Our next installment of Land Exit Surveys goes to the future while strangely looking a lot like the 80’s. No, I’m not talking about Tomorrowland but instead Epcot’s Future World West. All theme parks are made up of sub-sections, generally called lands. Since you’re reading a theme parks blog then I’m guessing you probably know that. Many of these lands are spectacular, some are far from it. In this series, we’re going to take individual lands one post at a time and answer some questions about them.
While this isn’t quite the deep dive into lands that we’ve done before, I’ll provide the basic information about the area and we’ll add in our overall opinions. We’ll also use these posts to talk about theme both throughout the land and within the park. Throughout the series, all of the posts will use the same questions. Let us know in the comments if there are questions that we should add!
So far this series has covered Mysterious Island in Tokyo DisneySea, Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, Grizzly River Run in California Adventure, Animal Kingdom’s Asia, Disneyland’s Toontown and Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. Today we turn our attention Epcot’s Future World West which includes the Seas, Land, and Imagination Pavilions. Epcot was the only theme park we hadn’t covered stateside and while the park is in upheaval, Future World West looks to remain mostly untouched albeit with a new name – World Nature. With that in mind, let’s get to the questions!
What is your short(ish) review of Epcot’s Future World West?
Andrew: Future World West keeps the idea of Epcot Center, where the rides combine entertainment with education. ‘Edutainment’, if you’re so inclined. Unfortunately, most of the original attractions have been replaced by inferior versions of themselves. Some of the architecture still works well and it appears to be the only section of Future World that won’t be completely redone in the future.
Michaela: Future World West houses all of the attractions in Future World that have literally nothing to do with the future. Currently, all three of the pavilions housed there are a bit lackluster, with only a few shining attractions and entertainment options. I think this part of Epcot rides a pretty big wave of nostalgia for guests, keeping this section of the park from completely sinking.
What’s in the land?
Journey Into Imagination with Figment – The original version of this dark ride attraction was loved but this version falls well short.
Living with the Land – A slow boat ride through Epcot’s greenhouses that teaches guests about ways Epcot and the rest of the world grow plants and food.
Soarin’ – Inside of the Land Pavilion, Soarin’ takes guests around the world showing off some iconic sights.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends – A dark ride based on Finding Nemo that intersperses the characters with the aquarium.
Turtle Talk with Crush – Guests interact with Crush, from Finding Nemo, as he appears on a screen in front of them and answers some questions.
The Seas Main Tank and Exhibits – An aquarium featuring sharks, rays, dolphins and manatees along with many other reef creatures.
Awesome Planet – A short film in the Land Pavilion with beautiful visuals of the planet with a heavy-handed environmental script.
Disney Pixar Short Film Festival – At the Imagination Pavilion, several Pixar shorts are played here.
Coral Reef – A table-service restaurant in the Seas Pavilion where guests sit in front of a gigantic aquarium. Unfortunately, the food is lacking.
Garden Grill – A character dining spot in the Land Pavilion. The restaurant slowly rotates and looks over Living with the Land but the food is not highly thought of.
Sunshine Seasons – A counter-service restaurant in the Land Pavilion that has a food-court aesthetic albeit with some interesting food.
Food Carts – The most notable food cart in the area is a popcorn cart with a variety of flavors.
Imageworks – A few fun exhibits to go along with a gift shop just outside of Journey to the Imagination.
DVC Lounge – At the top of the Imagination Pavilion is a lounge for DVC members.
What is Future World West’s backstory and theme?
There’s not really any backstory here outside of knowing that Walt Disney had planned on creating a near utopian community named EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). This was to be a futuristic city. When the actual park was developed, the idea was to replicate that futuristic idea with a World’s Fair/Science Expo vibe. The futuristic architecture plays into that along with the metallic design. Unfortunately, as Michaela already mentioned, not everything here is futuristic. That plays into the science aspect of the park and will play a role in the new name of this section, World Nature.
What is your favorite part of the land? What’s the most memorable aspect of it?
Andrew: My favorite part of Future World West is the jumping fountain and upside down fountain sitting along the magnificent Imagination Pavilion. If we’re going to knock any ‘futuristic’ design Disney tries to put out that ultimately ages poorly, this has aged wonderfully and mixes that design with the theme of the actual pavilion. It’s creative and beautiful. I also love the DVC Lounge, Living with the Land and the dolphins in the Seas. The most memorable aspect of this area is probably Soarin’ though, as it’s the biggest and most popular attraction.
Michaela: Personally I have a soft spot for the Land Pavilion, because I remember my parents letting me eat chocolate cake and Powerade there for breakfast one morning. The best attraction in this part of Epcot, Soarin’ Over The World, is housed in the Land, giving this pavilion another boost over the other two. The inside of this pavilion is extremely dated, but again the nostalgia bug wins me over in this case. Shout out to being able to see Winnie the Pooh with a butterfly net near the Imagination! Pavilion.
Are there parts of Epcot’s Future World West that you don’t like?
Andrew: The Seas with Nemo & Friends actual ride is really bad which is unfortunate because it has the ability to really be something special. Instead it doesn’t flow and is surprisingly boring. The Pixar Film Festival is a frustrating waste of space since you could watch all of those shorts on your phone while waiting in line for a different attraction. Journey Into Imagination is a bad ride. Sunshine Seasons seating area is exceptionally ugly at this point. I think I went with four positives and four negatives?
Michaela: I think the Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion is a total dud, unfortunately. The Nemo attraction is lackluster and the rest of the pavilion is reminiscent of an aquarium you could find in any big city. I think Disney had the capability to make the aquarium portion a unique, magical experience, but opted for the easier zoo-like option. Congrats to Journey Into Imagination With Figment not making the bottom of my list!
How does the land coincide and transition with the rest of the park? Does Future World West make the park better or worse?
Andrew: Well, Future World is kind of dead at the moment. There are construction walls everywhere so it’s hard for anything to flow well. I do think the future concept does make sense, despite some poor names, and should flow okay. Future World West does make the current iteration of Epcot better but there are so many areas where it feels like a waste of potential.
Michaela: Considering what the rest of Epcot looks like right now, I do think that Future World West is the best portion of Future World right now. The East side has much less to offer, with only two attractions and a glob of construction. And, even though I love Spaceship Earth, it isn’t enough to save the midsection of the land. That being said, I don’t think Future World West really blends with the other portions of the park (does any part of this park really blend together?). I think I would enjoy a walkway between the Imagination! section of the land that led straight into the Canada Pavilion, but maybe that’s just the lazy part of me. This park needs so much help, let’s hope Disney has enough money to revamp Epcot to its full potential.
Where would you rank the land in relation to the others in the park?
Andrew: With Epcot in disarray, Future World West is the best of Future World while all of World Showcase is better. I’m not sure where that ultimately puts that in a number scheme because the park is so confused right now.
Michaela: I would rank Future World West below all of World Showcase, but as the best section of Future World. The beauty and diversity that flourishes in the World Showcase is tough to beat, especially when Future World West still looks like it was taken straight out of the 80s. I am excited to see what the new Moana attraction will be like, and am optimistic that some cohesion may surface in this area of the park once renovations are complete.
What do you think of Epcot’s Future World West? Do you like our Land Exit Surveys? Would you add anything? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Interested in a trip to Disneyland? Check out our Planning Guide to help you along the way! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Land Exit Survey