‘Sup! Tad here. If you’re in tune with Walt Disney World news like me, you already know that Epcot has kicked off a massive, historic, multi-year transformation by clearing the Leave a Legacy area earlier this summer. Over the last few years, we’ve gotten many hints and teases of new attractions and experiences coming to the park. However, the ribbeting details that came out at the 2019 D23 Expo made me realize some of the highly anticipated Epcot changes are right around the corner!
We can better visualize these plans now that the Walt Disney Imagineering Presents the Epcot Experience has opened its doors in the Odyssey Events pavilion. Stop by for an interactive exhibit that includes a 12-minute film that plays on a loop and hypes up the excitement for the park's future. There are also four fun photo-op stations that represent Epcot's future, such as the Mary Poppins and Guardians of the Galaxy attractions.
Read on to learn more about these big changes coming to Epcot!
Overview of Epcot’s New Neighborhoods
Epcot has always been divided into Future World and World Showcase, but we’ll soon be saying farewell to Future World. After its transformation is complete, Epcot will be unified with four neighborhoods — World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery — that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people.
World Showcase will continue to celebrate the culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions of countries around the world. Meanwhile, World Celebration will be at the center of the reimagined entrance. The iconic Spaceship Earth is expected to remain but will be revamped with a new storyline and musical score that focuses on moments and ideas that define the human experience through time. World Nature will be dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty of the natural world. (The Land and The Living Seas pavilions will be part of this neighborhood.) Lastly, World Discovery will focus on science, technology and intergalactic adventures, including Test Track and Mission: SPACE.
The Biggest Epcot Changes and Additions
It’s definitely a hoppin’ time at Epcot, so I’ll break down what’s coming to each of the new neighborhoods. If you want to learn more about other future attractions and experiences beyond Epcot, be sure to check out my separate post about what’s coming to Disney World.
A brand-new Mary Poppins attraction is coming to the United Kingdom pavilion! We’ll get to walk down Cherry Tree Lane and enter Number 17, the Banks family’s home. Out of all the Epcot changes announced at D23 Expo, Mommy Frog was hopping up and down for this one.
Lily and I are most excited for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in France. Similar to the original ride in Disneyland Paris, you are shrunk to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant. A new table-service and quick-service restaurant promise to whip up yummy crepes and other menu items inspired by celebrity chef, Jerome Bocuse. Joining Impressions de France will be a Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along show. (All of these offerings in France will be open by summer 2020.) Now that the Disney Skyliner is open, you can get a sneak peek of the construction as you fly by!
Speaking of shows, we learned from the D23 Expo that “O Canada!” will be getting an upgraded story and scenes under a new name, “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360,” by January 2020. Meanwhile, the China pavilion will be debuting a new 360-degree film called “Wondrous China” sometime in the future.
Saving the best for last ... we learned more about "HarmonioUS," the new permanent nighttime spectacular. It will debut in 2020 after the limited run of "Epcot Forever," which has replaced “IllumiNations: Reflections of the Earth." "HarmonioUS" is billed as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park with massive set pieces, moving fountains, lasers, lights and pyrotechnics. Sounds pretty epic to me! In the meantime, check out the full "Epcot Forever" show below!
Like I mentioned before, Spaceship Earth will still greet guests near the front of the park, but the rest of the entrance will be entirely transformed. The redesigned entrance plaza will feature a new fountain, new pathways and sweeping green spaces. Once you exit Spaceship Earth, you’ll enter a brand-new area called Dreamers Point. It will have a statue dedicated to the original dreamer — Walt Disney. I’m excited to trek through an enchanted forest that’s home to a wishing tree and a story fountain.
A new pavilion will be introduced as the perfect place to watch the nighttime spectacular. Also serving as a home base for Epcot’s signature festivals and live events, this three-story structure will provide new elevated views of the park.
A major new highlight of the upcoming World Nature will be Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” It’ll be the first experience inspired by the animated hit movie. This walkthrough attraction will feature a lush trail that contains magical, living water elements, including waterfalls, dancing fountains and jumping water. Along the way, you’ll also learn the importance of the natural water cycle.
Also coming to The Land pavilion will be a new film, “Awesome Planet,” debuting at the start of the new year.
I think we can all say that we’ve been excited for the Guardians of the Galaxy ride ever since it was announced. We learned the ride’s official name — Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind — from the D23 announcements, as well as the fact that it will be the first Disney ride to feature a reverse launch! It’s also coined as a story rollercoaster that will use new technology, allowing the vehicles to rotate 360 degrees. That way, you can focus on the action!
The PLAY! pavilion will provide a unique space, including an entire interactive, digital city filled with games and activities. You’ll be able to interact with your favorite Disney characters, both real and virtual. For instance, help Edna Mode with a fashionable quest or compete in a water balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
Tad to Ground Control ... Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to dine in space? I have ... and now we'll be able to find out what it's like inside Space 220. This space station-themed restaurant will be located next to Mission: SPACE. Board an elevator and look out of the special viewports to get a real-time perspective, like you're traveling into space. The restaurant will have panoramic daytime and nighttime views of Earth — 220 miles above.
What’s Leaving Due to the Epcot Changes
World Showcase will remain mostly the same, only adding new experiences or revamping old ones. Since Future World is facing a more significant makeover, a few spots will be closing temporarily or shutting their doors forever.
- Electric Umbrella
- Innoventions East
- Nanooze Break
- Mouse Gear
- Club Cool
- Fountain View featuring Starbucks
- Character Spot
- Pin Central
- Heritage Manor
- Art of Disney
Which one of the many Epcot changes are you the most excited for? Share your thoughts on Epcot's transformation in the comments below.