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Te Fiti from ‘Moana’ rises above Epcot construction projects

by Tharin White

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is an all new outdoor trail coming to Epcot in late 2023. This upcoming trail will invite wayfinders (guests) to play and interact with water. Thanks to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot monorail loop, and a large zoom lens, we got a look at this upcoming water experience.

Te Fiti rises above Epcot construction.
Overlay image from Walt Disney Imagineering’s Instagram.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be located within World Nature – the Epcot land dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world. Seen above, the evergreen Te Fiti has risen above the construction.


Heart of Te Fiti rock work rises in Epcot construction.

Te Fiti, and other taller structures from this upcoming area, can be seen by guests in the park. The image above was taken from the entrance to the Coral Reef Restaurant.


Heart of Te Fiti, "Moana" film icon image admist Journey of Water construction.

One of the first structures in the construction we could notice was the “Moana” Heart of Te Fiti rock work. We previously took a close-up look at rock work construction in this area.


Te Fiti rises above construction walls at Epcot's World Nature.

Te-Fiti and more foliage has been added recently. This is helping to add much needed greenery and life to an area that has been only construction and dirt for many years.


Access point for maintenance at Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana construction.
Click the image above for a full-sized image you can zoom in on and explore for yourself.

Here we have a wide angle view of the ongoing construction. This view also explains the ‘late’ 2023 promise by Walt Disney Imagineering. A lot has been done, but there is also a lot more dirt and theming to be completed before Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana can open.

There is one aspect of this image that does concern me. Circled is an open access area. This will most likely be a maintenance area for the numerous water features inside this water trail. But, as you can see, it is extremely obvious from the monorail loop. And, there is clearly finished theming located right next to it. I really hope that foliage, a themed wall, or some other completed item will cover this section. I understand this is a self-contained trail that needs maintenance areas for lighting, audio, and water equipment. But, I would hate for this much theming to be wasted from the monorail view.

There is plenty of time for this area to be remedied. I won’t judge a product before it is completed. Although, the nearby completed theming does make me nervous. I will continue to keep an eye on this for future developments.


Electric and water treatment area for World Nature at Epcot.

Farther down the monorail line we can see this setup of equipment. This area is expected to be the main hub of electrical equipment and water quality testing. Months from now, I expect this hub will smell heavily of chlorine or bromine. I also hope that this equipment will allow the actual Journey of Water area to have more theming and less obvious backstage areas.


Backside of Te Fiti figure at Epcot.

Here we have a closer look at the Te Fiti rear area of the Journey of Water attraction. As you can see, the Te Fiti figure also has a maintenance entry. But in this particular case, it is hidden. And I expect there will foliage placed here as well to hide her backside even more.

One great part of this image is the showcase of rockwork and greenery. You can see the stages of rockwork, from dirt and piping, to hand-crafted concrete shapes, first-pass painting, and final greenery touches. While not confirmed by Disney, it is commonplace in construction to use blue or teal pipes to signify water pipelines. I think it is safe to assume this is Disney’s plan as well. If so, you can see a mass of water pipelines erupting from the earth, ready to make a water playground trail fit for Moana.


Overview of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana construction at Epcot.

During the 2022 Disney D23 Expo, Josh D’Amaro talked details about Journey of Water, Inspired by Water.


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

The “Moana” film has made a splash at Walt Disney World in recent years. Moana can be found in the updated rendition of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are new “Moana” themed rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Moana is also part of the Adventure Friends Cavalcade at the Magic Kingdom.


Heart of Te Fiti and Te Fiti rise admist the Epcot construction.

Late 2023 is a vague timeline, so we will have to continue and watch construction and theming progress to give us a proper guess-timate. We know this attraction will be a self-guided tour where guests will learn about water in a form of intellectual property based edutainment. While not confirmed, rumors suggest that Moana and maybe even Maui may show up for meet and greets in this space.


Te Fiti, greenery, rock work and foliage stand-out admist the dirt and steel at Epcot's construction.

The Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana attraction is coming to Epcot’s World Nature. Until it debuts, we will continue to watch as greenery and carved concrete overtake the steel and dirt areas we see now.

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