Walt Disney Imagineering Presents The Epcot Experience Is Now Open

From the time it debuted 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. Now guests can explore Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience to get a glimpse of what’s in store for this park. Here’s a brief description of what you can expect to see courtesy of Disney:

At Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot continues the biggest transformation of any Disney theme park in history, developing groundbreaking attractions, magnificent new landscapes and unforgettable entertainment spectaculars. Guests are now invited to see an enticing glimpse into this bright future when they visit Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience, an engaging and immersive new showcase of exciting changes on the way for this beloved theme park.

The Epcot Experience provides the first in-depth look at the park’s transformation, blending cutting-edge technology and fun with personal moments to create an environment that honors everything guests love about Epcot. Located inside the Odyssey Events Pavilion – between Test Track and the Mexico pavilion – the Epcot Experience invites guests into a multi-faceted celebration of the past, present and future of the park:

360-Degree Film Presentation

  • 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.
  • The immersive presentation displays archival footage going back well before Epcot opened in 1982, taking guests on a journey to present day and beyond. It showcases new pavilion icons that will integrate into the park, and previews experiences in development with vignettes featuring:
    • The PLAY! pavilion
    • A new vision for Spaceship Earth
    • Sensational new attractions based on popular films
    • The park’s forthcoming nighttime spectacular, “HarmonioUS”
  • 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.
  • Altogether, the space uses 30 projectors to bring the experience to life and take guests along on the journey of this ambitious next chapter in Epcot’s legacy.

Dimensional Photo Opportunities

Guests can have their pictures taken inside four dimensional photo locations specially designed for the Epcot Experience. Perfect for sharing on social media, these photo ops make it seem as if guests are standing atop the iconic Spaceship Earth geosphere or shrunk to the size of Remy from Disney and Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” among others.

Display Cases Showcasing Special Items

Throughout the Epcot Experience, display cases feature artifacts, memorabilia and other fascinating items showcasing the past, present and future of Epcot. Pieces include:

  • An Epcot park map and medallion from opening day, October 1, 1982, plus a commemorative opening day park ticket
  • Epcot pin sets from 1982 and present day
  • Models and concept art for future Epcot experiences

The Epcot Experience also features attraction posters from throughout the park’s history, plus experiences still on the horizon. Grab-and-go food and drinks are available inside, as well, along with tables and seating.

New Epcot Merchandise

The new Epcot logo unveiled at D23 Expo in August adorns a wide array of new merchandise available inside the park beginning October 1, 2019, including:

  • Short- and long-sleeve shirts
  • Baseball cap
  • Hoodie
  • Tote bag
  • Journal
  • Water bottle
  • Mickey Mouse ear hat

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Check Out Epcot Forever For A Limited Time

Change is never easy, neither is letting go of things we love, so saying good-bye to IllumiNations was definitely a sad day for fans all around the globe. However I am hopeful and looking forward to enjoying the Epcot of the future including the new interim nighttime spectacular “Epcot Forever.” Despite having “forever” in its name, this fireworks show will only be around for a limited time, so be sure to catch it while you can. Here’s a brief description of what you can expect courtesy of Disney:

Across the canvas of a darkened sky, the new “Epcot Forever” nighttime spectacular at Walt Disney World Resort celebrates the past, present and future of Epcot. The new show is a showcase of soaring fireworks, inspiring music, lasers and colorful glowing kites flying above and around the park’s World Showcase Lagoon.

As the dramatic curtain-closer to each theme park day, the show takes guests on an emotional journey set to stirring renditions of Epcot music that guests will know and love. It will stoke fond memories from the park’s history and spur excitement for the bright future of Epcot – a future filled with new attractions and experiences as part of a multiyear transformation already underway.

“Epcot Forever” exemplifies the park’s founding principles – innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration. Children sing of “one little spark of inspiration” as guests marvel at fireworks that pinwheel, corkscrew and explode in giant aerial starbursts. As colorful pyrotechnics dance across the heavens, the Epcot story plays out to a grand orchestral soundtrack. Noted conductor and composer Don Harper produced new arrangements of classic Epcot tunes to thread through the show.

Future World pavilions past and present inspire familiar themes, building to Epcot’s grandest moments. In one sequence, uplifting music from Soarin’ Around the World cues dazzling LED kites to crisscross the sky in a kaleidoscopic effect. Guests also will recognize cherished music from Epcot spectacles of the past, including the “Tapestry of Nations” parade.

Approaching its dramatic conclusion, the show pivots from the park’s familiar music to a new verse of “One Little Spark” celebrating the future of Epcot yet to come. As the music and fireworks build, “One Little Spark” transitions to a spectacular finale that brightens the sky one last time with fireworks and special effects.

“Epcot Forever” is set to perform into 2020, leading to the park’s next nighttime spectacular, “HarmonioUS.” 

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Introducing The New Disney Skyliner

Very soon another big Walt Disney World construction project will be complete and available for guests to enjoy – the Disney Skyliner. This may be “just transportation” to some visitors, but I am so excited for the Disney Skyliner to open and to be able to take my first ride next month. It reminds me of the Skyway in Magic Kingdom that I loved so much as a child and of home here in our Colorado ski resorts.  It’s truly the best of both worlds for me. If you are still having your doubts about what the Disney Skyliner is all about, be sure to check out my earlier post Fact vs. Fiction: Disney Skyliner At Walt Disney World to help answer some of your questions, plus here’s all the latest information about the opening of the new Disney Skyliner courtesy of Disney:

There will soon be magic gliding above the treetops of Walt Disney World Resort when the new Disney Skyliner takes flight September 29, 2019. As much a magic carpet as a complimentary transportation system, Disney Skyliner will soar above waterways and wooded areas alike on its way to theme parks and Disney resort hotels, while wide-eyed guests will be treated to views never before seen.

This “most magical flight on Earth” connects Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort, a Disney Vacation Club resort that will open December 16, 2019. With approximately 300 vacation homes, including various accommodation types, Disney’s Riviera Resort will be available for traditional hotel reservations as well as membership sales.

Nearly half of the approximately 300 Disney Skyliner cabins will be wrapped in whimsical Disney scenes – with beloved characters, fan-favorite movies, attractions and more – giving the appearance that Disney pals are riding along with guests. The cabins will be easy to spot overhead, because each gondola will shimmer in one of eight vibrant colors and feature sleek curved lines.

Disney Skyliner guests will discover bird’s-eye views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Approaches to Epcot are equally eye-catching, as the countries around World Showcase Lagoon come into view with iconic Spaceship Earth in the distance.

In addition to convenient theme park access, guests staying at Disney resort hotels accessible by Disney Skyliner will have quick-and-easy transportation to a world of other dining and entertainment options. These include all the fun of Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, access to Epcot through the International Gateway station, and restaurants and recreation found at the resort hotels serviced by Disney Skyliner.

Disney Skyliner Stations Are Artful Connection Points

The artful stations along the Disney Skyliner route will feature uniquely Disney designs that reflect their surroundings:

  • The Epcot International Gateway station is inspired by the nearby European pavilions in the park. Covered metal and glass canopies, hand-painted murals themed to flight and ornate metal detailing are all in the Art Nouveau style.
  • The Disney’s Riviera Resort station incorporates influences from the Mediterranean coast to produce an elegant portal for guests.
  • The station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort connects all three routes and extends the architectural details and bright island colors associated with the Caribbean.
  • The Disney’s Hollywood Studios station reflects the Art Decostyle of the park’s main entrance area. Guests arriving on Disney Skyliner will be awestruck as a panoramic view of the park unfolds.
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort share a Disney Skyliner station at Hourglass Lake. Colorful structural forms create a space that feels whimsical and contextual with both resorts. Departing the station, guests will glide above Hourglass Lake and ascend to thrilling views of both resort hotels.

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.®, the official specialty coffee of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Vacation Club, will welcome guests with a quick-service location adjacent to the station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The menu of coffees, pastries and specialty items will include the new “Toffee Flight Latte” found initially only at the station. The latte blends sea salt caramel toffee and dark chocolate, topped with toffee and chocolate crumbles and a cloud of whipped cream.

Cast Costuming Takes Flight

Disney Skyliner cast members will sport stylish costumes that reflect the sleek, contemporary lines of the transportation system. Costume designers created a mid-century design that recalls 1960s airline travel marking a new era of flight. Clean, streamlined designs of the gondolas are incorporated into the costumes as style elements.

The Newest Way for Guests to Travel Around Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Skyliner joins the network of complimentary Walt Disney World transportation benefits for resort hotel guests allowing them to travel effortlessly around Walt Disney World with a touch of Disney magic. The gondolas join other favorite options such as the world-famous Walt Disney World monorail system along with ferry boats and water taxis, and one-of-a-kind motor coaches.

Fun Facts: Disney Skyliner

  • Project Announced: July 2017
  • Launch Date: September 29, 2019
  • Miles of Cable: 6
  • Number of Lines: 3
  • Loading Stations: 5
  • Number of Gondolas: Nearly 300
  • Maximum Seating Capacity per Gondola: 10
  • Resort Hotels Connected: 4
  • Theme Parks Connected: 2

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