At the D23 Expo held in Anaheim, California, over the weekend Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman Bob Chapek led a presentation on the new additions coming to the Disney Parks around the world.
While there were several large announcements, Walt Disney World’s Epcot received the most attention as it continues to undergo the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history including the addition of several new attractions, restaurants, and experiences.
Starting with the news that Epcot will be organized into four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery.
Let’s start our look at the new additions coming to Epcot in World Showcase where new magic will join the celebration of World culture, cuisine, architecture, and traditions.
The United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. We don’t have an opening date yet, but we do know that it will include a step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house before entering Number 17, the home of the Banks family, where an adventure will begin.
In 2020, following the limited-time run of the nighttime spectacular “Epcot Forever,” the new “HarmonioUS” will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park.
It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, and it will feature familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe as well as massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and so much more.
In summer 2020, the France pavilion will be home to the much-anticipated attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure where you’ll shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure
Also debuting in 2020 is a new restaurant called La Crêperie de Paris featuring a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse that can be enjoyed as a table or quick-service dining location.
And the last bit of news in the France pavilion, is that the classic Impressions de France film will be joined by the new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along,” debuting in January 2020 that is directed by Don Hahn, producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale as old as time.
“Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.
In the China pavilion, “Wondrous China” will take guests on a spectacular journey across the country, filmed, and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.
Over in World Celebration new enhancements and additions will be focused on connecting individuals to the the world around them.
Iconic Spaceship Earth will remain a voyage through time, but soon it will transform to reflect the power of storytelling and its ability to unite the human experience.
The re-imagined attraction will feature new narration, an entirely new musical score, and a magical “story light” that will lead guests on a journey through history focused on the moments and ideas that define “our” story.
At the exit to Spaceship Earth, a new post-show experience will lead guests to discover a breathtaking new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point.
A new three-level Celebration Pavilion will be home to live events, serve as the center of Epcot’s signature festivals, and will provide a stunning elevated view of the entire park and an ideal spot to witness Epcot’s nighttime spectacular.
Epcot’s entrance plaza will welcome guests with a reimagined fountain, new pathways, and sweeping green spaces that beautify the entryway to the park paying homage to the origins of Epcot.
The natural environments of the World Celebration neighborhood will have global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a wishing tree in an enchanted forest and a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.
World Celebration will also feature a new statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney.
The World Nature neighborhood is dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world that will include the existing The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions.
Journey of Water, inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Moana” will lead guests down a lush exploration trail to meet and play with magical, living water.
The water will have a life of its own – just like Moana’s friend, the ocean – and you’ll learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.
The Land pavilion’s new film, “Awesome Planet,” will debut in January 2020 and will showcase the beauty, diversity, and dynamic story of the planet.
And finally the In World Discovery neighborhood will focus on science, technology, and intergalactic adventures.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at Epcot.
The 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 adventures across the cosmos ensue.
The attraction will also feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus your attention on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
This winter guests with reservations can board a special elevator in the Mission: SPACE pavilion for a journey to a space station high above the ground that offers both a celestial panorama of daytime and nighttime views of Earth as well as an out-of-this-world dining experience at restaurant Space 220.
The PLAY! pavilion, in the former Wonders of Life pavilion, will be a digital metropolis filled with games, activities, and experiences that connect guests and Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before.
As part of this new pavilion guests will have the chance to help legendary fashion icon Edna Mode on her quest to rid the world of uninspired style or make a splash competing in a water-balloon fight hosted by Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
To help guests get ready for all of these new additions, on October 1, 2019, Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience in the Odyssey Events Pavilion will invite guests to discover interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy, and excitement driving the park’s future throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.
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