We’re SO excited for all the new things coming to EPCOT!
Last week we learned LOTS of exciting details about many of these projects during the “EPCOT — The Magic of Possibility” presentation as part of D23’s Fantastic Worlds events. Disney shared news about Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Harmonious, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and more! Not too long after that, Disney shared a press release on their website about the EPCOT transformation as well. And while this was all super exciting, we couldn’t help but notice a few things were missing. But we were also excited to see that a few things we haven’t heard about in a while were still mentioned. Let’s break it all down.
Last year, it was announced that EPCOT would be getting a huge makeover, featuring lots of new attractions for guests to enjoy. We’ve received updates on many of those projects but there are a few we haven’t heard about in a while and many that seem up in the air, especially after the closures. Curious about what’s still in progress, what’s delayed, and what’s potentially cut? Here’s what we know.
Mary Poppins Attraction
Previously, Disney announced that a new Mary Poppins attraction would be coming as part of EPCOT’s transformation. Prior to the parks’ closings, Disney had not set a time frame for this attraction’s construction and opening, but it was included in the EPCOT Experience preview video, and we were already getting our cups of tea ready for this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious experience!
When EPCOT reopened following the park closures, we noticed that this attraction had been removed from the video at the EPCOT Experience, and Disney later confirmed that this project has been postponed, but we haven’t heard any updates about it since!
The project wasn’t addressed during the recent D23 Fantastic Worlds events, nor is it mentioned anywhere in Disney’s recent press release about the EPCOT expansion. Could this mean the project will be heading off to the place where lost things go? We’re not sure. Disney merely indicated that the project would be postponed, not canceled, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more information about it.
Click here to read more about Disney’s confirmation that the Mary Poppins attraction has been postponed!
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
Another big project that EPCOT had announced is the Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. Disney released some information (perhaps accidentally) during a merchandise release indicating that the water experience would be open in 2021, but that 2021 date has since been removed from the merchandise item’s description.
Journey of Water is another project that really was not discussed during the D23 Fantastic Worlds events this year, but it was listed on Disney’s press release. To us, that indicates that Disney is still likely moving forward with this project. The press release indicates that it will be a “lush exploration trail” that “will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water.” So far, that’s not a lot of detail about this new experience, but we’ll keep an eye out for more info!
Another new addition set to come to EPCOT is the Festival Pavilion — a futuristic looking, three-level pavilion that would serve as the center for EPCOT’s many different festivals throughout the year. We’d seen this unique building highlighted in posters, models, and concept art, suggesting that it was well into the stages of development.
But, the model was eventually removed from the EPCOT Experience area, and we’ve recently seen a change made in the way that Disney refers to this spot. Instead of calling it a “Festival Center” or “Festival Pavilion,” Disney’s recent press release refers to this as a “Festival Area.” Will this mean that a building won’t be constructed in this spot at all, but instead the area will be left as more of an open space? Has the grand scope of this project been altered at all? It’s unclear, but we’ll definitely keep you updated on it.
Noticeably missing from Disney’s press release is any mention of Wondrous China — a new Circle-Vision 360° film that was set to come to the China pavilion.
This new film is something we haven’t heard about in quite some time. Could this mean that it will be significantly delayed? It’s certainly possible. The fact that Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 (the new film that debuted in the Canada pavilion just before the closures) is listed but China’s new Circle-Vision 360 film is nowhere to be found could indicate that it may be quite some time before we see the new China film, as these were the two new Circle-Vision films announced for World Showcase.
Another project that is strangely missing from Disney’s press release is the PLAY! Pavilion. This new pavilion will take over the previous Wonders of Life space and present playful and innovative opportunities for fun. The pavilion was described as a “digital metropolis” with interactive experiences, games, entertainment, hands-on activities…AND some of your Disney characters, both virtual and real!
The PLAY! Pavilion was slated to open in time for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort (October 1, 2021), and we have seen some construction going on in that area, but it is entirely absent from Disney’s press release, which makes us a bit concerned that the project could be significantly delayed. As we make our way around EPCOT, we’ll definitely check to see if more construction is going on near there and see if we spot any more updates from Disney about this exciting, interactive new space.
Previously, it was announced that Spaceship Earth would be getting a serious refurbishment with new scenes, narration, and improved technology. But, upon EPCOT’s reopening, the part of the EPCOT Experience video referring to the Spaceship Earth refurbishments was removed, and Spaceship Earth reopened in its current state. Disney ultimately confirmed that the Spaceship Earth refurbishment had been postponed.
The refurbishment isn’t mentioned at all in Disney’s press release, so we’ll truly be interested to see how this project develops in the future. Again, Disney noted that the refurbishment was postponed, not canceled, which means we could still see it resurface again in the future. But when that refurbishment would occur is unknown. We’ll be on the lookout for more updates on this project for sure!
We did get an update on exterior lighting coming to Spaceship Earth just last week, so hopefully, we will have more answers soon!
Dreamers point, a new area set to be built within World Celebration, is mentioned in Disney’s recent press release about the EPCOT transformation, as is the new statue to be built there honoring Walt Disney. One thing missing from the discussion regarding Dreamers Point and World Celebration is the mention of a “wishing tree,” which was previously announced for this spot.
But, the release does note that there will be a “beautiful natural environment and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.” It’s possible that the omission of a specific mention of the wishing tree was not purposeful, or that it is otherwise encompassed in this general description. We’ll definitely keep an eye out for more details on that.
While we’re still super excited for the updates coming to the France Pavilion, the Harmonius nighttime spectacular, and everything in between, we can’t help but wonder what the future holds for some of the other projects that haven’t been mentioned as much lately.
Disney’s press release specifically notes “More information on other previously announced experiences coming to EPCOT will be provided at a later date.” So, just because a project isn’t noted there doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be coming in the future. We’ll definitely be on the lookout for more information about the EPCOT transformation and will definitely keep you updated on what we see. Stay tuned for all the latest!
What do you think will happen with these proposed attractions and experiences? Tell us in the comments!