It’s October 1st, 2020 and that means today EPCOT celebrates it’s 38th anniversary! Aside from all of the events over the last year, Walt Disney World’s Discovery park is still in the midst of a multi-year transformation with numerous projects taking shape all over the park. The 21st century begins right now, so let’s take a look!
Entrance Plaza Fountain
As we enter the park, we are greeted by walls just under Spaceship Earth but marking the return of the glass pylons that were once the centerpiece of the park’s entrance plaza fountain being restored to their former glory. The park logo, which symbolizes unity, fellowship, and harmony around the world with five outer rings that are linked to form the shape of a flower – a celebration of life – with the heart of the logo as the Earth, embraced by a star symbolizing hope – the hope that with imagination, commitment, and dedication, we can create a better tomorrow, is engraved into the pylons.
When it was announced that EPCOT would be undergoing a multi-year transformation, it was also revealed that the park’s north half would no longer be called “Future World,” but rather divided into three areas, the eastern half being World Discovery, the western half being World Nature, and the center would be called “World Celebration.”
This endeavour would see the almost complete removal of all the structures of Communicore/Innoventions, as well as the Fountain of Nations. In the photos below, you can see that most of the work is still being done on the demolition of the buildings.
Also of note, the restrooms closest to Guest Relations on the eastern side of Spaceship Earth are also closed at this time. It is unclear at this time if this is a temporary closure or a permanent one.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
One of the highly anticipated attractions as part of the EPCOT transformation is the replacement to the classic Universe of Energy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The attraction is going to be a “storytelling roller coaster” type ride that begins in the 'Galaxarium,' a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. The roller coaster will also include a reverse launch and will rotate to focus on the story, creating a thrilling yet family-friendly coaster, and despite other delays and cancellations around the park, this one is still expected to open in 2021.
The new restaurant that we’ve been waiting for as part of an expansion to the Mission: SPACE pavilion, Space 220, is nearing completion, with these walls currently covering the marquee and entrance to the restaurant that will take us 220 miles above the Earth and into a space station for a dining experience that can only be described as “out of this world.”
Taking over the former Wonders of Life pavilion, completely revitalizing what we find when we enter the golden dome will be the new Play! Pavilion. The attractions found within were expected to be an interactive experience for all ages. Guests can hang out with their favorite characters at this vibrant and thrilling metropolis that’s full of games and hands-on activities. We have no official announcement about an opening date or any changes to the attractions within, but the pavilion was originally targeted for a late 2021 opening.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Progress on this highly anticipated attraction is still cooking up in the back corner of the France pavilion. In it, guests will shrink down to the size of a rat and follow Remy and his pals through the kitchen and dining room of the well loved eatery. The big challenge? Avoid getting caught! But not to worry, your journey is bound to end on a sweet note. As evidenced by the photos below, much of the exterior is complete, with work remaining on the inside of the attraction. Many expected this attraction to open earlier this summer, but work continues and we hope we have more information on when we can journey into Gusteau’s kitchen soon.
Harmonious is an all-new nighttime spectacular that is being created for EPCOT’s World Showcase Lagoon. The new show will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world, and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers. It was also touted as not only being the largest fireworks spectacular ever to come to EPCOT, but also the largest fireworks spectacular ever created for a Disney Theme Park when it was announced. While we couldn’t get a great look at some of the show’s barges and floating pieces, we can see the active crane work helping the construction on the backstage dry dock. There is no official opening date set for this show.
As EPCOT celebrates its 38th anniversary, we are definitely in a transformative period with many excited for what’s to come. With the 40th anniversary of the park just two years away, hopefully we see more completions of these new experiences to enjoy next time we visit Walt Disney World’s second park.