Today is Disney+ Day and the celebration of the streaming service’s second birthday has brought with it a lot of cool stuff. A bunch of new content has arrived on Disney+ itself, a massive number of the service’s upcoming content has been teased, and even the theme parks have been getting in on the action. But some of the mnaterial added today to the Disney+ library actually makes me wonder if a change is on the horizon for a theme park attraction at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World’s Epcot has a theater, the Magic Eye Theater, that is currently the home of the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. Guests get to watch three animated shorts, which include Pixar’s Piper and Disney’s Feast and Get a Horse. The Pixar short has been available on Disney+ for some time, but the two Disney shorts were part of today’s Disney+ Day content drop, meaning now all three of the shorts you can see at Epcot can be found on Disney+.
Considering that means that you can now watch all the shorts in the Short Film Festival on your phone while you’re waiting in line for the Short Film Festival, there isn’t necessarily a reason to take the time to watch the shorts after you’ve spent the money to be inside Epcot for the day, so perhaps that means that the Epcot theater is due for a refresh.
It’s clear that to some extent the Magic Eye theater in Epcot has been in a holding pattern for several years already. When Epcot first opened, the theater was used for an original show called Magic Journeys. That show was eventually replaced by Michael Jackson’s Captain EO, and then by Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Captain EO returned to the theater in 2010 as a tribute after the death of Michael Jackson.
The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival took up residence at the end of 2015 and has been there since. They are done as 4D shows, with 3D visuals and other effects, so there is something more than just the short itself, but I don’t feel like that’s enough of a draw to get people to see the same shorts they can see at home.
It feels like the fact that two of these shorts haven’t been on Disney+ before may be because they were a draw at Epcot. Now that they’re not, maybe we’ll see some changes. There are certainly other shorts that still aren’t on Disney+ that could move in. Or maybe there’s hope for a new original show.
Whatever happens, the Epcot theater is due for a change of some kind, even more so after Disney+ Day, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen sometime very soon.