Why I'll Miss the Electric Umbrella and the Old Mouse Gear
One of the best parts of the EPCOT Re-Imagining is seeing significant investment made into my favourite park at Walt Disney World (of particular delight is the return of the lucite pylons). One of the worst parts, however, is saying good-bye to things I love. None is more depressing than the loss of Electric Umbrella and Mouse Gear.
I've been going to EPCOT since the 1980s and have seen the park change over the years. One thing has never changed, and that is the love I have for eating in the Electric Umbrella space and shopping next door at the Centorium, then Mouse Gear.
There are so many family memories eating there (we weren't much of a World Showcase or Sunshine Seasons family) and teasing my niece about PUSH the talking garbage can. The food was always mediocre but being in the middle of Future World and eating the chicken fingers was my happiest place on earth.
Then there's the Centorium (then Mouse Gear). Centorium was definitely one of the best shops on park property with it's multiple floors (yes, there was more than one floor) and open concept shopping where you could find virtually anything. Although Mouse Gear brought the store down to one floor, it was a store where you could find anything too and a place you could say hello to the Dreamfinder from Journey into Imagination (the original attraction), even if it was only his ship.
These locations, along with the fountain, have so many fond memories for me and as excited as I was to see the EPCOT spine project announced, it feels like so much of it is being scaled back or cut altogether.
Seeing the windows blown out and things being ripped out is definitely a scary thing to see, because we don't know what will happen. The concept art looks very bland and with capital expense cutbacks due to COVID-19, we have no idea what we're going to see open, or for that matter, when.
So, after breathing into a paper bag to catch my breath, I have reminded myself of Walt's words that Disneyland (or in this EPCOT) will never be completed...as long as there is imagination left in the world. Something will open at some point. It will have food and merch. Let's just hope that the Imagineer's mission to leave something better than it replaces happens and we'll have years of enjoyment with the the next stage of what is my happiest place on earth.