Now that the June has begun in Epcot that means two things: 1) No more Flower & Garden Festival and 2) we’re moving full speed into summer. Since it has only been a few days since the end of F&G, some of the topiaries and flower bed are still up. This always makes for some great pictures while they last. Of course, with the crowds increasing, that means time to increase capacity! Just as Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently did with Toy Story Midway Mania, Epcot has increased the capacity of one of its biggest attractions, Soarin’, by adding a third theater of operation. As many Disney Parks fans know, we are just days away from a new film being added to both Epcot’s Soarin’ as well as Disney California Adventure’s version. Because of this, the powers that be at Walt Disney World figured there was no better way to celebrate than to build a full new theater which will hopefully help keep the line under three hours. Starting at the entrance of The Land pavilion a new sign has been added to include the signature attraction of the area.While the interior sign and the main load area haven’t changed much, as soon as you enter the queue, long time guests will notice that the bright colors have been replaced with a darker blue/black color pattern and airport feel. The screens which were home to one of the first interactive queue games are still in place but, at this time, they are nothing more than billboards for the attraction you are waiting for. The rich neon of the queue is still in place but with the darker color theme. This is most likely to help your eyes adjust prior to the attraction.Once you get to the merge point for Stand By and Fastpass, guests will notice the first and only big difference. Over the past 10+ years, guests would be sent either right or left to concourse A or B, but now they could be sent straight ahead to the NEW concourse C (AKA the new theater).The long hallways for all three of the concourses have been refreshed with the darker colors but all look the exact same otherwise.Once you reach the end of the hall, you are split into groups and lined up just as before. As of now, the original film Soarin’ Over California has returned for a limited run until June 17th when the new film will premiere both here and in DCA. This not only gives guests one more chance to fly over Golden State one last time but will also give the Cast Members a chance to get reacquainted with the loading and grouping of the attraction before the big rush to see the new attraction. Additionally, before Soarin’ Around the World arrives, fans of the original will notice one big difference: the film is now all digital. The other big changes coming to Epcot in just a few short weeks are the Frozen Ever After attraction and new Royal Sommerhuse meet and greet for Anna and Elsa.As June 21st draws closer, the walls around the Sommerhus get closer and closer to coming down. But one part is already open to the public and caused a larger uproar in the online Disney community: the new Frozen bathrooms. While they’re not as themed at the Tangled ones in the Magic Kingdom, they are much larger than the previous ones in this location and have a beautifully themed entrance area.Unfortunately, with the addition of the Sommerhus area, some things have to go and, in this case, its the Margaritas stand that used to be in the empty lot between the Mexico and Norway Pavilion. But fear not margarita fans — word is that a new location will be coming soon so you won’t be missing out on the drinking around the world for too long.As for one of the most dramatic changes coming with the new Frozen Ever After attraction, the scrim that has been up since shortly after Maelstrom closed has been taken down to reveal a new facade along with a closed waterfall area. The only other real change coming to Epcot in the near future is another switch to the entertainment in the Canada Pavilion. Alberta Bound, a long time filler for the fan favorite Off Kilter who have taken up residency at the Mill Stage for the past month, will end their time at Epcot on June 5. This group added a feel to the area that has been missed since Off Kilter left in 2014 by bringing classic folk and Canadian rock songs to passing guests.
But, not to worry — starting June 12, a new entertainment offering will be added to Canada in the form of Les Parfaits. They will bring a world where circus, comedy and music come together, and off-the-wall characters spring to life! It’s a stunning performance featuring athletes, artists and rock ‘n’ roll and is sure to surprise you as it pops up throughout the day.
So, with the exception of taking a look at the new Mulan outfit, that will wrap up this update. Make sure you follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from Hong Kong Disneyland and coverage of Shanghai Disneyland’s opening next week!
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.