Russia The Bells of Change: Epcot Center's Cancelled Attractions Part 29

Russia Concept Art Epcot Never Built Disney World

Russia has a complicated history, with many different groups ruling the country over its centuries of history.

Welcome to Epcot Center's Cancelled Attractions where we explore never built rides and attractions from the Disney World's second theme park. Today we are finishing our three-part miniseries looking at the never built Russia Pavilion with a look at the main attraction of the pavilion. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.

The never-built Russian Pavilion was designed to include two major attractions, Ivan and the Magic Pike, a dark ride based on Russian folklore, and Russia The Bells of Change, a massive stage show telling a glorified version of Russian history from ancient times to the then-recent present.

This show would have featured vignettes from many points in Russian history, from the rule of the Tsars to the revolutions of the early 20th century through to the rise of the Soviet Union. It would have essentially been the Russian equivalent of the American Adventure, showcasing a partially fictionalized version of the history of the nation, featuring the might of the Russian people and them overcoming adversity.

Russia Bells of Change Concept Art Epcot Disney World

Numerous pieces of concept art were created for this show, and even a full-scale model was created for this show. It would have used something similar to the carousel theater model, but with sets rotating in and out of view of a stationary theater, and animatronic figures telling the story.
Russia Bells of Change Epcot Disney World Concept Art

This would have been one of the most immersive shows in World Showcase and added a much needed additional country to the World Showcase, and one from a region of the world that remains underrepresented in the park to this day.

This was ready to be announced and a promotional video was even created for the entire land. Unfortunately, this was about to be announced right as the Soviet Union began to fall apart. Just like Israel and other countries before it, the pavilion would never be built due to political circumstances in the actual country it was based on.

While this show certainly would have been a sight to see, it probably would not hold up too well today. The relationship between the US and Russia while nowhere near as bad as it was during the cold war is still far from friendly. On top of that, the content of the show would have been dated on day one, with scenes glorifying the reign of the Soviet Union.

This show would never get built and the land it was to be built on remains empty to this day. It is a shame we never got to see the work of these Imagineers realized in its intended form, but who knows how this would have worked practically in the park.

Thanks for coming back to Epcot Center's Cancelled Attractions. Be sure to check out the entire series here and come back for next week's article, the modern Germany pavilion.