|Area Future World|
Cost US $100 million
Closing date January 1, 2007
Opening date October 19, 1989
Replaced by Festival Center
The Wonders of Life pavilion was an attraction at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It was devoted to health and body related attractions. It is located inside a golden colored dome between Mission: SPACE and the Universe of Energy. It opened on October 19, 1989, and closed on January 1, 2007. Since that time, the pavilion has been used for seasonal special events. The original attractions within the building have been closed and partially removed.
The idea of a pavilion devoted to health and fitness dates back to the original concept of the EPCOT Center theme park, but no corporate sponsor could be found to cover the costs. It was not until MetLife signed on that the pavilion was finally constructed, and it featured two main attractions: Cranium Command and Body Wars, the first thrill ride located in EPCOT. Also featured was a theater (home to The Making of Me), restaurant and interactive attractions that evolved around the idea of health and wellness. MetLife ended its sponsorship in 2001, which led to the slow decline of the pavilion. On January 4, 2004, Disney made the decision to make it seasonal operation only. It reopened when the park was projected to hit near capacity during the high spring months and Christmas season. Its most recent operational phase was November 26, 2006, through January 1, 2007. In 2007, the pavilion closed permanently, with no official reason given. While it is not operational to the public, it is still commonly used for private and corporate events.
In 2007, temporary walls were placed around the existing attractions when Epcot hosted the Food and Wine festival in the pavilion. The "Body Wars" sign was removed in 2008, replaced by a temporary Garden Town sign while the imprints of the Body Wars sign left on the wall were painted over. By 2009 Body Wars was gone without a trace. The "Celebrate the Joy of Life" sign was removed following in 2009, while most of the exhibits left were removed. The pavilion also received a paint job inside using mute colors such as white and light green.
The pavilion is open seasonally as the center for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival as the Festival Center. For these events, it hosts seminars, videos, presentations, and more. It is used as a central merchandise location during the two festivals as well. All attractions are shut down and their signs have been removed. As of November 2014, the Body Wars ride simulators have been dismantled. The queue line still exists, but most of the lighting and other electronics have been removed. As of 2017, Cranium Command has had its queue line, pre-show and post-show gutted, but the theatre - including the animatronics, lighting, seats, and staging area - remains intact under scaffolding. The theater that was used for The Making of Me is still used for various movies and presentations during the event.
On September 11, 2012, Walt Disney Imagineering filed a notice of commencement with the Orange County Comptroller’s office indicating the intentions for a "selective demolition" to take place at the pavilion, making a reopening even more unlikely. The notice came a few weeks prior to the theme park’s 30th anniversary. At this time the structure for Body Wars was torn down, leaving the empty simulator bays and queue line the only parts left intact.