“Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with Mary!”
One of the most eagerly-awaited rides at the Walt Disney World Resort has been one based on the Julie Andrews classic movie Mary Poppins (1964), announced at the 2019 D23 Expo in California.
The attraction would be located in the United Kingdom Pavilion of the EPCOT theme park and add an entirely new neighborhood to the British area. In the concept plans, Disney Guests would step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17 – home of the Banks family – where their adventure would begin.
And now, we finally know what the Mary Poppins ride entails, and it’s sending Disney fans into a spin.
EPCOT’s future has been a debate among Walt Disney World fans for a long time now. The iconic theme park is currently undergoing a massive transformation that has introduced the development of four new “neighborhoods.” While World Showcase will keep its name, the former Future World is being split into World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.
And while much of the focus right now at EPCOT is on World Discovery and the grand opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, there has been discussion about whether each country’s Pavilion should have its own attraction, particularly after the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in France.
Many fans of Mary Poppins were excited to hear about the new attraction coming to the United Kingdom Pavilion, but its design has divided fans of the movie and the Disney theme park.
A new portfolio was revealed this week from a former Imagineer, revealing yet-unseen details about the “postponed” attraction based on Mary Poppins.
The portfolio shared by former Imagineer Damon Pressman shows off the art and layout for the new Disney attraction, and it is very similar to an attraction we all know and love at the Magic Kingdom theme park.
The Imagineer’s artwork shows Disney World Guests spinning around indoors in teacups in an English countryside setting similar to the “Jolly Holiday” sequence from the original Mary Poppins film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
The layout for the ride is interesting, as it demonstrates another preshow concept as seen at the new Cosmic Rewind ride and in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The interior queue winds through the lower level of the Banks family home at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, and enters a preshow similar to Enchanted Tales with Belle at the Magic Kingdom.
In the preshow, Guests seemingly watch the fireplace come to life before entering the English countryside. The ride itself features six teacups on three spin platforms and looks similar in engineering to the Alien Swirling Saucers in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The ride concept has been compared to an indoor version of the Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom, with Guests arguing that EPCOT does not need the addition of another “spinning” ride – especially after Guests “drink around the world.”
No opening date had ever been given for the new teacups project. Former Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek revealed in 2022 that the planned EPCOT attraction was in a “holding pattern” due to a lack of cash caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while the ride isn’t currently under construction, Chapek noted that they hoped to fund the project eventually.
With Bob Iger now back in the Disney CEO position, it will be interesting to see what comes of this Mary Poppins teacup attraction. The other attraction mentioned in the 2019 D23 convention was a Quinjet ride that was to anchor “Phase 2” of Marvel’s Avengers Campus in Disneyland Park.
Disney officially revealed that the United Kingdom Pavilion expansion was paused in July 2020 as Walt Disney World reopened from the COVID-19 shutdown. In addition to pausing Mary Poppins and the Quinjet, Disney also put a halt to the update to EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth.
The news surprised Disney fans who haven’t heard anything related to these rides for a long time. Construction on the recently opened TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom and the Moana Journey of Water walkthrough were also delayed due to labor and supply shortages.