D23 Expo: New details revealed for Epcot’s historic transformation

Epcot Transformation

Walt Disney always envisioned Epcot to be a place that changes with the times. That’s why Epcot will be undergoing some very big changes over the next several years.

First off, Epcot will be transforming into four neighborhoods instead of just two (Future World and World Showcase).

As you can see below, Epcot’s Future World will be split into World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature. World Showcase will remain the same.

Epcot Map
Now let’s start West by focusing on the attractions coming to World Discovery.

World Discovery

World Discovery will celebrate stories about science, technology, and intergalactic adventures. That’s why the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be built in this section.

Also, the Mission: SPACE pavilion will expand to the new “galactic” restaurant, Space 220. You’ll board a special “elevator” that’ll transport you to the restaurant 220 miles above the Earth. The restaurant will feature a panoramic view of space—including daytime and nighttime views of Earth too.

Epcot - Space 220

There will also be a PLAY! the pavilion that’ll open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary. Here, you’ll discover plenty of games, activities, s, and experiences that connect you with friends, family and beloved Disney characters—both real and virtual.

As part of this new pavilion, you’ll have the chance to help legendary fashion icon Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style. You’ll also be able to compete in a water-balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby.

World Celebration

World Celebration will bring brand new experiences that’ll connect us to one another to the world around us.

Epcot’s entrance plaza will be transformed with a reimagined fountain, new pathways and sweeping green spaces that beautify the entryway. According to Disney, the design will pay homage to the origins of Epcot.

Epcot - World Celebration

Epcot’s iconic Spaceship Earth will undergo some upgrades too. Although the ride will relatively remain the same, Disney will add new narration and musical score will focus on the moments and ideas that define our story. At the same time, you’ll follow a magical “story light” that ties the entire journey together.

As you exit Spaceship Earth, you’ll discover a brand new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point. World Celebration will also feature a new statue of Walt Disney depicting him sitting on steps. The area will also feature some natural environments and global design elements full of Disney magic and surprises. These include a wishing tree and a story fountain which celebrates the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.

Disney will also be building a new pavilion where live events and Epcot’s signature festivals will take place. The three-level structure will provide an elevated view of the entire park which will become an ideal spot to witness Epcot’s nighttime show. Not to mention, the structure will feature a park on the top level.

Epcot - Pavilion

World Nature

World Nature will be created as a dedication to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world.

With inspiration from Moana, Journey of Water will invite you to meet and play with magical, living water—just like in the film. The water will have a life of its own and you’ll learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.

Epcot - Moana's Journey of Water

The Land pavilion will premiere a new film in January 2020. The film, Awesome Planet, will showcase the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet.

World Showcase

The structure of the World Showcase will remain the same as its current form. World Showcase will still continue to be a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture, and traditions.

In 2020, Disney will debut HarmonioUS, the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. The show will celebrate how Disney’s music inspires people all over the world. Thus, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. HarmonioUS will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and more.

Are you ready to visit the world of Mary Poppins? At the United Kingdom pavilion, Epcot will house the very first Mary Poppins attraction. In other words, you’ll get to step down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, and then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family. It’s here that your adventure will begin.

Epcot - Mary Poppins

In the summer of 2020, the France pavilion is bringing some brand new things for you to discover. It includes the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction, where you’ll shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant.

Also in the summer of 2020, we’ll see the debut of a brand new restaurant in the France pavilion.  La Crêperie de Paris is a restaurant that’ll offer both table- and quick-service options featuring a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.

Also coming to the French pavilion in January 2020 is Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. Directed by Don Hahn, the film will join the classic Impressions de France film.

Epcot - Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will debut on January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.

Epcot - Canada Far and Wide

In the China pavilion, Wondrous China will take guests on a journey through China. The film was filmed and will be presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.

Epcot - Wondrous China

Well, there you have it. Once it’s done, Epcot will once again live up to the dreams that Walt Disney once had for this place.

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Mark Pacis
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Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.