From the time it opened on October 1, 1982, Epcot quickly became my favorite park at Walt Disney World. Over the years, I have been sad to see many of my most beloved attractions like Horizons, World of Motion, Body Wars and more disappear. While change is always difficult, I am truly thrilled about all of the new additions coming to Epcot over the next few years. I’m hoping these much-needed upgrades will help spread out the rising crowd levels expected throughout the entire resort once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios fully opens. With Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary right around the corner, here are the latest details of Epcot’s changes coming in time for the celebration courtesy of Disney:
Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort is a theme park overflowing with possibilities fueled by curiosity, wonder, optimism, belonging and human imagination. Through Disney magic, the park inspires guests to see the real world in more fantastic ways.
Disney recently announced several new enhancements for Epcot, including a new play pavilion, a reimagined main entrance and an Experience Center showcasing the park’s future. These are the latest additions to a robust lineup of new projects already announced for the park.
“Epcot has always been, and always will be, an optimistic celebration of the real world that is brought to life through the magic of Disney,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort. “The exciting plans we have on the horizon will honor Epcot’s rich legacy of creativity and innovation while continuing to exceed the expectations of our guests for decades to come.”
The new pavilion in development will include first-of-their-kind experiences devoted to playful fun, inviting guests into an innovative, interactive city bursting with games and hands-on activities. Friends and family will interact with favorite Disney characters in an energetic metropolis unlike anything ever seen before at Epcot. The as-yet-unnamed space will come to life under the vast dome of the pavilion previously known as Wonders of Life (more recently the Festival Center) and will debut to guests in time for the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary.
“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot,” said Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”
Two more exciting new projects were also revealed:
- Changes are coming to the Epcot main entrance, where the plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain. This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements. As part of this new entry experience, Leave A Legacy photos will move into a beautiful setting just outside the park’s gateway. Additional significant redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade; more details about the transformation of this area will be announced at a later date.
- Guests will be able to visualize the exciting plans for Epcot when doors open later this year on a new Experience Center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. They will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy and excitement driving the future of the park all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.
“Epcot is beloved for its focus on imagination, innovation, fun, food and family,” said Kalogridis. “It’s a timeless place where the real is made fantastic through the magic of Disney. It has a very bright future ahead and the best part is that we’ve only just begun to dream.”
These new announcements join other projects already underway as part of the Epcot evolution. Larger-than-life Super Heroes will descend upon the park with the opening of a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction. This new experience will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world and feature a brand-new ride system when it also opens in time for the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary.
Other exciting new developments underway at Epcot include:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction in the France pavilion, patterned after the number-one family attraction at Disneyland Paris
- “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along in the France pavilion, showing in addition to the pavilion’s current film, Impressions de France
- Circle-Vision 360 film for the China pavilion and updated O Canada! 360-degree show
- Signature Dining experience inspired by the natural beauty of Japan
- Space-themed table-service restaurant adjacent to Mission: SPACE, inviting guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience
- Epcot Forever, a 2019 limited-time nighttime experience over World Showcase Lagoon set to classic Epcot tunes, followed by an all-new nighttime spectacular debuting in 2020
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