As part of Destination D23 at Walt Disney World this weekend, attendees were invited to a panel to learn all about EPCOT from its origins all the way through to its current massive transformation, which is wrapping up as the World Celebration neighborhood is completed later this year.
Moderator Christina Case, Park Planning & Integration, EPCOT, was joined by Executive Creative Director Scott Mallwitz, EPCOT Vice President Kartika Rodriguez, Artisan Specialist Senior Brianna Pfost, and Senior Creative Producer Chelsea Whikehart.
Together, they discussed the new direction that Walt Disney World’s second part is heading but how all the new changes are staying true to EPCOT’s past and its original roots.
A true highlight for Disney fans was surely the sheer amount of rare are that was shown to the crowd, including pieces and notes that date back to the animated segments of Walt Disney’s original film showcasing the Florida project and EPCOT – the real city that never came to be.
The panel also shared more about the upcoming debut of World Celebration, the fourth and final neighborhood to open to park guests later this year, in December. They revealed how old designs reflect new structures in the area, as well as shared a bit more about the new statue in Dreamer’s Point, featuring Walt Disney himself as he nears the end of his life reflecting on his greatest dream – EPCOT. The group compared it to the other statues found at Disney Parks, namely Storytellers at Disney California Adventure, where he see Walt as he would have appeared arriving in Hollywood as a young man with an early Mickey Mouse, and Partners at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, where Walt is in his prime alongside Mickey again.
Be sure to watch the video above for all the fun of this EPCOT panel. The bulk of EPCOT’s transformation rounds out with the opening of World Celebration in December of this year at Walt Disney World, though Destination D23 also saw the announcement of a third iteration of the popular attraction, Test Track, that is currently in development and taking inspiration from the original World of Motion. No further details were given at this time.