On the same day that Epcot reopened to guests for the first time in four months, Disney announced that two previously-announced projects for the park were being put on hold.
YouTubers The Schmoofs first noted on Wednesday morning that two elements of Epcot’s transformation — the overhaul of Spaceship Earth and a mysterious “Mary Poppins” attraction for the U.K. pavilion in World Showcase — were now absent from the Epcot Experience previewing all the coming changes.
Disney later confirmed the two projects have been placed on hold.
“As with most businesses during this period, we are further evaluating long-term project plans. The decision was made to postpone development of the ‘Mary Poppins’-inspired attraction and Spaceship Earth at this time,” an unnamed Disney spokesperson said.
Spaceship Earth was supposed to close in May for an extensive makeover. As announced at the 2019 D23 Expo, the ride would have shifted away from its focus on communication and technology to document “the story of humanity.” Like so much else in the world, the COVID-19 pandemic changed those plans.
The “Mary Poppins” attraction was also announced at last year’s expo, though with far less detail. Beyond concept art showing a recreation of the street from the 1964 film, Disney revealed nothing about what the attraction would be — like whether it would be an actual ride or just a meet-and-greet — or when construction would begin.
Disney’s chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said in May that the company expected to cut $900 million from its capital expenditure budget for the fiscal year due to the pandemic. Other Epcot projects are likely to be affected; Blog Mickey has reported that the company released a separate statement saying it will be “taking a different approach” on the three-level Festival Center complex that was supposed to be built looking out over World Showcase Lagoon.
There is also no word on when the park will open two additions that were supposed to debut in 2020: the Space 220 restaurant and the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction.
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