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What’s New at Epcot

The Epcot Experience located inside the Odyssey Events Pavilion, provides the first in-depth look at the historic transformation already underway at Epcot. (David Roark, photographer)

If you’ve been to Epcot lately, you’ve noticed it’s undergoing a huge facelift. The entire front section (known as Future World) that included Innoventions, Club Cool, Starbucks and Fountain of Nations (among others) are closed with construction fences around them. So, if you’re going to skip a year for Festival of the Holidays, this might be the one. However, many new experiences will debut in January 2020, with more to come through 2022.

According to Disney, Epcot will be under construction the next few years to create a total of four new (or updated) worlds: World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature and World Showcase. They say it’s the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history. Based on our sneak peek, it certainly seems like Epcot is about to get a lot more kid-friendly. (We have mixed feelings on that.)

Here’s a summary of what to expect at the new and improved Epcot:

World Celebration
  • Spaceship Earth will be updated to include new scenes and strengthen this ride’s storytelling connection throughout the human experience.
  • A three-level pavilion will be the new home base for Epcot’s multiple festivals (Festival of the Arts in January-February, Flower & Garden Festival in March-June, Food & Wine in late summer/fall and Festival of the Holidays in winter).
  • Dreamers Point will be a new spot that offers a breathtaking view of the World Showcase.
  • The all-new entrance plaza will welcome you with a new fountain, new pathways and sweeping green spaces.

World Discovery
  • Roller coaster enthusiasts will be excited about the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus on the action, plus it will have a reverse launch!
  • The new kid’s PLAY! Pavilion (love that name) will invite you into a digital metropolis where kids will engage with interactive games, activities and other experiences.
  • Space 220 will be a restaurant disguised as a space station that will feature a panoramic view of Earth from 220 miles above its surface.
The new Space 220 restaurant at Epcot will be an out-of-this-world culinary experience with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. Opening this winter, Space 220 will be operated by the Patina Restaurant Group. (Disney)
The new Space 220 restaurant will be an out-of-this-world restaurant with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth. 
The PLAY! Pavilion will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. In this digital metropolis, guests will discover an interactive city bursting with games, activities and experiences – both real and virtual – like never before. (Disney)

World Showcase Updates
  • The United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. Step in time down Cherry Tree Lane to enter Number 17, home of the Banks Family.
  • In 2020, “HarmonioUS” will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park, featuring massive floating set pieces, LED panels, choreographed fountains, pyrotechnics and more on World Showcase Lagoon.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in the France pavilion in the summer of 2020. We got a hard-hat tour of this ride where guests will shrink down to a rat’s perspective and scurry their way through a kitchen filled with gigantic hanging food all around on a trackless vehicle that seats around 6-8 people. Kids are going to love it! Joining the new attraction will be La Créperie de Paris, offering both table and quick-service dining options.
  • Also in France, Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along will debut in January 2020 during the Festival of the Arts. We were able to preview this short animated film that was created by essentially the same artists, musicians and producers as the original Beauty and the Beast animated film. It’s a great way to enjoy some air conditioning and take a load off during your day at Epcot.
  • Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 260 will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.
  • Wondrous China in the China pavilion will take you on a spectacular journey across the country, filmed and presented in a seamless 260-degree digital format.
Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. (Disney)
In 2020, the new “HarmonioUS” will debut at Epcot as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. (Disney)

World Nature

  • Journey of Water, inspired by Moana, will invite you into a lush exploration trail to meet and play with magical, living water.
  • The Land pavilion’s new film, Awesome Planet, will debut in January 2020 showcasing the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of our planet.
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” will be a lush exploration trail inviting guests to meet and play with magical, living water. (Disney rendering)

As Epcot undergoes a historic transformation, Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience that uses cutting-edge technology to provide an in-depth look at the park’s future. Inside the Odyssey Events Pavilion (located between Test Track and the Mexico pavilion), you can view vignettes of forthcoming experiences that play out on a seamless, 260-degree, floor-to-ceiling screen. In the center of the room, an artfully designed model of Epcot appears to continuously change in time with the film.

Guests enter a large, circular, darkened room where they are surrounded by a seamless, 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling screen showing a continuous 12-minute film celebrating the past, present and future of Epcot. In the center of the room, a three-dimensional artfully designed model of Epcot appears to continuously change in time with the film, as projection-mapping technology highlights different areas of the park in special ways.

Visit disneyparks.disney.go.com for updates.

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