Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary is upon us and Disney is celebrating with special news coming out of EPCOT. Walt Disney once said EPCOT “would always be in a state of becoming” as a place that changes with the times. The Walt Disney World Resort theme Park is delivering on that promise in a whole new way as it continues the biggest transformation in its history, bringing the next generation of immersive storytelling to life through a plethora of new Disney Park attractions and experiences.
The four neighborhoods, which were first announced at the D23 Expo, are finally taking their place at EPCOT for the historic transformation. Disney has announced: “Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, EPCOT will be unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. These neighborhoods are filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take Guests to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, discovery, and the magic of possibility.” The breakdown and what to expect from the four neighborhoods are as follows:
1. World Showcase
- World Showcase continues to be a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions – infused with new magic.
- With a grand opening set for Oct. 1, 2021, an expanded France pavilion features the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction, where guests feel as if they shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant. Joining this family-friendly new attraction on Oct. 1 in the France pavilion is a delicious new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options and a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.
- Also in the France pavilion, the classic “Impressions de France” film is joined by the new experience “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along,” directed by Don Hahn, producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale as old as time.
- “Harmonious” is one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney theme park. Debuting Oct. 1, 2021, over World Showcase Lagoon, the show celebrates the way Disney music inspires people the world over, carrying them away on a stream of familiar songs reinterpreted by a culturally diverse group of 240 artists from around the globe. “Harmonious” features massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue is a fast-casual restaurant at The American Adventure pavilion, serving classic American backyard barbecue and home-style craft brews. The restaurant takes its name from Sam Eagle; the beloved Muppet hosts a centennial cook-off – a salute to all cook-offs … but mostly barbecue.
2. World Celebration
- World Celebration offers new experiences that connect guests to one another and the world around them.
- The EPCOT entrance plaza welcomes guests with open pathways and sweeping green spaces that beautify the entryway. Bridging the past, present and future of EPCOT is a new fountain at the base of Spaceship Earth with three majestic pylons. The entrance plaza also features new lighting and music, as well as flags flanking the fountain featuring six original EPCOT icons.
- Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, Spaceship Earth transforms at night into a Beacon of Magic with new lights shining across the geodesic sphere’s reflective panels.* These lights connect to one another in a symbol of optimism resembling stars in a nighttime sky.
- Creations Shop invites guests to explore and celebrate Disney creativity, inspired by Mickey Mouse. The merchandise location features a bold, sleek design for an open, bright, welcoming environment with large glass walls allowing sunlight to pour in. Artistic homages to Mickey are throughout the shop, including large, dynamic murals that tap into the park’s original artistic spirit.
- Adjacent to Creations Shop is a revitalized Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola. Celebrating Coca-Cola in a fresh new way, Club Cool invites guests to explore tasty drinks from around the world, bringing the global experience of Coca-Cola to life through new magic and classic flavor.
- As guests pass Spaceship Earth, in the future they will discover a breathtaking new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point. World Celebration will also feature a new statue honoring the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney, plus beautiful natural environments and global design elements filled with Disney magic.
- Surrounding this enchanted garden will be new merchandise and dining locations, along with a newly reimagined festival area that will be home to ever-changing events in a unique new environment.
3. World Nature
- World Nature is dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world. It includes The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions, as well as the forthcoming Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.
- The Land pavilion film “Awesome Planet” showcases the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of Earth. The 10-minute show features in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award®-winning composer Steven Price.
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be the first Disney Parks experience evoking the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water. Just like Moana’s friend the ocean, water will have a personality of its own, helping guests learn how to protect the natural water cycle in a fun and engaging way.
4. World Discovery
- In World Discovery, stories about science, technology and intergalactic adventure come to life.
- In an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion, the new Space 220 Restaurant is a culinary experience offering the celestial panorama of a space station, including virtual daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles above the planet’s surface. Guests board a space elevator for a simulated journey to the Centauri Space Station, where they experience the “height of dining.” Once they arrive, guests enjoy meals and drinks while taking in views that are truly out of this world. Space 220 is operated by the Patina Restaurant Group.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT. The family-friendly adventure starts in the Galaxarium, a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. Guests will learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share – until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and guests go on an intergalactic chase through space and time. The attraction will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
Disney fans can head on over to EPCOT’s Walt Disney Imagineering presents the EPCOT Experience in the Odyssey Events Pavilion to learn and visualize the new four neighborhoods. The exhibit showcases the innovation, energy, and excitement driving the Park’s future throughout this period of transformation. We will keep you posted as we learn more about EPCOT’s exciting transformation!