On August 25th, 2019 at the annual D23 Expo The Walt Disney Company and Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products (DPECP) announced new plans to enhance Epcot. The announced plans coincide with the upcoming 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2020. Before the announcement at D23, Epcot was already undergoing major changes to the park as several future attractions are under construction at the park. At the conference, the company mentioned some of the attractions that are being built, including a Mary Poppins ride, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and the new nighttime shows Epcot Forever and HarmonioUS. In addition to those features, Disney Parks also unveiled a major change to the layout of Epcot.
Above is a drawing or rendering of the New Epcot by the Disney Parks team. Copyright Disney. Used under the fair-use provision.
The most significant development that was unveiled was a plan to adjust the sections of the park with a redesign of the entrance and Future World West and East. As part of the plan, the entrance area will be called World Celebration and the area will extend from the entrance to Spaceship Earth and the edge of Showcase Plaza. Future World East will be changed to be called World Discovery and Future World West will be renamed World Nature. World Showcase will not be renamed; however, it seems that Disney has decided to apply the World name to the other areas of the park.
Above map of the new World Celebration, World Discover, World Nature, and World Showcase areas in Epcot (Walt Disney World) Photo copyright/by Disney.
One area that is seeing major changes is the entrance area that will be called World Celebration. Walt Disney Co. is redesigning the area to celebrate the human experience with a pavilion for live events that will be a three-level structure. The pavilion will have a plaza level, middle expo level, and a top-level that will be a park. The front entrance area will be changed to have a fountain and green areas that will feature designs based on the original ideas for Epcot. Dreamers Point will be another new area that will feature a statue of Walt Disney with natural and world design.
Above drawing of the three-tier pavilion in World Celebration by Disney.
The new Future World West will contain the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster, an expanded Mission: SPACE area, and a new restaurant called Space 220. Space 220 will be opening during the winter of 2019 and will have an elevator that will go 220 miles up to a sky viewing area. A new area called the Play! pavilion will also be part of World Discovery. That area will have a “city” containing activities and games that are virtual and physical.
World Nature will contain a new attraction Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” which will be an exploration trail where guests will experience the magic of water. Also, a new film called “Awesome Planet” will be featured in the area starting in January 2020.
Despite not seeing its name change, World Showcase will have several new attractions as part of the transformation of Epcot. The new features include a Mary Poppins attraction in the United Kingdom, new nighttime shows that will include Epcot Forever and HarmoniUS, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure that will be launched in the Summer of 2020 in France.
Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products is embarking on a major transformation of Epcot that will bring some great new attractions to the park. It is great to see the company changing the entrance area to showcase some of the original ideas that Walt Disney had for Epcot. Those changes will make Epcot an even better place to visit.