The massive Disney theme park project appears to be back on track
Looks like the redevelopment of one of Disney’s Future World attractions at EPCOT will finally make its long-awaited debut.
by Disney (SAY) – Get the Walt Disney Company report Wonders of Life attraction, originally sponsored by Metropolitan Life (MEET) – Get the MetLife Inc. report in the 1980s, had been visited by millions of people. The purpose of the attraction was to educate theme park goers on the importance of taking care of your body and the inner workings of your health and body.
In 2000, Met Life’s sponsorship deal was up and they decided not to renew it. Met Life said its decision not to renew was based on putting its money elsewhere. That left Disney with the entire upkeep bill and the decision on what to do next with the wonders of life. Are they updating and maintaining an already aging attraction or are they putting their Imagineers to work on something entirely new?
Temporary use of life’s wonders has become seasonal
Wonders of Life officially closed in 2007 after a long overdue revamp. It operated for about 13 years and remained unused or partially used for 14 years. The facility was partially used for storage, very expensive storage. They reused parts from the attractions to operate other profitable attractions.
The fault lies with Disney for not maintaining the facility, but also partly how difficult it would be to keep it up to date with the number and quality improvements not only in technology from 2000 to the present, but also in health and science. The main reason for having the Wonders of Life was to educate people about these topics, and they’ve evolved so much from the late 1990s until today. It was an impossible task to keep it up to date with the latest information and to be entertaining.
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Wonders of Life closed all of its attractions, then the facility was abandoned until Disney decided to use the space to host its seasonal festivals like the annual Food and Wine Festival. Hosting their festivals was a decent use of space, but Disney didn’t bother to remove the signage or animatronics from the Wonders of Life.
The Wonders of Life redevelopment has been underway since 2000, when Met Life pulled out. Disney finally announced that an update was in the works in 2017.
New Disney attraction announced in 2019
Little news has been released since the announcement in 2019 when Disney set an opening date of 2021. This massive project was shelved by the covid-19 pandemic and put on hold. The uncertainty pushed the opening date back from 2021 to 2022. Now, in 2022, permits have finally been filed to begin work on the reimagined 100,000 square foot facility. The new game! The pavilion at EPCOT will be an interactive and immersive experience.
Instead of a massive attraction, the Play! The pavilion will house several smaller attractions within a single facility. Theme park guests will be able to interact with Disney characters and play a Disney escape game, with the rise of escape rooms, but keeping it very child-friendly and Disney-themed. Kids can be on the safe side of a hotel robbery by working alongside Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde, the main characters from Zootopia.
To play! Guests will also learn how to become a Disney Cartoonist. Disney will empower kids by teaching them different skills and jobs with Edna Mode, E, from The Incredibles, while attending the Animation Academy.
Other attractions will be an arcade with possibly encounters with the Disney films “Wreck-It Ralph”, “Inside Out” and “Big Hero 6”. Construction has begun and Disney aims to open Play! Pavilion at the end of 2024.