Over the past few weeks a number of rumors about the future of Epcot have surfaced, including whispers about the end of IllumiNations, plus new attractions in both the France Pavilion and Future World. And even though these three rumors are already quite a lot to take in, another rumor has surfaced in recent days that could really shake things up at the back end of the park. According to well-placed sources, it looks like a whole new country pavilion could be coming to the World Showcase in the very near future.
As you might already know, when Epcot first opened, the World Showcase was designed with several expansion pads so that more countries could be added later. However, while plans have been drawn up over the years for pavilions based on Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Israel and more, these plans never materialized, and the only country to be added since Epcot opened in 1982 was Norway, which was added in 1988. But now there’s another country that may be added soon, and its one that would make a lot of sense for a number of reasons…
Could Brazil be joining the World Showcase soon?
It’s interesting to think that even though the World Showcase has some diversity, there are actually no pavilions at all that represent the southern hemisphere. However, if recent rumors are correct, it looks like Brazil may be the first country from the other half of the globe to join Epcot’s global microcosm. And if you think about it, this move actually makes a lot of sense.
With over 200 Million citizens, Brazil is the most populous country in South America, and is the fifth most populous country in the world, after China, India, the US and Indonesia. Brazil is also the fifth largest country in the world by size, and recently played host to the 2016 summer Olympics. With all this in mind, there can be no doubt that Brazil certainly “deserves” to be represented inside the World Showcase. However, there is also a more practical reason why Disney may be considering adding this new pavilion: tourism.
One of the big reasons why Disney attendance has been weak in recent years is a slowdown in international tourism, especially from the South American region, thanks to a regional economic downturn. And as you might expect, travel from Brazil in particular has been lackluster as a result, with the iconic tour groups from this country all but vanishing in recent years.
However, if Brazil is indeed joining the World Showcase in the next few years, you can bet that locals will show up to enjoy this new pavilion. And while nothing is concrete right now, we do have some idea about what might be inside this potential pavilion (and more importantly, where it might be located!)
New neighbors and a new attraction as well?
While this is still very much in rumor territory, insiders suggest that a new Brazil pavilion could be built between the Italy and Germany pavilions in an empty 1.5 acre expansion pad which has been used for storage space in recent years. You’ve probably walked right past this expansion pad, as the front of it is home to the German model train display (which would likely be moved in the event of a new addition)
And though 1.5 acres might seem a little compact for an expansive pavilion, insiders suggest that not only will this new location feature shopping and dining, but it will also include an attraction of some sort as well. This would be an especially surprising development, considering France is also rumored to be getting a new Ratatouille-themed ride sometime in the very near future as well. While the space constraints pretty much guarantee it won’t be a massive river ride or dark ride, if all of these rumors do indeed prove true, no matter what this new attraction is, its addition (along with Ratatouille) will have doubled the amount of rides in the World Showcase, which could help reinvigorate the back half of this park.
What kind of timeline are we looking at?
As mentioned previously, there are a LOT of rumors flying around right now, and fans are looking towards the D23 Expo, which will be held in just a few days from July 14th through the 16th, for confirmation of these rumors. And like the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, the Ratatouille ride, and even the IllumiNations replacement, if there is any truth to this rumor, it will be announced during this event.
As far as construction goes, we’d expect this to be one project that Disney would get going on quickly, as they would definitely want to take advantage of a Brazilian visitor boost as soon as possible, potentially getting this new pavilion (and any attraction that may be a part of it) constructed before the end of the decade.
We don’t really know much about this (potential) pavilion, but in just over a week we should finally have some answers regarding this pavilion. Would you like to see Brazil become the 12th country to join the World Showcase?