Epcot Was Supposed To Get A Mary Poppins Attraction. Thanks To Concept Art We Finally Know What We’re Missing At Disney World
When Walt Disney World closed for the global pandemic it not only caused problems for the resort in that moment, but it caused shockwaves that the parks are feeling to this day. Several ongoing new attractions saw significant construction delays. The Tron: Lightcycle Run roller coaster is only now on the eve of opening. But other projects that had been announced, but never started were delayed if not canceled outright. One of those was an exciting Mary Poppins attraction planned for Epcot’s UK pavilion.
Before the pandemic, a special video presentation at Epcot included mention of this new attraction. But when the park reopened, references to it (as well as an update to Spaceship Earth) were gone. At the time, Disney said it had decided to "postpone development" of the Mary Poppins attraction. At this point, there’s no expectation that the planned attraction will ever happen, but we now have an idea of what it would have been. Concept art that shows a Mad Tea Party-style spinning ride, but with incredible enhancements, recently found its way online.
The Mary Poppins ride at Epcot was going to be a Teacups ride... but indoors! pic.twitter.com/P6xnTrrELgMarch 22, 2023
The concept art comes from the professional portfolio of a man who was under contract to Walt Disney Imagineering in 2019 when plans for this new attraction would have been in the concept stage. The portfolio also includes concept art for Project Gamma, the massive update to the front half of Epcot that is expected to be completed later this year.
While concept art certainly doesn’t go into great detail what we have here appears to be a spinning ride that is done completely indoors. This allows for greater control of the environment, and what looks to be projection mapping effects on the walls and each of the spinning ride vehicles, allowing animated characters to “come to life” around the guests.
The inspiration for the attraction appears to be the Royal Doulton Music Hall sequence from Mary Poppins Returns, which combined live action and animation, with guests sitting in ride vehicles that resemble the bowl that transports Poppins and the children into the animated world.
It looks like it would have made for quite a fun attraction. In recent years we’ve seen so much focus on massive expensive E-ticket attractions that it’s nice to see that people are not forgetting that simpler rides that everybody can enjoy are also welcome. This “plusses” the standard spinning ride in a fun and unique way, but also adds something Epcot does not have.
While there has never been any official announcement regarding the Mary Poppins attraction being canceled, we’ve also heard no mention of it when Disney Parks’ division makes announcements regarding the future. It doesn’t appear there are any plans for a new attraction in the UK pavilion right now, though once the current construction of Epcot’s World Discovery is complete, we might start to hear what’s next for the park.