Epcot pavilion sponsorship runs out of gas
Epcot's Universe of Energy pavilion hits visitors with a not-so-subtle message: Fossil fuels are fantastic, while renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric are iffy solutions for our energy problems.
The people at ExxonMobil, of course, agree.
For two decades, the oil company has paid to sponsor the pavilion and its collection of animatronic dinosaurs. Besides the handful of ExxonMobil signs hanging in the pavilion, the sponsorship bought an Exxon gas station sign airtime in the U of E's 45-minute pro-fossil fuel movie.
The sponsorship quietly ended Saturday with the expiration of a contract between Disney and Exxon.
Walt Disney World is talking with several companies about picking up the sponsorship, a spokeswoman said, though she declined to name them.
Exxon's name has also been dropped from the three gas stations on Walt Disney World property. The stations have been closed for renovation until March 30. They will reopen as Hess Express stations.
Earlier this month, Disney announced a deal with the Amerada Hess Corp. to sponsor both the gas stations and the new Sports Fields venue at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
Despite the natural tie-in, Hess said it had no current interest in sponsoring the Universe of Energy pavilion.
"That just didn't fit," spokesman Jay Wilson said, "though we may, at some point, do some additional sponsorships."