Epcot changes are coming to Walt Disney World. With the news that EPCOT was getting a complete overhaul at the 2019 D23 Convention came lots and lots of speculation, worry, tears, hope, joy… you name it. Emotions ran wild. While some people cheered at the refreshing new possibilities for one of Disney’s more struggling parks, others wept at the complete loss of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow ( Epcot) that opened in 1982; Walt Disney’s personal vision that showcased the Utopian city of tomorrow. Of course, who could have possibly imagined the world of tomorrow would look like this?
The Re-Imagining of EPCOT Park at Walt Disney World
While the “old” EPCOT highlighted technological advances and development the “new” EPCOT embraces a different kind of future. One that needs us to include nature in order to survive. Here are the big takeaways from the D23 Expo about how EPCOT is moving forward. Just in time for the 40th Anniversary of EPCOT in 2022.
- Epcot’s New Tagline is “The Magic Of Possibility”
- The Natural World takes its place as one of Epcot’s 4 Neighborhoods
- EPCOT’s no longer just about technology
- Disney characters will be at the core of EPCOT experiences
- Culture and honoring all countries is still a focus in the World Showcase
The Changes Coming to Epcot
A complete renovation of Epcot is on the way. With construction already underway, Epcot is being divided into 4 neighborhoods within the park. Each features unique experiences across four themes; World Discovery, World Nature, World Celebration and World Showcase. From cultures to nature to technology and experiences that connect us the goal is to share ” The Magic of Possibility.”
Disney Concept Art- Entrance, World Celebration
What’s New at EPCOT?
The Incredible glass pylons have arrived and were installed at EPCOT. This structure is part of a series of pylons that will form a fountain. Done in the scheme of the original Lucite fountain from EPCOT’s entrance in the good old days. You will see large obelisks etched with the park logo. And in the foreground of Spaceship Earth. We’re anticipating not only gorgeous water displays here but also amazing lighting.
World Celebration encompasses different experiences that allow guests to interact with the planet, a place for all cultures including performances. Most notable here will be the lilypad-type buildings that become new icons in the Epcot experience. World Celebration in Epcot will also feature a focus on Dreamers Point honoring Walt Disney. There will also be gardens, a wishing tree, and an interactive fountain.
World Nature connects both The Seas and The Land areas of the parks and adds Moana’s Journey of Water. Journey of Water will include waterfalls, water experiences, and a gorgeous soundtrack reminiscent of the film’s strong score.
World Discovery will take the place of Future World East. Encompassing all things technology-focused, World Discovery will include Test Track, Mission Space, Space 220 Restaurant, and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Coaster.
Our favorite collection of cultural experiences, thankfully, stays pretty much the same through the mass construction that will be taking over Epcot park. World Showcase currently has a few new projects in the works include Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, updates to 360 films, a new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, and new digital shows.
New Epcot Rides and Attractions By 2022
Many of the projects will be completed to celebrate Epcot’s 40th Anniversary in 2022, but for some, we have no completion date, so stay tuned
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, France, World Showcase
Our favorite rat, Remy, from Ratatouille just happens to be underfoot in the kitchen and we’re along for the ride. Riders take the role of rat dodging all sorts of calamities that happen in the kitchen. As part of France in Epcot, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will join Frozen Ever After in Norway and the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico as the world Showcase’s most kid-friendly rides. OPENING OCTOBER 1, 2021
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster, World Discovery
This indoor storytelling coaster launches riders into the galaxy to battle the bad guys and save the universe. By far one of the largest projects, this roller coaster allows riders to turn their car at 360 degrees and be part of the story.
Mary Poppins Attraction, U.K., World Showcase *
A new Mary Poppins attraction in the UK section of the World Showcase will bring guests into the world of Cherry Tree Lane. This new neighborhood will give guests a glimpse into the world of Mary Poppins. *Indefinitely delayed or canceled.
Moana’s Journey of Water, World Nature
This whole new water-focused interactive experience will include waterfalls, sounds, and light that connect guests to the natural environment. With elements we see from the film, Moana, we’re sure to have a beautiful soundtrack in this new space inside the World Nature section. * May be on hold.
Harmonious Digital Show
Epcot welcomes a brand new evening digital show to replace Epcot Forever which is retiring September 28, 2021. With a focus on music from around the world, this show incorporates lights, fireworks, and special effects never before seen! . OPENING OCTOBER 1, 2021
Interactive Play! Pavilion
The Interactive Play Pavilion offers guests the opportunity to arrive in a digital world and interact with games, spaces, and characters like never before. This experience takes over the Wonders of Life building in EPCOT and is set to also be the home of the new Mark X Monorail attraction.
Spaceship Earth Renovation
Spaceship Earth is getting a design overhaul. While some much-loved exhibits within the ride may stay intact, riders will now be taken on a journey through history with a little bit of Disney Magic. Following the “Story Light” the new experience will capture humanity’s journey through the past and present. *Indefinitely delayed or canceled.
Space 220 Restaurant
As part of World Discovery, Space 220 Restaurant offers out-of-this-world dining with outer space views that help guests feel as if they are on a spaceship sailing through the galaxy. You can find this restaurant tucked behind Mission Space. . OPENING DATE UNKNOWN
New 360 CircleVision Films
Epcot is also updating its film offerings ahead of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. Found in The Land building, Awesome Planet will highlight all the wonders of Planet Earth. Over in World Showcase, two new films will replace those in China and Canada by the Festival of the Arts in 2020. Wondrous China replaces Reflections of China with an updated new look at China today, and Canada Far and Wide have replaced the previous O’ Canada show featuring Martin Short.
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
The new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along is added to the offerings in Epcot France. Just a cartoon video with Lefou in the lead role of telling the tale as old as time. A great break for the kids.
La Creperie de Paris
A new authentic Creperie is planned to arrive in the newly renovated France offering crepes with a variety of sweet and savory options. As France is pretty much our favorite World showcase country we cannot wait to see this addition to the pavilion. . OPENING OCTOBER 1, 2021
EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary in 2022
While most of these changes are in the plans to complete sometime during the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World you can bet that some of these will not be complete until at least the end of 2022. We’ll be sharing all the details as the 40th EPCOT anniversary plans emerge.
Check out all the news from D23 Expo. While there are tons of Epcot Changes on the way, we’re sure it’s going to be amazing to see this park morph into something different. What are you excited or worried about with the Epcot Renovation?
Keep tabs on everything happening for the 50th Anniversary in our Most Magical Celebration post. We’ll be sharing ride opening plans there as well!