The Disney blogosphere has been exploding with D23-fueled news all week. There are a million new things coming to Disney parks – resorts, rides, full lands, new forms of transport, the works. This is not a post about anything new. It is about something old. Something very, very old.
Who mourns the Universe of Energy?
The UoE is closing down in August in favor of a Guardian of the Galaxy attraction of some kind. This has change has been rumored for months. Many people are against it because, arguably, Marvel doesn’t really belong in Epcot’s Futureworld, at least not as Epcot’s mission statement ostensibly stands. There’s a lot of fear out there that Epcot’s intended purpose – education as entertainment – will fall away, as it has been slowly falling away, and that the addition of a Marvel IP marks the final descent.
At no point during any of these arguments has anyone railed against the removal of the Universe of Energy.
And why would they? It’s slow. It eats up a huge chunk of time. It’s been running in its current iteration for decades. Ellen and Bill Nye no longer have the same pop culture relevance. The ride cars are rarely at so much as half capacity. And, frankly, it’s kinda boring in parts.
I know all this. I don’t even disagree with it. But I’m a little sad to see it go all the same.
I like the Universe of Energy for its length. I like the built in 40 minute break from the weather and the manic pace of park touring.
I like the Universe of Energy for its under-the-radar status. I can sit in a car row virtually by myself every time. I can live-tweet without bothering anybody. I never wait in line.
I like the Universe of Energy for the dinosaurs. Sure, they’re not the greatest animatronics ever produced, but who doesn’t love a good dinosaur?
|I still think this is a gorgeous tableau.|
I like the Universe of Energy for the celebrity cameos. I like Ellen and I like Alex Trebek and I LOVE Bill Nye the Science Guy and sure, the whole video is crazy dated, but I LIKE whispering BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! under my breath along with the pre-show video, okay? It’s very fifth grade and I dig it.
I know it has to go. I’ve known it has to go. A small, quixotic part of me hoped it would be redone but with Ellen and Bill reprising their roles. Boy, that was stupid.*
* Stupid Judy.
Nothing to be done about it. Guardians of the Galaxy is moving in. I add my voice to the din that roars against it. But it is a small voice, and it only says this: goodbye, Universe of Energy. I’ll miss you.
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