Epcot News: Groundbreaking for Soarin's New Theater

The Magic Kingdom Park recently received a whole-new Fantasyland. Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park is in the middle of the biggest expansion in the park's (short) history. An expansion of legendary proportions is expected to be coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Those are definitely great news, but one of the four Disney Parks continues to be neglected to this day. We are talking about the most awe-inspiring of the four, Epcot.

While no major, show-stopping expansion is expected to take place in this park, some important developments are taking shape behind the scenes, away from the eyes of Guests and fans. This evening, we will discuss about Soarin's third theater, the new Frozen attraction, backstage safety additions that could ruin sight-lines, and other miscellaneous news  that we are sure you will find very interesting. Let's start with the minor news, shall we?

As most of you will know, new safety railings are quickly being installed on the roof of all the buildings located withing the Walt Disney World Resort. While these are definitely essential, they may pose a problem, as some of them are clearly visible from Guest areas. One of the most obvious examples would be the Mexico showbuilding, which is clearly visible from the bridge connecting Future World to World Showcase. Fortunately, most of the other buildings are out of sight...

Could we see some more permanent railings in the near future? We feel like asking this question should be normal in a themed environment like the Walt Disney World Resort. Thousands of hours were spent in the past forty years to make sure that a consistent attention to details might be maintained property-wide, and we definitely hope that the vision has not suddenly changed. Sure, safety always comes first, but we are also convinced that Disney can do better than this.

As we reported a few weeks ago, major changes have been noticed around The Land pavilion, with more to come in the next few weeks. In one of our past updates, we also revealed in detail some of the improvements coming to the Living with the Land boat ride. Today we have some more updates:

- Work on the roof of the boat storage continues. It will not have an impact on the Guest experience.
- The sliding doors separating the dark ride portion of the attraction from the greenhouses are not back yet, but are expected to be operational before the end of the year. Of course, delays may occur.
- A new water feature has been added in the Tropics greenhouse (the first section), and it looks great.
- Remember seeing the Cast Member "hiding" in a corner of the ride and monitoring cameras (and waving at you)? Make sure to say goodbye to them, as they are expected to move in the next few weeks in a backstage location (next to the Circle of Life theater). They will still monitor the greenhouses, mind you.

Work continues day after day on the brand-new Frozen experience, taking shape in the Norway pavilion. As most of the work is currently being done inside the building, there is really nothing new to report. That said, it looks like the area next to the building is, indeed, going to be just a location to store material needed for this project. It doesn't look like the pavilion will be expanded any more...

Now, here is the news most of our Readers was waiting for. Yes, as you might have noticed by reading the title of this post, work seems to have officially begun on the third theater for Soarin'. Before continuing, take another look at this image that we created for one of our previous posts:

The entire area outlined in red is now officially a construction zone, with a short fence surrounding the entire location (which was used as a temporary parking space during the 2014 Food & Wine Festival, which was also the reason why work didn't start earlier this fall). Also, the concrete in the area outlined in blue has now been completely removed, broken in large pieces. We expect to see real construction walls go up in the area in the next few weeks. Of course, you should keep in mind that we are in the early stages of this project, as nothing has gone vertical yet.

That is all for now. As usual, we hope you enjoyed this Epcot update. Make sure to share it with others!


  1. Fall protection can be done two ways: temporary (harnesses, safety ropes etc, as needed), or permanent.

    Disney has chosen to make their roofs safe all the time using fixed rails, parapets. This will allow workers ready and quick access to the roofs, something I'd wager happens constantly (lots of equipment on the roofs).

    Besides, if I remember my OSHA regulations, frequent access can rise to the extent that permanent fall protection is required.

    Disney will do what it must do to follow the law, and they'll make a good effort at blending it all together. We can't expect more than that.

  2. Exactly the point I wanted to make. Most people don't realize that fall protection is mandatory above a certain height. Unsightly or not those rails will save a life or two.


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