Epcot’s Pin Central in the center of Future World closes on january 13th, 2013, with no set reopening date. The sale location and central tipboard location for the park was the pet project of the forthcoming Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis. During a visit to the Olympics prior to Epcot’s Millennium celebration George saw the pin-trading phenomena in action and decided to bring it to Walt Disney World as part of the event. It became a large enough portion of the planned Millenium Celebration that the dedicated Pin Central was constructed – anchoring the Millennium Circus tarps that fill the Innoventions Plaza courtyard behind Spaceship Earth. The prior 1994 Innoventions rennovation had removed the flanking ponds and greenery while adding the now-removed whirligigs to the courtyard, creating a sea of concrete. Imagineering felt the Millennium Circus tarps added shading and something of interest to the barren plot of land by 1999.
The exact reason for the closure is unknown. As mentioned, no formal end date is currently announced. Tipboards in Future World East and West will continue to operate and pins can be purchased anywhere.
We’ve included some photos from the 1994 Innoventions installation period to show you what the courtyard looked like with Innoventions but without Pin Central.
We walked past these walls a few times recently and didn’t give them much consideration. We snapped a few photos and figured they’d end up on the blog as part of a general update. The refurbishment walls are on the East side of the plaza near Electric Umbrella – not around Pin Central as some angles online have previously suggested. After we looked at the photos, there’s something interesting going on…
Is that what we think it is? By golly, yes it is! It’s a structure with a roof and lighting that is overtop of what appears to be a large metal icon depicting Spaceship Earth. As always, click to enlarge the pics.
What purpose with this new little “building” serve? We don’t know. Perhaps it is the central FastPass distribution location that will be needed for FastPass+ or some other guest service type area? We’re really not sure what to think of more “CommuniClutter” in the plaza, but maybe it’s a new tipboard – and Pin Central will be on its way out once it is installed (the old Tipboard was off to the West side of the plaza prior to the Pin Central and Canopy installation.)
Time will tell. But we’re very curious what this thing is going to be.
(Cross-post from TouringPlans.com) The central tip board in Epcot is in the process of being replaced. Walls have gone up around the backside of Pin Central (where the tip board resides) and will remain there tentatively until September 23, 2011, when a new high-definition second-coming of the central tip board will be revealed. All hail the tip board. Thanks to @BellHopDave on Twitter we’ve got a photo of the walled-off tip board:
Oo, aah. We remember fondly back in 2007 when Epcot pioneered a bold new future for tip boards and wait time information by adding the East and West tip boards to the park. Hopefully the new central tip board with its advanced wait time technology will be a fitting replacement to the beloved and long-standing pillar of our electronic age.
So what do you do if you’re in central Epcot (not Epcot East or West) and you need to know the wait time for Test Track? Well, you could walk over to one of the two other operational tip boards in the park, but we here at TouringPlans.com like to think we’ve got a better solution: The Lines App. It’s portable, it’s convenient, it works on your existing smartphone, and by golly it’s a lot less expensive than buying a new Epcot central tip board of your own.
Ok, it’s probably not less expensive than walking to Epcot’s East or West tip board if you’re already in the park… but it’s a wonderful option to get wait times for the parks during your vacation. Not only can it tell you the wait times for the park your in, but the ones you’re not in as well! Unless you’ve got access to a spy satellite that can zoom-in on the East or West Epcot tip boards (You don’t, do you? We could really use that if you do…) it truly is your next best option during this tumultuous time of central tip board renovation.
Together with the advances in science and prosperity of modern technological marvels we’ll make it through this trying period in Epcot’s history – or be forced to walk an additional 200-300 yards. Your choice, no pressure – but we prefer our way. Buy the app.
Permits filed for the refurbishment of Pin Central at Epcot – otherwise known as the pin kiosk, central tip board, and thing that anchors the giant paneled tent structure over Innoventions Plaza to the middle of Epcot as we know it. Link to paperwork.
The contractor on the project is Cameron Constructors. They’ve done numerous theme park projects including displays in Innoventions itself at Epcot. The level of work needed to call in a third party and further, this third party contractor, suggests Pin Central is getting an extensive overhaul.
Maybe if the world is lucky they’ll finally take down the tent introduced during the Millennium Celebration. If anything, maybe they will repaint it back to the darker purple color it is supposed to be – not the faded pale color it has become over the years.