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Exciting new details at Epcot’s upcoming Moana water walkthrough

by Tharin White

Progress has been made on the upcoming walkthrough Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana attraction at Epcot. And, with photos by Bioreconstruct on Twitter and Walt Disney Imagineering’s Instagram, we can get an up-close look at what’s to come.

Moana walkthrough Journey of Water construction ongoing at Epcot.
Photo by Bioreconstruct on Twitter.

Seen above, progress has continued for this upcoming walkthrough attraction at Epcot. This will be one of numerous new offerings at Epcot in the coming years, along with the already completed offerings like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the Connections Café, the Creations Shop, the new Spaceship Earth exterior lights, and new Epcot entrance.

Week by week progress of Moana walkthrough attraction construction at Epcot.
Click the image for a larger size for enhanced details
Photos by Bioreconstruct on Twitter

While this project has taken a while to build so far, it is still possible to notice week-to-week progress. Seen above, Disney is literally laying the ground work for where guests will walk, explore, and discover this new area. According to the Imagineering team:

“Throughout Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, guests will have the opportunity to discover characters from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film ‘Moana’ carved into the rocks and waterways of their surroundings. Our Imagineers worked closely with the studio to develop the artistic style of these characters who will naturally take form within the water-filled landscape. We are excited to see guests make their way through this self-guided trail next year and discover how Moana and her friends truly inspired the surroundings of this experience!”

Close-up construction progress at Epcot Moana attraction.
Photo by Bioreconstruct on Twitter.

Bioreconstruct snapped this photo Aug. 27, 2022, giving a first look at these carved faces in the concrete rockwork.

Imagineers give construction preview of Kakamora tribe concrete rock work sculptures.
Photo by Walt Disney Imagineering on Instagram

And now, Disney has given us a close-up on one of these faces, based on the the Kakamora tribe from the “Moana” film. While not confirmed, it can be assumed that this is the final, or close to final, look for this specific part of the attraction.

Walt Disney Imagineering rock work previews for upcoming Epcot attraction.
Photos by Walt Disney Imagineering on Instagram

Disney also gave us these close-up looks at other concrete-formed details in this space. We have seen, on many occasions, how incredibly talented Disney craftspeople can be with concrete. These details are just some of the many we expect to see once this Moana walkthrough attraction opens in 2023.


Full Epcot Experience 360 Presentation Inside Odyssey Pavilion at Epcot

While obviously a more vague conceptual piece, the Walt Disney Imagineering Presents: The Epcot Experience attraction did give a good general feel of the experience. The focus is clear: it’s about water. But, water can be interpreted in many ways. From the “Moana” film, water took on life as a character in the film. In our world, water can clean, water can carve stone, water can be refreshing, water can destroy homes. It is up to the Imagineers to decide which, or all, aspects of water will be showcased at Epcot.

Largest section of Journey of Water rock work seen behind construction walls at Epcot.
Photo by Bioreconstruct on Twitter

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is being built behind construction walls, but a good camera, or a ride on the Epcot-TTC monorail loop, will give you views such as this. Make sure to get on your tippy-toes next time you visit Epcot if you are hoping for a sneak peek.

Mass of construction on Moana walkthrough Epcot attraction, with holes in rock work for speakers or possible lighting.
Photo by Bioreconstruct on Twitter.

That same large rockwork can be seen in the photo, above. Bioreconstruct suggests that the holes in the rockwork in the foreground could be for lighting or speakers. As you can see, while the rock in the background is far along, there is still a lot of work to do. Steel, wiring, dirt, carved concrete, and paint all currently stand in your way of experiencing this attraction. The thin, curved, white objects sticking out should eventually become faux trees, closer to those seen in the first set of images.


Possible skull rock admist construction at Moana attraction at Epcot.
Photo by Bioreconstruct on Twitter.

Seen amidst the construction is what could possibly be a hidden skull rock reference, not yet confirmed due to visibility restraints, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think that Imagineers would like to reference this famous bit of rockwork inside of this attraction. In front of this bit of rockwork, we can see laid-out stone for a walking path. For ease of use with wheelchairs, ECVs, and strollers, it can be assumed that grout will perfectly fill in the crevices for a smooth walkway surface. But, there is also the chance that this is a specific water play area, where water could be used to flow through the rocks.

Journey of Water, inspired by Moana construction of Heart of Te Fiti rock work at Epcot.
Base image taken Oct. 29, 2022
Photos by Bioreconstruct on Twitter

Last, but certainly not least, we get a great view of the progress on the “Moana” Heart of Te Fiti rock. This will be an iconic, and quite Instagrammable, photo location. According to Disney’s concept art of this Moana walkthrough, there should be numerous cascading waterfalls flowing in and around this structure. For size reference, use the scaffolding or look at the yellow and black shop vacuum on the far right side. These pieces of equipment are usually around three feet tall. While certainly tall, this is not a massive piece of rockwork.

There is so much more to learn about this attraction, and lots more to see. We will have to wait for more progress and details from Disney as we eagerly await the 2023 opening of Epcot’s next attraction.

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