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Innoventions[edit]

Innoventions is a pavilion located in Epcot. The pavilion is divided into Innoventions East and Innoventions West.

Pavilion History[edit]

Innoventions opened on September 29, 1994 [1], replacing the CommuniCore pavilions. Like its predecessor, Innoventions was divided into East and West buildings, with a total area of 100,000 square feet [1]. Although the basic idea of Innoventions was essentially the same as CommuniCore, their intents were different. Whereas CommuniCore showcased various scientific exhibits, Innovention's goal was to showcase things that would soon be affecting guests in their home or office on a daily basis [2]. Furthermore, as opposed to the laid back and bright look of CommuniCore, Innoventions was dark and loud in an attempt to gain guest's attention [2]. In this same vein, a new metallic blue color scheme was given to the buildings to further "modernize" them [2]. Other aesthetic changes included the fact that the exterior reflecting pools were filled in to improve guest flow [3], the large windows that made up the walls of the building were covered[3], and the West building was expanded towards the Living Seas [2]. Finally, new entryways were constructed and the pavilion's multilevel interior was changed so that all the exhibits were now on a single level[3].

When commenting on the creation of Innoventions, Disney CEO Michael Eisner had said in the early 1990's that:

Inside Innoventions as it appeared in the 1990s

In order to accommodate the new Innovention's exhibits, CommuniCore's exhibits had slowly been phased out throughout the early 1990s [3]. Despite this, due to the massive nature of the project, Disney decided that Innovention's would open in two phases [2], with The first phase opening in 1993-1994 and the second in 1998-1999[2].

When it opened, Innoventions featured exhibits by IBM, Sega, and General Motors (among others) [3]. Since Innoventions was at least partially inspired by a consumer electronics show, the pavilion was less organized then CommuniCore had been, and large advertisements were occasionally present [2]. Besides the exhibits, Innovention's also held three stores, the Centorium, the Art of Disney, and Field Trips, as well as the new Ice Station Cool, which had free Coca Cola samples from around the world [3]. In addition to these stores, Innoventions was also home to the Pasta Piazza Ristorante, the Electric Umbrella, and the FountainView Espresso & Bakery [3].

The first major change to Innoventions came in 1997, when Innoventions West was refurbished [1]. Although most of the exhibits changed when it reopened, some were updated and retained [1]. In 1999, in preparation for the upcoming Millennium Celebration, all of Innoventions (both East and West) was closed for refurbishment. Besides just renovating the exhibits, the 1999 refurbishment also gave the pavilion more order. At this time, all but two of the entrances and exits were closed off, and a path was created for guests to follow [1].

Following the refurbishment, Innoventions was given the subtitle "Road to Tomorrow" and Tom Morrow 2.0 became the pavilion’s host[1]. Finally, the Centorium store (which had been open since the pavilion was known as CommuniCore), was expanded and renamed Mouse Gears[1]. At this time Field Trips was also closed and replaced by the Art of Disney store [1].

Between 2000 and 2007, Innoventions only underwent minor changes. In 2001, the Pasta Piazza Ristorante closed [4], and a kiosk named Discover the Stories Behind the Magic opened [3]. The new interactive exhibit was built as a tie in with the 100 Years of Magic Celebration, and thus it was removed in 2002[3]. The other entrances and exits to Innoventions were also reopened during this time. In 2005, the Ice Station Cool closed, before later reopening as Club Cool. Club Cool was still sponsored by Coca Cola; however the exterior of the building was changed. Also at this time, the Character Connection meet and greet opened to guests. Originally planned as a temporary exhibit, the Character Connection allowed guests to meet Mickey and his friends [3]. The meet and greet location would later be renamed Epcot Character Spot [3].

The next major renovation came to Innoventions in 2007. During this refurbishment the pavilion was updated and the subtitle "Road to Tomorrow" and Tom Morrow 2.0 were dropped [3]. The color scheme of the pavilion was also returned to a powder blue (similar to that of CommuniCore). Following the renovation, a kiosk celebrating Epcot's 25th anniversary opened, although it would close a year later [3]. In 2009, The Sum of All Thrills opened in Innoventions East [5]. The exhibit allows guests to design their own thrill ride, and then enter a motion simulator and ride it. The Sum of All Thrill was thus the first "ride" ever located within Innoventions [6].

In March of 2015, Disney announced that Innoventions West would be closed on April 30, and that the exhibits housed within the pavilion would be removed [7]. This closure coincided with the end of the exhibitors' (Liberty Mutual, IBM and T. Rowe Price) sponsorship agreements [8]. On June 31, 2015 a rest and relaxation area called a D-Zone opened in Innoventions West [9]. Besides housing seating for guests and device chargers, a small snack and beverage stand also opened at this time [9]. In August 2016 Disney announced that The Sum of All Thrills and StormStruck would be closing on September 14, 2016 [10]. The closure of the two exhibits left Colortopia and Take a Nanooze Break as the only operating exhibits left in Innoventions.

On November 12, 2017 The SpectacuLAB opened in Innoventions East [11], the exhibit closed on January 13, 2019 [12].

In July 2019, as part of Epcot's ongoing transformation, Disney announced that the remaining exhibits in Innovention's East, Fountain View Starbucks and the Fountain of Nations would be closing on September 8, 2019 [13]. Furthermore, Disney also announced that the Electric Umbrella, Club Cool and Mouse Gear would also be closing in the Winter of 2019[13]. The Fountain View, Mouse Gear, and Character Spot characters are all expected to move to temporary locations at this time [13]. While Disney has announced that Club Cool will be returning, no further information was given about the store's new location [14].

Exhibits History [3] [1] [15] [16][edit]

AUTHORS NOTE: Current exhibits are in bold.

Innoventions East (1994-1999)[edit]

Innoventions East: The Road to Tomorrow (2000-2019)[edit]

Innoventions West (1994-1999)[edit]

Innoventions West: The Road to Tomorrow (2000-2015)[edit]

Current Attractions[edit]

The Sum of All Thrills is the first "ride" to be housed inside Innoventions. Photo credit: Disney

Innoventions East[edit]

SpectacuLAB- This interactive show celebrates the basic principles of science in a fun environment.

Colortopia- This exhibit begins with a 30 minute presentation in the "Power of Color Theater", where guests explore the psychology of color. Next, guests go to the color lab where they can play Color Mix 'n Match and Spinning Spectrums. Finally, guests can go to Color Our World, where they are given a magical paint brush to help them paint a white circular room. This exhibit is presented by Glidden.

Take A Nanooze Break- This exhibit teaches guests about nanotechnology through storytelling and interactivity.

Innoventions West[edit]

As of 2018 the interactive exhibits in Innoventions West are closed.

Restaurants[edit]

Electric Umbrella- A counter service restaurant located in Innoventions East, the Electric Umbrella specializes in cheeseburgers and chicken.

Fountain View Starbucks-Located in Innoventions West, the Fountain View serves Starbucks coffee as well as other snacks and pastries.

Former Restaurants[edit]

Pasta Piazza Ristorante- Located in Innoventions West, Pasta Piazza Ristorante was a counter service restaurant that specialized in Italian food (including a Mickey Mouse shaped pizza). Pasta Piazza Ristorante opened in 1994 and closed in 2001.

Shopping[edit]

Mouse Gears- The largest store in Walt Disney World, Mouse Gears sells all kinds of Epcot and Disney World merchandise. Mouse Gears is located in Innoventions East.

Art of Disney- Located in Innoventions West, the Art of Disney store sells art from the Disney theme parks and movies.

Club Cool- Located in Innoventions West, Club Cool offers guests free samples of Coca Cola from around the world.

Fun Facts and Trivia[edit]

Fountain of Nations [17][edit]

  • Every 15 minutes, the Fountain of Nations "performs" to classical music.
  • The fountain was designed by Imagineer Mark Fuller.
  • In the wintertime, the fountain receives holiday music.
The Fountain of Nations. Photo by Harshlight
  • The Fountain of Nations can shoot water up to 150 feet in the air.
  • The Fountain send 30,000 gallons of water up into the air per minute.
  • On EPCOT Center's opening day, representatives from 22 countries each poured a gallon of water from their homeland into the Fountain of Nations.

Music [17][edit]

The music for the Fountain of Nations is rotated every 15 minutes in no particular order. The seven musical selections that can be heard are:

  • "Standing in Motion" by Yanni
  • "Day One" by John Tesh
  • A selection from Disney's Iron Will (a live action movie)
  • A selection from Disney's The Rocketeer (a live action movie)
  • A selection from The Rescuers Down Under
  • A selection from "Around the World with Mickey Mouse" (a proposed, but never used Epcot show)
  • An instrumental from the "Air Battle Sequence" from the Surprise in the Skies show (Surprise in the Skies was once a lagoon show at Epcot)

Innoventions Pavilion[edit]

  • Disney CEO Michael Eisner liked the name Electric Umbrella (the name given to one of Innovention's restaurants in 1994 by Imagineer Rolly Crump) so much that he wanted to use it as the name for the entire Innoventions pavilion [18]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 http://www.intercot.com/edc/Innoventions/index.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 http://www.martinsvids.net/?s=Innoventions
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Pedersen, R.A. The EPCOT Explorer's Encyclopedia:. United States: Epcyclopedia, 2011. Print
  4. http://allears.net/din/rest_closed.htm
  5. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2009/10/sum_of_all_thrills.html
  6. http://wdwnews.com/releases/2010/03/04/it-all-adds-up-raytheon/
  7. http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/innoventions/news/21mar2015-innoventions-west-to-close-in-april-along-with-vision-house-at-inventions-east.htm
  8. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/theme-park-rangers-blog/os-disney-epcot-innoventions-west-closing-20150320-post.html
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/epcot/news/26jun2015-new-d-zone-relaxation-area-coming-to-epcot-next-week.htm
  10. http://wdwnt.com/blog/2016/08/breaking-the-sum-of-all-thrills-and-stormstruck-closing-goodbye-innoventions-at-epcot/
  11. http://www.insidethemagic.net/2017/11/new-spectaculab-show-officially-opens-spark-walt-disney-worlds-epcot/
  12. https://touringplans.com/epcot/attractions/spectaculab
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 https://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/epcot/news/03jul2019-summary-of-all-the-closures-coming-to-epcots-future-world.htm
  14. https://twitter.com/WDWToday/status/1146157571436421120
  15. http://www.extinctdisney.com/#!innoventions-west/dv5v2
  16. http://www.extinctdisney.com/#!innoventions-east/jskmk
  17. 17.0 17.1 http://allears.net/tp/ep/fount.htm
  18. Crump, Rolly, and Jeff Heimbuch. It's Kind of a Cute Story. N.p.: Bamboo Forest, 2012. Print.