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!”
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.
Though still a work in progress, the newly revealed area presents refreshed landscaping for guests to enjoy as well.
Looking towards the future, as guests exit Spaceship Earth — the park’s icon and centerpiece attraction — they’ll get a fantastic view of the new Dreamers Point.
Dreamers Point will feature a NEW statue of Walt Disney which will celebrate the way he always looked towards the future. World Celebration will include gardens designed to “pique curiosity”, a wishing tree, a story fountain, and a large new pavilion.
Note that a refurbishment of Spaceship Earth was also previously announced; however, that project has been postponed.
From the park entrance, guests will move to the left of World Celebration to enter World Discovery.
The existing attractions of Mission: SPACE and Test Track will be joined by Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
This attraction will be the first at Disney to launch guests BACKWARDS, and we can’t wait to experience those new, pivoting ride vehicles!
Dishes that are out-of-this-world will be served at the new Space 220 restaurant, where guests will rocket into orbit 220 miles above earth (via a simulation elevator) to enjoy a meal “in space” aboard the Centauri Space Station!
And the new PLAY! Pavilion — slated to open by the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World — will allow guests to participate in new adventures with Disney characters in both actual and virtual experiences.
The PLAY! Pavilion will be housed in the former Wonders of Life pavilion.
World Nature will be located to the right of World Celebration and will encompass The Land and The Seas pavilions. Guests will also be able to explore a trail of “magical, living water” through the Journey of Water, a walk-through attraction inspired by Moana.
In fact, The Land pavilion has already debuted one of its new experiences with a new film housed in the pavilion, Awesome Planet.
A brand new nighttime spectacular called Harmonious is coming to EPCOT!
Guests will be able to cap off their evening with what Disney is referring to as one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park! Disney music and images will be “reimagined by diverse cultural musicians and artists from around the world.”
Several country pavilions around World Showcase will welcome new attractions, dining experiences, and more.
For instance, the France pavilion will become home to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure!
Riders will shrink down to “rat-size” and embark on a journey across Chef Gusteau’s restaurant kitchen in Paris! The attraction is expected to bombard riders with the sights, sounds, and smells from the kitchen as they’re chased through it on their way to safety.
Joining the new attraction in France will be a new restaurant. La Crêperie de Paris will offer both counter service AND table service dining and will feature a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.
These upcoming experiences in France will join the new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along that just opened on January 17, 2020!
The theater for the sing-along shares a home with the classic Impressions de France film, which is still available for viewing in the Pavilion in the evenings.
A Mary Poppins-inspired attraction was also announced for one of France’s neighboring pavilions, the United Kingdom.
It was revealed that this attraction will allow guests to “step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family.” This is where the magical journey will begin. However, please note that since the original announcement, Disney has released a statement that the development for the Mary Poppins-themed attraction has been postponed, and we will update this page with any further information as it becomes available.
The China pavilion will soon feature a new Circle-Vision 360° film, Wondrous China. It will join Canada Far and Wide — a new film already playing for guests visiting the Canada pavilion.
Other new experiences already open in Epcot include Takumi-Tei, a signature dining restaurant in the Japan pavilion, which delivers a dining experience and setting inspired by the natural beauty of Japan.
And the Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue celebrates classic American “backyard barbecue” and beverages as an all-new quick service spot in The American Adventure pavilion.
And something else you can already enjoy in Epcot is the Epcot Experience presented by Walt Disney Imagineering.
Housed in the Odyssey Events Pavilion, THIS is where you can enjoy a truly impressive preview of ALL the new experiences on the way to the park which Walt Disney said “will always be in a state of becoming”!
And we invite you to check out our DFB YouTube video talking about several of the new changes coming as part of Epcot’s historic transformation — and more changes in store for other parts of Walt Disney World — right here!
Disney Food Blog Posts Mentioning Epcot’s Transformation