Epcot, one of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort, is currently undergoing a massive transformation. This renovation, which is set to conclude by the end of 2023, is the most significant change the park has seen since its opening in 1982. This article will delve into the details of these changes, exploring what visitors can expect from the new Epcot.
Reimagining Epcot: The Four Neighborhoods
The park is being restructured into four distinct neighborhoods: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. Each neighborhood is designed to focus on different aspects of our world and its people, offering a unique blend of learning, fun, and imagination.
World Showcase will continue to celebrate the culture, cuisine, architecture, and traditions of countries around the world. The France pavilion has already expanded with the addition of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Le Crêperie de Paris in October 2021. This new ride shrinks guests down to the size of a rat for a wild adventure through Gusteau’s restaurant, offering a unique perspective on the world of Ratatouille.
Le Crêperie de Paris, on the other hand, offers both table and quick-service options, serving a variety of sweet and savory crepes that transport guests to the streets of Paris.
A new nighttime spectacular, Harmonious, debuted in October 2021 and ran until April 2023. This show was one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park, featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and more. A new show is set to debut in late 2023 in honor of the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary, promising to bring even more magic to the World Showcase Lagoon.
World Celebration is at the heart of the reimagined Epcot. The iconic Spaceship Earth remains with its permanent lighting that started with the 50th Anniversary. This geodesic sphere, one of the most recognizable structures in all of Disney World, is now more beautiful than ever, with new lighting that brings it to life in stunning new ways.
The rest of the entrance will be entirely transformed, with a new statue of Walt Disney at Dreamers Point and a new exhibition space called CommuniCore Hall. The statue of Walt Disney will be a tribute to the man whose dreams brought Disney World to life, while CommuniCore Hall will be a place where guests can explore exhibits and interactive experiences that celebrate the creativity and innovation that Disney is known for.
The transformation of EPCOT’s entrance fountain was unveiled in summer 2021, and the rest of World Celebration will be completed in late 2023. The new fountain is a beautiful homage to the original, featuring a stunning glass pillar centerpiece surrounded by a pool of water, with bright lights that make it sparkle at night.
World Nature is dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty of the natural world. A major new highlight of the upcoming World Nature will be Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. Opening in late 2023, this walkthrough attraction will allow guests to learn the importance and beauty of the natural water cycle. This first-of-its-kind experience will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting, offering a unique blend of exploration, play, and learning.
World Discovery focuses on science, technology,and intergalactic adventures. The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction debuted in May 2022, featuring a reverse launch and a 360-degree rotating vehicle system. This thrilling adventure takes guests on a journey through space and time, with stunning visuals and an exciting storyline that fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will love.
The PLAY! pavilion, still under development, will provide a unique space filled with games and activities where visitors can interact with their favorite Disney characters. This digital city will be bursting with interactive experiences and games, including a chance to help Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style, a race across a crumbled world with Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope, and an epic water-balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby.
What’s New: Attractions, Restaurants, and Experiences
The transformation of Epcot is introducing a variety of new attractions, restaurants, and experiences. In addition to the aforementioned Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the park will also see the opening of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, in late 2023. This attraction will be a lush trail featuring magical, living water elements, including waterfalls, dancing fountains, and jumping water. This immersive experience will offer guests a chance to interact with water in surprising and magical ways, bringing the world of Moana to life in a whole new way.
World Celebration’s New Additions
World Celebration will see the addition of a new statue of Walt Disney at Dreamers Point and a new exhibition space, CommuniCore Hall. The area will also feature a new quick-service restaurant, Connections Cafe and Eatery, which opened in spring 2022. The restaurant offers a variety of dining options inspired by countries all over the world. From fresh salads and hearty sandwiches to delicious pastries and refreshing beverages, there’s something for everyone at Connections Cafe and Eatery.
World Discovery’s New Additions
World Discovery will be home to the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction, which debuted in May 2022. The area will also feature the PLAY! pavilion, an interactive, digital city filled with games and activities. This innovative space will offer a whole new way to experience Disney, with interactive games and activities that let guests play with their favorite characters in a whole new way.
What’s Changing: Existing Attractions and Experiences
While the transformation of Epcot is introducing new experiences, it’s also reimagining existing ones. Some attractions will be temporarily or permanently closed to make way for these new experiences. For instance, Innoventions East, Colortopia, and Nanooze Break have permanently closed, while Fountain View featuring Starbucks and Character Spot have temporarily closed. These changes are part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to keep its parks fresh and exciting, and while they may be disappointing for fans of these attractions, they promise to make way for even more magical experiences.
Conclusion: The Impact on Visitors
The transformation of Epcot is expected to significantly enhance the visitor experience. The introduction of new attractions, restaurants, and experiences, along with the reimagining of existing ones, will offer visitors more interactive and immersive experiences. However, visitors should be aware of the temporary and permanent closures of some attractions. Despite these changes, the transformation of Epcot is part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to keep its parks fresh, exciting, and relevant for visitors of all ages. The new Epcot promises to be a place where the real becomes fantastic, and the fantastic becomesreal, offering a unique blend of learning, fun, and imagination.
Planning Your Visit
With all these changes, planning your visit to Epcot may seem daunting. However, with a little preparation, you can ensure that you make the most of your visit. Here are a few tips to help you plan your trip:
Check the Schedule: With so many changes happening, it’s important to check the schedule before your visit. Some attractions may be temporarily closed, while others may have limited availability. Be sure to check the official Disney World website for the most up-to-date information.
Make Dining Reservations: If you’re planning to dine at one of Epcot’s many restaurants, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance. This is especially true for popular spots like Le Crêperie de Paris and Connections Cafe and Eatery.
Plan for the Weather: Florida weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to pack accordingly. Bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes. If you’re visiting in the summer, be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms.
Take Advantage of FastPass+: FastPass+ allows you to reserve access to select attractions, entertainment, and more. Be sure to take advantage of this service to make the most of your visit.
Stay Hydrated: It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget to drink water. Be sure to stay hydrated, especially on hot days.
Take Breaks: With so much to see and do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Be sure to take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge.
The transformation of Epcot is an exciting time for Disney fans. With so many new attractions, restaurants, and experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disney veteran, the new Epcot promises to offer a unique and unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, grab your Mickey ears, and get ready to explore the magic of the new Epcot!
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