Guests are invited to return to EPCOT on July 15th with a Park Pass Reservation and valid theme park admission. Ahead of the reopening, one of our Florida correspondents, Tony Betti, joined some friends for a Cast Member Preview day. In addition to new safety enhancements throughout the park, Cast Members and their Guests also got a preview of the expanded Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival 2020.
Like Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests go through a temperature screening and touchless bag check before reaching the main entrance where social distance markers keep groups six-feet apart.
The first promotion for the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival starts with banners above the main entrance, although the decorations don’t start until after you pass around Spaceship Earth.
While the parks were closed, a lot of progress was made at the main entrance. New planters have been added where the Leave a Legacy slabs used to be, a much more harmonious start to a day of exploration.
Social distance queues have been added to the Food & Wine kiosks, as pictured above from Canada where the fan-favorite Canadian Cheddar and Bacon soup can be enjoyed. You can see the full menu here.
Kidcot Fun Stop activities are available through social distancing with activities laid out in plastic bags.
Canada Far and Wide has group markings in the holding area. Once inside the CircleVision theater, every-other-row has been blocked off and groups stand between the no stand zones, similar to the same blocked areas in other theater experiences already open.
World Showplace is home to several Taste of EPCOT experiences, with social distancing tables to enjoy your snacks in an air conditioned environment.
The entrance to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is also visible behind a rare unthemed construction wall.
The American Gardens Theater is now home to some of EPCOT’s in-park entertainment groups like JAMMitors and Mariachi Cobre.
Characters are still part of the EPCOT experience, with parade cars traveling through World Showcase in addition to some characters who appear behind a social distancing barrier.
One of EPCOT’s newest attractions, Awesome Planet, includes a social distance queue through the wall carpet holding area.
Attraction vehicles get sanitized regularly, with the process visible to Guests at Living with the Land.
One of EPCOT’s longest queues and most popular attractions is Soarin’ Around the World. The waiting experience includes the now standard social distance markers, but plexiglas dividers have been added to the grouping area before entering the theater. Select seats are blocked off to keep groups apart in each row.
The entrance to the attraction inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends also has newly added plexiglass dividers as Guests “Just keep swimming” through the queue.
The animal viewing areas have clearly marked direction arrows to keep Guest flow moving in one direction. Cast Members stationed throughout the experience are on hand to help enforce the policy.
Touch-screen experiences have been covered and are now currently available.
Seating areas with permanently fixed benches have designated some benches as unavailable to keep parties relaxing on a bence six-feet apart.
The cast of Pixar’s Ratatouille are the main character featured on park decor for the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.
A WALL-E themed play area is still set up from the Flower & Garden Festival, but it is closed off.
Similar to Avatar: Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, grouping numbers for Mission: Space are ignored with Guests standing on new social distancing loading zones. The post-show experiences have closed activities that require close proximity to other Guests or touching a surface.
One of EPCOT’s relaxation zones is between Mission: Space and Test Track in an outdoor area.
Guests with disabilities still board Spaceship Earth from the post-show with a social distance queue setup through the area where the games are not operational.
EPCOT reopens on July 15th, along with the start of the Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival. Click here to see all of the experiences that will return with the reopening.