Epcot changes are coming to Walt Disney World. With the news that EPCOT was getting a complete overhaul at this years 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?
As a level set, be sure to check out everything was happening and was supposed to happen at Walt Disney World in 2020 and in time for the 50th Anniversary. We’ve added a star* next to ALL the items below that may be on hold due to Walt Disney World’s temporary closure. Check out our “changes after closing” post below for everything that may be on hold.
Changes Happening at EPCOT
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 were the big takeaways from D23 about how EPCOT is moving forward.
- 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 under way, 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 goals is to share ” The Magic of Possibility.”
World Celebration encompasses different experiences that allows 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, the Space 220 Restaurant and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Remind 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 arriving both in 2019 and 2020.
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.
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. * May be on hold.
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.
Epcot welcomes a brand new evening digital show to replace Epcot Forever by the end of 2020. With a focus on music from around the world this show incorporates lights, fireworks and special effects never before seen!
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. * May be on hold.
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 humanities journey through the past and present. Spaceship Earth is closed starting May 26, 2020. Read all about the closing here.
Space 220 Restaurant
As part of World Discovery the Space 220 Restaurant, opening April 2020, 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.
New 360 CircleVision Films
Epcot is also updating it’s film offerings ahead of the 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 is set to replace 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.
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 shocase country we cannot wait to see this addition to the pavilion.
EPCOT changes at Walt Disney World
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?