EPCOT Center opened on October 1, 1982. Though Walt Disney World is now home to four parks, EPCOT Center was the second to open its gates to guests outside of the Magic Kingdom, which opened on October 1, 1971. Originally envisioned by Walt Disney himself as an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” these days the park is known simply as EPCOT.
And while the park has seen many changes over the years, Disney confirmed a multi-year transformation of EPCOT at the 2019 D23 Expo. Upon completion, the park — which is currently comprised of Future World and World Showcase — will ultimately house four distinct “neighborhoods”: World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Showcase.
New attractions, restaurants, and much more will serve as reminder that EPCOT — as Walt Disney himself said — will “always be in a state of becoming.”
While the transformation will ultimately span a few years, guests can enjoy results of some of the work already! For instance, the Leave A Legacy monoliths which used to welcome guests upon entering the park have been moved, and also colorfully reimagined.
And now let’s take a closer look at the three new neighborhoods and explore the many ways World Showcase will also be changed as EPCOT undergoes what Disney is calling an “historic transformation!”
World Celebration and the Entrance Plaza
Entrance Plaza and Spaceship Earth
On December 22, 2020, a new fountain was unveiled which guests can see as they approach Spaceship Earth immediately upon entering the park.
Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley has previously explained that the design team “took special interest in looking back to the original geometry for inspiration and infusing new features with a little bit of added magic to bridge the past, present and future of EPCOT.” The fountain itself is complete with a trio of acrylic pylons that look especially beautiful at night.
Guests will also notice the addition of 12 new flags (six designs, two of each) on flagpoles flanking Spaceship Earth.