Yesterday marked the end of an era at Epcot as several “iconic” locations closed in preparation for the park’s historic transformation coming over the next several years.
So with that being said, we wanted to put an article together which tells you everything you need to know about the historic transformation1. Let’s get into the details.
On Sunday 25th August, 2019 at D23 Expo 2019, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek, joined by Walt Disney Imagineer, Zach Riddley and others made several fantastic announcements about the future of Epcot during the parks and resorts panel.
Epcot’s New Neighbourhoods
Epcot will be split into 4 different neighbourhoods that speak to crucial elements of the world and its people;
- World Showcase
- World Celebration
- World Nature
- World Discovery
Each neighbourhood will be packed with new experiences. This essentially means the Future World moniker is no more.
World Showcase will carry on to be a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions with brand-new magic added;
United Kingdom (UK) pavilion:The UK pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins.Guests will be able to step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter the home of the Banks family (Number 17). This is where the adventure for the guest begins.
France pavilion:In the Summer of 2020, The France pavilion is going offer more than it does already, including the highly-anticipated attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Guests will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on an exciting adventure.
A delicious new restaurant in the France pavilion will also debut in the Summer of 2020. La Crêperie de Paris, will offer guests both table and quick-service options featuring a menu from celebrity chef, Jérôme Bocuse.
Last but not least in the France pavilion, The classic Impressions de France film will be joined by the new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. Debuting in January 2020 and directed by Don Hahn.
Canada pavilion: Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will debut in the pavilion in January 2020. The BRAND-NEW film will feature new scenes and a new story.
China pavilion: Wondrous China will take guests on an unbelievable journey across China. The film will be presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.
“In 2020, following the limited-time run of “Epcot Forever,” the new HarmonioUS will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. HarmonioUS will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.”Jeremy Schoolfield, Disney Parks Blog
World Celebration will offer brand new experiences which connects “us” to one another and the world around;
Spaceship Earth: Spaceship Earth will remain as you know it, a voyage through time as the journey transforms to reflect the power of storytelling to untie that human experience. BUT! New narration and a new music score will solely focus on the moments and ideas that define out story. Guests will follow a magical story light that brings the entire experience to life in dynamic ways… We’ll leave it at that!
Dreamers Point: As you exit Spaceship Earth, you’ll discover a stunning view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point.
New pavilion: A new pavilion will be the home for Epcot’s many festivals and live events. The three-story pavilion will offer views of World Showcase. In that aspect, it’s sure to become the new icon at Epcot;
“It will provide a stunning elevated view of the entire park and an ideal spot to witness Epcot’s nighttime spectacular. This beautiful three-level structure will have one of the most remarkable architectural designs at any Disney park.”Jeremy Schoolfield, Disney Parks Blog
Epcot’s entrance plaza: the entrance plaza of Epcot will be transformed with new experiences will connect guests with the world. A re-imagined fountain, new pathways and green-ways will spruce up the entryway. World Celebration will also include a brand-new statue celebrating the legacy of the original dream, Walt Disney. Not forgetting, beautiful natural environments and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises!
World Nature is dedicated to the understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world. The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions will be included.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be the very experience inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios movie. This breathtaking exploration trail will invite you to meet and play with magical, living water. It’s suffice to say the water will have a life of its own – just like Moana’s friend, the ocean.
The Land pavilion: The Land pavilion’s new film, Awesome Planet, which will showcase the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet will debut in January 2020.
In World Discovery, stories about science, technology and intergalactic adventure comes to life.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first other-world showcase pavilion at Epcot, which is exciting.
“The adventure starts in the “Galaxarium,” a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. You will be invited to learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and adventures across the cosmos ensue.”Jeremy Schoolfield, Disney Parks Blog
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering… A storytelling roller coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus your attention on the action, not forgetting to mention the fact it will be the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
Mission: Space pavilion expansion: An expansion of the Mission Space: pavilion will be a brand new restaurant. Space 220 will be a culinary experience which features celestial panorama of a space station, including day/nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.
PLAY! pavilion: The PLAY! pavilion will be open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. In this pavilion, guests will discover an interactive city bursting with games, activities and experiences that connect you with friends and family. Not forgetting those beloved Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before.
Suffice to say… there’s A LOT happening at Epcot. Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for more updates during the park’s transformation. THIS… IS… EXCITING!
Video credit: Attractions Magazine
1: We’ve put this lengthy article together for two reasons;
- We’re a new outlet covering the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.
- For guests/readers who don’t know the details about the transformation.