent barrier. You can tell that it is just made of wood panels joined together and then covered using black fabric. Could this be due to the fact that the front row was a bit too close to the screen? We don't know:

As you can see, the row of chairs has not been removed. It is still "sitting" under the new barrier:

Going forward, we reached the Garden Grill restaurant. We were actually the first to report this news a few months back, but the restaurant recently received a bran-new floor, which looks much better than the old one. Oh, and the restaurant still spins, of course. That's one of the features that make this restaurant so special (in addition to the food coming from the ride and the nice views):

Moving on, we noticed that one of the two escalators was down. AGAIN. These new escalators have been incredibly unreliable, just like the old ones. The pavilion also needs more elevators, no doubt. At least they now have these "fancy" new signs to block the area, which replaced the tacky trashcans:

Continuing with our tour of The Land Pavilion, we were told that most (if not all) of the boats used in the Living with the Land attraction have received new awnings. The old, moldy ones have been completely done away with. Also, we have been told to be on the lookout for a minor update of the recorded spiel, which should soon include the phrase "Welcome to Living with the Land, presented by Chiquita." That sounds so unnecessary, but Chiquita is still the sponsor for this ride...

Oh, and the recent power outage test had another victim - the stand-by sign of Living with the Land:

Time for the most important news today, which is related to the rumored third (and, possibly, fourth) Soarin' theater. Not so long ago, we reported that the trucks and containers behind the Soarin's showbuilding had been completely removed, but that the empty trailers were still in place. Well, as of today, ALL the trailers behind the building have been completely wrapped and have already been displaced (meaning that their foundations have been removed). They will be moved any day now. What does this mean? That this will be our last Soarin' update that will not involve construction. Yes, work on the new theater should begin in the next couple of months (we believe that work could even begin in the next three weeks)!

On a related note, we expect Soarin' Around the World debut after the new theater has been completed:

Finally, this should be the new normal at Epcot, factoring in the new theater and "Frozen" (ugh!) ride:

And that is all for now. We really hope that Epcot will continue to receive more and more love, as it was Disney's most inspiring theme park when it first opened. Unfortunately, Epcot is slowly losing most of its charm, and is not being true to its mission lately. That said, there's still hope... for a better future.


  1. Great update, so much color in The Land.

    Could be the first row in the theater had a few too many crumb crawlers, literally crawling around. Or over eager patrons in general doing the "I'll just scoot out of my seat and kneel a bit closer to get my pictures" maneuver.

  2. As a former Soarin' cast member, I suspect two theaters will be added. Building two theaters at once will cost far less than double the price of a single theater. The one improvement Soarin' needs most is digital projection. I cringe when I see the condition of the film image.

  3. I feel that Epcot has lost its charm a long time ago. What was supposed to be Disney's ideal to the future is out of date and broken down. The elevators- the least futuristic of all never work properly. Sure the festivals are great, but they are prominently outdoors. It is really sad. They need fresh ideas and new sponsors. The international section is great for meals, but I would not spend money to go to Epcot if it wasn't part of the park hopper. Anything new, even a Frozen ride would be something!

  4. Disney needs to go through all the pavilions and refurbish them. The Imagination Pavilion needs a lot of TLC too! and possible a new attraction.
    And then finally construct a new pavilion where WOL was!

  5. We loved EPCOT so much on our last visit that we decided to stay at BeachClub for our next visit to be in close proximity!

  6. Missions change as companies adapt. Look at TV. The learning channel plays honey boo boo. Mtv doesn't play much music anymore and the weather channel does very little actual weather. epcot is stale, and needs to move in any direction.

  7. I think the biggest problem is Disney got to many parks to always try to keep updating and fresh. Just look at the work that's been done at the Magic Kingdom park over the past 5 years. Now it's Animal Kingdom turn and downtown Disney. Then I'm sure they will move on to Disney Hollywood Studios but at the rate Disney work that won't start to 2016/17 where they will try to get Star Wars new area open and the park tidied up ready for the parks 30th Birthday then it be Epcot turn and by the time that happens parts of the MK will look run down again.

  8. A few years ago, I actually wrote into Disney suggesting they do a "Soarin' Around the World" version since EPCOT is indeed the most international of the 4 theme parks. I'm really glad they decided to update the "California" version and I'm really looking forward to it


Powered by Blogger.