Epcot, as you know it, will be changing. And the Disney community, as a whole, doesn’t know what to think of it.
Disney hasn’t been quiet about their plans to do a massive overhaul of Epcot.
They’ve given us concept art, press conferences, and a whole year to say goodbye to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot’s nighttime show.
But, while they’ve been pretty forthcoming about a lot of the changes that we will be seeing over the next few years, there were still some things that they held back from telling us…until now.
So, here’s what we learned about the future of Epcot from the 2019 D23 Expo.
The Future of Epcot – Announcements from the D23 Expo
“Every inch of every park should be magical, and that’s why I’m so excited about this transformation,”– Bob Chapek
A brand new Epcot
Guests are already aware of one of Epcot’s neighborhoods already – World Showcase.
But, shortly, three more neighborhoods will be constructed. Each will have their own distict themes and purpose. But, most importantly, each will have one thing in common – the link between the world and its people.
World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery will soon join World Showcase to make up the brand new Epcot.
- United Kingdom Pavilion
- United Kingdom will be getting the first Mary Poppins-inspired attraction. Finally, you’ll get the chance to walk down Cherry Tree Lane, past Admiral Boom’s house. Then, enter Number 17, the home of the Banks family, where the adventure begins.
- France Pavilion
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will be opening in Summer 2020. This much anticipated ride will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure.
- Opening Summer 2020, La Crêperie de Paris will offer both table and quick-service options.
- Opening January 2020, Impressions de France will be joined by the new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, directed by Don Hahn, the producer of both the animated and live-action versions.
- Canada Pavilion
- January 2020, Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will debut with new scenes and a new story.
- China Pavilion
- Wondrous China will take you on a journey across the country, in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.
- Nighttime Show
- After a 20-year run, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will end on September 30, 2019. Following the ending of Illuminations will be the limited time run of Epcot Forever.
- In 2020, the new HarmonioUS will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. This brand new nighttime spectacular will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world. HarmonioUS will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
- Entrance Plaza
- Paying homage to the origins of Epcot, a reimagined fountain, new pathways and sweeping green spaces will beautify the entrance, once again. As someone who has seen the original fountain, I am excited to see a version of my childhood Epcot coming back.
- Exiting Spaceship Earth, you will discover a brand new Dreamers Point. World Celebration will feature a new statue, celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney. This breathtaking new are will have a wishing tree in an enchanted forest, a story fountain, and other natural and global design elements.
- Spaceship Earth
- To be honest, this one makes me the most nervous. Going down for two years, the iconic Spaceship Earth will receive a new narration and an entirely new musical score. Additionally, Disney will be bringing in new technology. Guests will follow a magical “story light” that we are told will bring the entire experience to life in dynamic ways.
- New Festival Pavilion
- This brand new pavilion will be the home base for Epcot’s festivals. It will provide a stunning elevated view of the entire park and an ideal spot to watch the nighttime show. This three-level structure will feature a plaza level, a middle expo level, and a park that sits in the sky on the top level.
- Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana
- You will be able to learn about the importance of the natural water cycle in this lush exploration trail. Guests will get the opportunity to play with magical, living water, which will have a life of its own, just like Moana’s friend, the ocean.
- Awesome Planet
- In January 2020, The Land will get a new film, Awesome Planet. It will showcase the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Finally, we got a name for the new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster! Featuring a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees, this car will be Disney’s first reverse launch. The adventure will start in “Galaxarium,” where you will explore the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. You’ll learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share, until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and adventures begin.
- Space 220
- After a long wait, the new restaurant in the expanded Mission: Space Pavilion has a name. Space 220 will include daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up starting Winter 2019. Your journey begins when you board a special elevator for a journey to a space station. Along the way, viewports will give you a real-time perspective as you travel high above the planet. Once you arrive, you will enjoy meals and drinks while taking in views that are “out of this world.”
- PLAY! Pavilion
- The PLAY! pavilion is something that Disney has been talking about for quite a few months now. Opening in time for the 50th anniversary, this digital metropolis will house an interactive city. Of course, this new Pavilion will be bursting with games, activities and experiences that connect friends and family with beloved Disney characters.
- Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience
- October 1 , 2019 (the 37th anniversary of Epcot), you will be able to visualize the exciting plans for Epcot with the Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. Engaging and interactive exhibits will showcase the park’s future throughout this period of transformation.