Epcot is still in a state of becoming, and it will be for years to come. The transformation of Epcot isn’t a small one, and will entirely change the park’s entrance, plus add new rides, new shows and a new look for the park. This is a large endeavor, and one that has faced delays and rumored budget cuts along the way. Thanks to these photos by @Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we can take a step back in time to see how work has progressed over the years.
Bob Chapek told Imagineers to “dream big” for the future of Epcot in 2016. “Big Plans” concept art for Epcot’s Future World were revealed to eager fans at the Disney Parks & Resorts Presentation at D23 Expo 2017. In 2019, we got official reveals for Epcot attractions and opening dates.
Later in 2019, we saw the beginning of demolition at Epcot. Construction walls went up as sun shades went down. We toured Walt Disney World’s parks in 2019, checking out construction progress. We were told in 2019 that the Space 220 restaurant would open that winter; though, as of the time of publishing, it has not yet opened. In 2020, we learned about the re-imagining of Spaceship Earth that would begin that summer, which has since been put on hold.
Let’s look at what has been finished so far: the gorgeous revamped park entrance. Original park designs were brought back, the monoliths were removed, Leave-A-Legacy was placed outside the park gates, and new lighting was added to the area. The entrance is the first look at the park’s face lift, and it is beautifully done. The fountain, flags and lighting effects really feel like “Epcot.”
In Future World East, which will one day be known as World Discovery, there is still a lot to come. Epcot’s first roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will be at the purple dot. At the green dot, the PLAY! Pavilion will invite guests to come and have fun with Disney characters and interact in unique gaming experiences. The orange dot is the location of the Space 220 restaurant. Once open, this highly-themed dining location will simulate an outer space elevator climb of 220 miles above the Earth, bringing guests to an experience that is out of this world. The park closures and world-wide travel instability severely shook up the opening dates of these offerings; all three locations are still expected to open, but their opening dates are not set in stone.
Here it is, the reason you probably clicked on this article: The center of Future World, which once held the Fountain of Nations, Innoventions, MouseGear, Club Cool, and the Epcot Character Spot, has been mostly leveled. This massive area is undergoing the biggest change it has ever received. Eventually, according to Disney, this area will host Journey Of Water, an attraction inspired by the film “Moana.” It is also planned to feature a massive Festival Center, a multi-level building with a park on top. This structure will be the focal point for Epcot’s four annual festivals — though the model has been removed from the Epcot Festival Center, so this may have changed. A new statue of Walt Disney will also reside in this new Future World space. Disney just recently confirmed that a new store would take over for MouseGear, the Creations Shop. In addition to the new store being added, Club Cool is returning as well! Both the Creations Shop and the reimagined Club Cool will open this summer.
Bioreconstruct pointed out that the concrete on the lower half of the image is the roof of a basement in Future World. Currently, guests must go around this area to get to World Showcase. Eventually, this spot will be called World Celebration. Other than the opening of the Creations Shop and Club Cool, we do not have an official opening for any other projects in this area, but some rumors suggest that the Journey Of Water attraction will still open this year.
This photo features a lot of dirt and construction walls, but that also means it holds a lot of possibilities. As we look forward to the future of Epcot, we see the disappearance of Future World. In its place comes an array of themed neighborhoods with World Discovery, World Celebration and World Nature.
Are you ready for more areas of Epcot to open? What section excites you the most? Let us know in the comments below.