Disney Construction Update: Small forest added to the center of Epcot

The center of Epcot is still under construction many, many years later. But, as trees and waterways begin to fill this section of this park, we near another step towards completion, and thanks to Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we can see a small forest added to Epcot.

Disney construction has built a small forest in the center of Epcot.

Years of Openings, Updates, and Closures

Epcot has had years of change, announcements, rescinds, updates, openings and closures. What we have now is some of the fantastic additions and updates to the park, such as the open and bright Creations Shop. We have also seen the addition of the very successful (and hard to get a reservation for) Space 220 restaurant and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which has been a massive success for the park and touted as one of the best rides in Disney’s recent years.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

But, we have also lost some fan-favorites like Harmonious. The announced visions of the Festival Center pavilion and the Mary Poppins ride are all but gone now, most expect them to never happen. The Spaceship Earth refurbishment may still happen, but that promise is also seemingly in the distant future, if not gone all together (and don’t get me started on the Disney promised parking lot trams at Epcot that still haven’t returned).

What’s Next for Epcot?

We are expecting Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana to be Epcot’s next big opening, and it may happen sooner than expected. Alongside, or slightly afterward, we should also regain most of the center of Epcot back, now called World Celebration.

'Te Fiti' Rises Above Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana Attraction Construction at Epcot

Ongoing Epcot Projects

This aerial image showcases much of Epcot’s ongoing projects, including Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana and the new CommuniCore Hall. If plans and rumors go forward, this image also showcases the Spaceship Earth refurbishment and long-awaited Journey into Your Imagination with Figment update.

Aerial image of Epcot construction at Walt Disney World.

It’s clear to see the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival going on as the array of floral flower designs are easily seen, even from this elevation. However, new foliage is the main focus of this article we can see Disney has begun planting a small forest in the middle of Epcot.

As with many of our previous construction articles, ranging from SeaWorld to Universal, even farther back to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we know one thing: trees mean positive progress.

Numerous projects ongoing at Epcot for World Celebration, the center of the park's heart.

As seen above, there is a lot awaiting theme park fans in Epcot’s center. At the yellow arrow is the eventual CommuniCore Plaza, a live entertainment area with room for larger concerts. While not announced, it is expected Disney could bring back the live showcases of cooking, planting techniques, and art that used to be a major part of the annual Epcot festivals.

At the pink arrow is CommuniCore Hall, which will house an art exhibit and bring back Character Spot (in a slightly different form). This location will also house restrooms, as well as a fan-favorite in Florida, air-conditioning.

At the red arrow is the eventual location of Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana. This interactive water-based walk through experience is expected to open this year. While not confirmed, rumors do suggest that Moana will appear in this space, even though she just got a new location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The green arrow showcases a new bit of signage in the park. This isn’t huge news, but it does show continual park-wide theming that has aligned across new Epcot projects.

Lastly, at the blue arrow is the approximate location of the world’s next Walt Disney statue. Named Dreamer’s Point, this new Walt Disney statue will allow Walt to posthumously stare out over the center of Epcot, one of his life’s dreams.

A Disney forest has appeared in the  Epcot construction.

Sitting next to the exit of Spaceship Earth is this small construction area next to the Epcot Guest Relations building that appears will be completed any week now. Nothing new was expected here, so final touches on foliage should be all we need before the walls come down.

The Return of CommuniCore

Bioreconstruct points out the CommuniCore Plaza and Hall. The stage is expected to be seen from both sides, allowing for smaller shows in the main center area of World Celebration or larger productions with lots of guests housed behind in the wide-open area.

Bioreconstruct also mentions (at the “2”) the circles where trees could be planted. These do seem to align with past concept art, and the overall direction of a foliage-heavy Epcot center.

Bathroom modifications at Epcot.

At the yellow arrow is a restroom that has been at Epcot for many years, but has been behind construction walls for a few months. With a second set of construction walls being set up, it could awhile before this restroom returns.

CommuniCore Plaza stage at Epcot construction.

Live music and shows are a big part of World Showcase, and Epcot as a whole. We recently posted the Eat to the Beat concert lineup coming to Epcot this year. This new stage could provide another space for future concerts, and potentially a little more room as well.

Currently, the America Gardens Theatre has plenty of seating, but is a bit too prominent in World Showcase, which can cause mass crowding in the walkways during big shows like the famous Candlelight Processional. This new stage located at the future heart of Epcot, is both central and yet removed from major walkways, which could help alleviate crowding problems. It may also allow Disney to easily separate seating areas, allowing more control for special VIP and dining package options.

Disney forest appearing in Epcot construction.

Disney Forest in the Heart of Epcot

Back to the new Disney-fied forest in Epcot. While certainly not the massive forest Universal Orlando Resort built for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, these new leafy additions are certainly welcome.

As stated previously, the nearby Creations Shop is open and bright with floor-to-ceiling glass looking out towards this eventual view. This type of layout and design is akin to the Apple Park building in California. Much like Apple stores and modern college campuses, this look is based heavily on views of nature, sunlight, and textured materials like wood and exposed steel, as well as easily walkable areas.

Thankfully with Disney’s pre-planning and budget, this forest already has big trees, and, as Walt Disney said, “not only can I add things, but even the trees will keep growing; the thing will get more beautiful every year.”

Epcot’s re-imagining has been a long one, but Disney is continuing to learn and modify. While we are sad to see parts of Epcot’s past go away, I am confident in its future…eventually.

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Overview 2023


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  1. The new parts are all looking good but the reused Comunicore buildings really don’t work anymore. They should be removed and replaced…perhaps in a decade once the current remodel of the merchandize and food service facilities are monetized.