Major Changes Coming to Epcot
In life, change is inevitable. The same goes for the Theme Parks in Walt Disney World in Florida.
In case you haven’t noticed, Epcot has been, well, stagnant over the past 10 years or so. Yes, there was a new film for the “Soarin” ride and transforming Malestrom to the Frozen Ever After Ride, but other than that, not much attention has been paid to this park.
Changes had started last year with the closing of “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” to be transformed into the “Guardians of the Galaxy Rollercoaster” and the new “Ratatouille” ride that is being brought over from Disneyland Paris. Epcot is also the destination for the new gondola transportation system (along with Hollywood Studios) with a major station built at the International Gateway new the England Pavilion. The main entrance has also not been spared when it comes to the construction. The monuments and fountain that have been at the front of Epcot for the past 15+ years have been removed and will be replaced by beautiful gardens, trees and shrubbery.
At D-23 in Anaheim, CA this year, many more changes to Epcot have been announced.
Mary Popins – TBA
Epcot is opening Disney World’s very first Mary Poppins attraction, and it’s going to be supercalifragi— you get the idea.
Dick Van Dyke himself took the stage at Disney’s D23 Expo fan convention over the weekend to reveal the news, which came as an utter surprise to theme park fans. Epcot will also expand upon the beloved film’s charming setting as Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion opens its own version of Cherry Tree Lane, allowing guests to walk its iconic cobblestone street like Jane and Michael Banks.
No details were provided as to what the first Mary Poppins attraction will entail — and whether it will be a show or a ride — but we can only assume it will be practically perfect in every way.
JOURNEY OF WATER, INSPIRED BY MOANA – TBA
According to Disney, this “first ever experience based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, ‘Moana’, will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting. This attraction will be located near the current “The Seas with Nemo” attraction. There is no current opening date for this attraction.
REGAL EAGLE SMOKEHOUSE: CRAFT DRAFTS & BARBECUE – Late 2019
This will be a quick-service restaurant that will take over the space of the “Liberty Inn” which closed on July 8th.
More dining updates coming to Epcot! A new quick-service restaurant will soon be taking the place of Liberty Inn which closed on July 8th. Disney is stating “new location will be a modern barbecue smokehouse, with all the accompanying sights, sounds, smells and flavors you love – including a large smoker preparing fine food every day right on the pavilion’s promenade. There will also be a redesigned patio for you to enjoy, so get ready to grab a brew, some barbecue, and relax inside Epcot.” The new restaurant is to open Late 2019.
AWESOME PLANET FILM – January 2020
Billed by Disney as an “on-screen exploration of the realm we call home”, a new film focusing on the world around us will be coming to the Land Pavilion.
While not many more details have been released, it is nice to see something new coming to the Circle of Life theater.
WONDERS OF LIFE PAVILION TO BECOME A NEW “PLAY PAVILION” – Late 2021
Rumors of something coming to the former Wonders of Life pavilion have been swirling for several months and now we know what Disney has planned.
Billed as “unlike anything you’ve ever seen” at Epcot, the former Wonders of Life pavilion will be transformed into what Disney is calling a “play pavilion” that will be devoted to immersive fun.
Featuring an “innovative city”, this pavilion will host “interactive experiences, Disney characters, hands-on-activities, and engaging entertainment.”
Epcot Experience – Fall 2019
And this October, guests will be able to visualize all of the exciting plans for Epcot at a new experience center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion, called Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. Inside this first-of-its-kind offering within a Disney park, guests will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that allow you to step inside the relentless innovation, energy and excitement and see some never-before-revealed details driving the future of Epcot all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.
HARMONIOUS (REPLACING ILLUMINATIONS: REFLECTIONS OF EARTH)- 2021
A new nighttime spectacular, HarmonioUS, will be coming to the park in 2020.
This new show will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world and will include large-scale floats, LED panels, fountains, lights, fireworks, and lasers.
Disney has said this new show, when it debuts will be on a massive scale “like we’ve never done.”
Epcot Forever – September, 2019
Epcot will be hosting a temporary show to fill in the gap between “Illuminations” and “HarmonioUS”. Epcot Forever will premiere in the Fall of 2019. Music for the show will be popular Epcot music and will feature something new to Disney World… Night-time Kites with special effects.
The kites are reported to be kept afloat by 8 jet skis with two cast members on each.
CANADA FAR AND WIDE IN CIRCLE-VISION 360 – January, 2020
Sorry Martin Short, but the Canada Pavilion is getting a much needed update and the film to be show in the 360° theatre is titled “Canada Far and Wide”.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: COSMIC REWIND – Spring 2021
Although this isn’t new news to much of you, the “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind” rollercoaster is still in full construction. Located where the former “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” building was.
The new attraction has been described as a “storytelling coaster” and therefore will require a new and innovative ride vehicle.
When talking about the new vehicles, Bob Iger said: “On most coasters, the vehicles point straight ahead throughout the ride. But on this attraction, each individual cab will be programmed to direct your eye to the story happening around you.”
SPACE 220 – Winter 2019
Space 220 will be a space-themed restaurant located between “Test Track” and “Mission Space”. The restaurant will be table-service with “an out of this world culinary experience.” It will have panorama daytime and nighttime views of the earth from a space station 220 miles above the planet.
Disney Skyliner Station – Fall 2019
Located at the International Gateway, this will be one of the stations that will connect Pop Century, Art of Animation, Carribean Beach and Disney’s Riviera Resort to both Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
The Disney Skyliner is a gondola system to transport guests from those resorts to the 2 theme parks. Each car will be overlayed with characters from various Disney movies and also including the big cheese himself, Mickey Mouse.
It is reported that the Disney Skyliner will not be like the monorail and you will need to exit the car at the specified park or resort. This means that if you want to ride the Disney Skyliner, you will need to disembark at the destination and then get back in line for the return trip.
REMY’S RATATOUILLE ADVENTURE – Summer 2020
This attraction/ride is again no surprise to the most of you reading this post. This ride has been on the radar for almost two years now.
Construction of the ride is pretty much complete on the outside and construction crews are basically working on the finishing touches.
This ride is based on a ride that is hugely popular in the Disneyland Paris park by the same name.
Wow, that is quite a lineup. Let’s see what Epcot looks like come 2022.