Disney Outlines Massive Epcot Overhaul

by Jessica Montevago
Disney Outlines Massive Epcot Overhaul

Epcot's overhaul will bring the next generation of immersive storytelling to life through new attractions and experiences. Photos: Disney

Over the next several years, Epcot at Walt Disney World will undergo an expansive transformation. The park will be unified with four neighborhoods: World Showcase, which will continue to celebrate culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions from around the world, and where Future World currently stands, will be World Nature, World Discovery and World Celebration.

World Showcase
The United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. Guests will step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family, where their adventure will begin.

Walt disney World Epcot
Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins.

The France pavilion will add a new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in January 2020, joining the Impressions de France film. In summer 2020, the France pavilion will also welcome Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, where guests will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant, and La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options featuring a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.

The film “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.

In the China pavilion, “Wondrous China” will take guests on a spectacular journey across China, filmed and presented in a 360-degree digital format.

In 2020, following the limited-time run of “Epcot Forever,” the new nighttime spectacular “HarmonioUS” will debut. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying them 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.

Walt Disney World Epcot New
In 2020, the new “HarmonioUS” will debut at Epcot as the latest nighttime spectacular.

World Nature
This neighborhood is dedicated to understanding and preserving the natural world. It will include The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions, as well as the new Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” On this exploration trail water will have a life of its own – just like Moana’s friend, the ocean – and guests will learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.

The Land pavilion’s new film, “Awesome Planet,” which showcases the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet, will begin welcoming guests in January 2020.

Walt Disney World Epcot
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” at Epcot will be the first experience inspired by the movie.

World Discovery
Anchored by stories about science, technology and intergalactic adventure, World Discovery will have an expanded Mission: SPACE pavilion and new restaurant. Space 220 will open this winter with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. Guests will board a special elevator for a journey to a space station, and wlong the way, viewports will give guests real-time perspective as they travel high above the planet.

Walt Disney World Epcot
The new Space 220 restaurant at Epcot.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at Epcot. 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. Guests will be invited to learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share, before the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive and adventures across the cosmos ensue. The attraction will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.

Walt Disney World Epcot
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.

ThePLAY! Pavilion will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. It will offer games, activities and experiences. As part of this new pavilion, guests will have the chance to help legendary fashion icon Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style, or make a splash competing in a water-balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.

Walt Disney World Epcot
The PLAY! pavilion at Epcot will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.

World Celebration
World Celebration will offer “new experiences that connect guests to one another and the world around them.”

Epcot’s entrance plaza will be transformed with new experiences that connect guests with the world around them, welcoming them with a reimagined fountain, new pathways and sweeping green spaces. The design will pay homage to the origins of Epcot.

Walt Disney World Epcot
The park’s entrance will be transformed with a reimagined fountain and new pathways.

World Celebration will also feature a new statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney, plus beautiful natural environments and global design elements, including a wishing tree in an enchanted forest and a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.

A new pavilion will be the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals, providing a view of World Showcase and an ideal spot to watch the park’s nighttime spectacular. The three level structure will have “one of the most remarkable architectural designs at any Disney park,” featuring a plaza level, a middle expo level, and a park that sits in the sky on the top level.

Walt Disney World Epcot
The new pavilion will be home base for Epcot’s signature festivals.

The beloved Spaceship Earth will be updated with new narration and an entirely new musical score. Guests will follow a magical “story light” that brings the entire experience to life in dynamic ways. As guests exit Spaceship Earth, they will discover a new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point.

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